Heat teamed with humidity is my Kryptonite. I hid under AC for years. Here’s how I learned to enjoy/tolerate summer without living in a bubble.

I grew up without air conditioning in northern Kentucky, where Mother Nature used to  ratchet up the steam about a week after Derby. We only had a big fan at home. Schools weren’t air-conditioned, either. Many college classrooms were, but most dorms weren’t. Until I moved into my first apartment, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep from Fourth of July until the week after Labor Day.

One advantage to living in the north is the muggy madness doesn’t usually begin until June. As an adult, I used to tell people, “I don’t go anywhere south of Battery Park between Fourth of July and October.” For good or ill and for many years, that plan worked, except I missed out on a lot.

Then, I decided to a) continue horse riding lessons during the summer and b) attend the 2013 Writer’s Police Academy in early September in North Carolina.

The Writers Police Academy

She's fine. It's all prosthetics and makeup for the EMT drill at the Writer's Police Academy. Photo by Sasscer Hill.

She’s fine. It’s all prosthetics and makeup for the EMT drill at the Writer’s Police Academy. Photo by Sasscer Hill.

The brainchild of cops Lee Lofland and Rick McMahan, the Writers Police Academy is exactly what is says. Instead of extrapolating from what’s depicted or portrayed on TV, writers of crime fiction can learn correct police procedure and feel the adrenalin of police actions.

Real active and retired police officers, like Lee and Rick, along with firefighters and emergency medical technicians, come to teach and answer questions of the, “My story needs to do this, so I how can I pull it off?” variety.

The WPA used to be held in October, until 2013 when it moved to early September, the weekend after Labor Day. Often, in Connecticut and especially in Kentucky and points south, the heat is still around, along with humidity, heat’s meaner sidekick.

Not good news for me. Normally, it would have been a deal-breaker.

Then, I remembered, if I kept on riding through the summer, I might become more accustomed to the heat.

To solve a problem? Apply horse.

Cowgirl the lesson horse and Rhonda Lane

I’m decked out in all my cooling gear. some of which Cowgirl, one of the school horses I ride, finds odd, especially the wrist band. Photo by Christine Lentz.

Head on over to The Horsey Set Net to read Part 2.

You’ll find good tips on items to keep you more comfortable longer in the heat, especially in more casual and active settings.

What if I have to dress up?

My learn-to-blog classmate Kat at Corporette often fields that question from young women new to conservative business dress codes. One of her recommendations is Hot Girls Pearls.

Hot Girls Pearls

Hot Girls Pearls in Classic White

I have to admit, gentle reader, they are pricey for someone like me, who shuns paying retail. I spent close to $100 on the black pearl necklace which came with a chic vinyl carrying case that’s an insulated mini-cooler. White pearls may be classic, but they felt too formal for my usual style which leans toward  business casual.

The necklace waits in our freezer for my first hot weather event calling for jewelry. I don’t wear it at the barn. If it falls off, and my horse steps on it? Nononono.

If you balk at paying the C-note for the cooling necklace, you can adapt a scarf, according to this post from Lifehacker. Then, you can have a selection of cooling scarves from which to choose.

Other cooling scarves are mentioned on The Horsey Set Net, as is more about my riding attire which made Cowgirl the lesson horse cock an ear and give me some side-eye, especially for that day-glow cuff.

You can’t beat the heat, really

Sooner or later, even if you have central air, you have to go outside during the summer.

Graduation and birthday parties, summer garden weddings, ball games, cookouts, gardening, farmers markets, horse shows, graduations, and horse races.

I’ve seen lots of headlines about how to “beat the heat,” but you can’t beat it. You can do what I do, just learn to live in it better.

How do you stay cool in the summer heat? Feel free to add your suggestions below.