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August 10, 2010
One does hate to whine, and I know I'll look back nostalgically on this hot, dry summer if ever I should climb Mt. Everest, where they say it's very cold all the time.

But I'm done with this heat and humidity. I've had it with the cruel way my iPhone taunts me with forecasts of thunderstorms that never materialize. I'm done with thinking up cool suppers to make for my husband, with watching the garden gasping for breath out there in the sun every day.

And what's up with the subway? Why is it like a sauna down there on the platform, when it's a well- known fact that the temperature of the ground ten feet down is a steady 55 degrees Fahrenheit? The subways are deeper than that. Where's my 55 degrees?

Maybe whining does help -- I feel better already, actually. It's always like this in Mississippi, and they do all right. There are eMo readers in India, where today's temperature here would seem brisk and invigorating. Soldiers in full uniform patrol the streets of Kabul, where it's much hotter than it is in New York.

A Muslim lady precedes me up the subway stairs. She is small and slight. She wears a long dress with long flowing sleeves. Her hijab completely covers her hair. A shawl is wrapped loosely around her thin shoulders. A shawl! I don't know where she is from originally, but she's managing the hottest New York summer in 75 years better than I am.

In the evening I return to the parched garden. A goldfinch shoots through the air right across my path, landing on a blue sea holly. If I'd had more energy myself, I might have purged a few of those sea hollies -- they show up, uninvited, in places I don't choose. But they are a thistle, and they thrive in this weather. We have more goldfinches this year than I've ever seen. Go ahead and whine a bit, but keep your eyes open. There is always cause for a little gratitude.
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