Saturday, August 1, 2009

Feeling the Heat

The little digital thermometer is from a basement area where I will soon do some calibrations of measuring instruments. I need to track the temperature. So this little tool reads current ambient temperature as well as the minimum and maximum.

I took it outside the other day. Maximum: 106 degrees Fahrenheit. We missed setting a record of 107 or 108 that day only because there was a light east wind. In Vancouver, WA, it was 108.

Hot. Especially for here. It reached 91 degrees inside our house. Some days we couldn't get it down lower than 84 in the AM before we had to close up windows.

Picture the troops in Iraq in their protective gear with sand blowing in their faces--with temperatures 112-120. Stress that stays in the mind doesn't always come from the sound of exploding IED's or the whiz of rifled bullets or the sight of a ball of fire or a buddy hit by AK-47 fire. Sometimes it comes in the form of intense physical sensations: heat, noise, smells, tastes. All of the above combined with hyper-vigilance, tension, tiredness. And dust and sand blowing in your face and eyes. Your sweaty collar feeling like sandpaper against your neck. Cigarette smoke... The smell of open sewers, diesel exhaust. And cordite...

I doubt that some of the troops who return from Iraq will experience hot weather the same way again. Something in them will remember and feel things.

Pray for cool weather for many reasons. And rest for their minds.



No comments: