I love the quote, misattributed to Mark Twain, that “everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” My husband, Frank, and I often say that when we grow so tired of each other that we risk running out of topics of conversation, we will always have two: the weather and real estate. The five months of Austin’s relentless heat provides a perennial subject for discussion between us. So I was delighted to be invited to offer advice to our new professor of Church History about how to stay cool in Austin. [Real estate will have to wait for another blog post.]
1. Consider June, July, August, and September in Austin like December, January, February, and March in northern Minnesota or Massachusetts. Take up an indoor sport or heavy drinking.
2. Avoid strenuous activity between 9 am and 8 pm. Keep physically very still.
3. Do not drive an automobile between 9 am and 8 pm. Stay away from parking lots and shopping centers.
4. Never leave anything in your parked car: sunglasses, laptops, cell phones, boxes of chocolate, pets. Between May and October, no sleeping in your car.
5. If you can figure out how to get there without a car, jump in the deep end at Deep Eddy Pool. While still dripping wet, visit the Deep Eddy Cabaret for a mini Shiner pitcher.
6. Read the epistles in a prone position. The basement of the Booher library remains a steady 73 degrees Fahrenheit t (23 Celsius).
7. The Jesus Prayer may be said while immobile.
8. Get yourself to an island, preferably closer to the Arctic Circle than not, and that may be part of the Grand Manan archipelago in the Bay of Fundy where the sea is 55 degrees (Fahrenheit) and the sun doesn’t set until 10:30PM where the seals leap and the sheep bleat and the eiders nest and the tide goes in and out, in and out.
Cynthia Briggs Kittredge (@cbkittredge) is the 8th Dean and President of Seminary of the Southwest and professor of New Testament. Dean Kittredge holds degrees from Williams College and Harvard Divinity School.