Some Like It Hot
“Come on out. It’s cooled down a lot already.”
Anna smiled and followed her uncle out into his garage. He was so eager to show her his workshop and she was more than happy to see and hear all about it. But it was August. In Tucson. Northern Sonoran Desert. In other words, it was freaking hot. She had stalled and delayed until evening, hoping it would be less stifling in the converted metal storage building that Uncle Ted used as his garage and shop.
It quickly became apparent that “cooled down a lot” could have multiple interpretations. Perhaps it had, in fact, cooled down however, as far as Anna could tell, “cooled down a lot” seemed more likely to mean “still really ridiculously hot.” Less than two minutes into her tour of Uncle Ted’s domain, she could feel a steady line of perspiration trickling down her spine. She was actually panting slightly in the still, hot air.
“I wasn’t sure how I’d get enough bench space in here, at first,” Uncle Ted said. “We didn’t really need this much room for the car but your aunt said she just wouldn’t park the car inside if I didn’t leave at least five feet on both sides of the car.” He winked and leaned in conspiratorially. “I think she really just wanted to be sure she’d have enough room to get out of the car when both arms are full of bags from the mall.”
It was hard to focus on his detailed descriptions of belt sanders, drill presses, and wood lathes when all Anna really wanted was a steady, cool breeze. Then, she suddenly remembered a hair elastic in her pocket. Hauling her hair back into a quick, messy bun had never felt so good before. She sighed and smiled.
“Exactly!” Uncle Ted said, pointing at Anna excitedly. “I was just that relieved when I finally figured out how to get the drill press level without having to do any hotchpotch, seat-of-my-pants messing around with the bench. I’ll bet my smile was even bigger than yours.”
They made their way the rest of the way around the building, duly admiring his admittedly clever arrangements. Anna found Uncle Ted’s latest efforts at furniture building quite impressive and, despite the heat, was able to display all the enthusiasm his pieces deserved.
“Anna, you’re a good sport,” said Uncle Ted. “I’m used to these temperatures but coming straight from Minnesota, you must feel like you’re able to melt. What say we go in for something cold to drink?” He smiled fondly at her and pulled her arm through his. “Maybe Aunt Ella will have some popsicles for us. What flavor did you always want?”
“Orange,” Anna said, laughing. “I always ate the orange ones out of the variety box first.” She gave her uncle’s arm a squeeze. “Come on. Maybe there will be two orange ones left in the box. I’ll share with you.”
Author’s Note: Hi everyone! In case you missed the note on Tale Number Seventy-Four, I’m going to a Tuesday/Thursday posting schedule for the summer (I’ll re-evaluate my larger projects in the fall). See you all again on Tuesday!