Penguin, Party of One….

(Originally posted September 1, 2013)

Today in Dallas, Texas it was 105 degrees. ONE. HUNDRED. FIVE. That makes my fingers sweat just typing those words. 105 degrees…and that was not EVEN a record–its been hotter on this date! The hottest I recall it being in the 21 years I’ve lived in Texas was over a Labor Day weekend in the late 90’s. That banner day saw the temperature rise to 113 degrees. EXCUSE ME?!? 113…DEGREES?!? I do not live in Palm Springs or Death Valley. Last time I checked, the Equator was quite some distance away, yet here we are, baking in the oven known as Texas. I remember thinking on that 113 degree day, that I had most certainly prayed the wrong prayer.

I recall it quite vividly, that prayer I made to the Lord. It was May, 1992. My Masters degree was completed and I was looking for a job. The world was my oyster! I was ready to spread my wings and move somewhere new! But where? At the University of Alabama Job Placement Center, I checked the postings for Job Fairs interviewing prospective teachers: North Carolina, Alaska, Florida, Texas were some of the places advertised on the board. Excited with the prospect of moving somewhere new, I walked away from the Placement Center and prayed this prayer to God…

“Dear God, I will go wherever you send me, but PLEASE God, don’t send me to Florida… I couldn’t stand the heat. In Jesus name, AMEN!!”

God has a sense of humor. I know He does. Within a few weeks following my heartfelt prayer, I had signed a contract to teach Kindergarten in Keller, Texas. I knew not a soul in all the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but I was moving to Texas! The day I arrived in Texas from Alabama was August 1, 1992, and good Lord in Heaven was it ever HOT!!

Now, before I go any further with this heat issue, let me say that truly, the Lord answers prayers and the Lord puts you (me!) right where you need to be! Hot weather aside, I have loved living in Texas! Texas has been very good to me, and the Lord knew that Texas was right where I needed to land. The love of my life was found right here in Dallas, just two short months after I arrived. As a Kindergarten teacher, I was blessed with incredible administrators, colleagues, students and parents throughout my teaching career. I have wonderful friends, all for which I am so grateful and know that this is right where I was meant to be for all this time.

Texas is a wonderful place…and I love it dearly! Except for one thing…one BIG thing…the WEATHER. Lord help us all, but how I do hate, loathe and despise the Texas weather. Anyone who has known me more than half an hour knows that I had rather have my teeth chattering, be frozen to the bone and have icicles hanging off my chin than endure the heat and the ensuing need to sweat.

Surely I am a misplaced Penguin. A misguided Eskimo. An iceberg in a former life. Recently my Mama and I were speculating how this could have happened–someone who won’t even take a hot shower due to such a disdain for heat–ended up in the hot and humid South. We decided when the Stork was delivering me, it misread the delivery information for Alabama instead of Alaska. Well, at least that explains things….

Living in Texas, I learned very quickly that Texans think the only way life should be is the way it is in Texas, including the weather. The summers in Texas are long and brutal….LONG…and brutal. Summer begins to arrive in early April, fully settling in by May and lasting well into November. I remember one year when the Autumn leaves were still falling from the trees on NEW YEAR’S DAY….and the trees were sprouting anew by the end of February with the joyous news that Summer was on its way…AGAIN!! THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!! Texans for years have been saying, the reason we live here are for those 75 degree days we get in January and February. Uh, no thank you. If I have to roast in the summer like a pig on a spit in the fire pits of hell, I had darn better have some COLD WEATHER in the Winter!

It’s best not to get your hopes up on that one…having cold weather in the Winter. It might get nippy for a few days here and there, a couple weeks if I’m lucky. But then, before you know it, it’s a hundred degrees of Summer all over again. People seem to think its freakish for someone to prefer cold to hot weather. To those folks, I guess I am king of the freaks…because I LOVE cold weather, and I will be dancing a happy little jig with every advent of the season’s changing! Maybe one day we will live up North…maybe…at least I can hope!

For now, I live in Texas where Summer seems to last forever, and where the Lord answers prayers…ALL KINDS of prayers! Just not always as WE intended, but hey…at least He didn’t send me to Florida, where He KNOWS I couldn’t stand the heat!

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