Hot as new love

July 26, 2017


Summer in the South — it’s hot as new love, and this is the time of the year that separates those who are long-time Southerners who know how to roll with the heat, from those newer residents who are taken by surprise.  Although we welcome new neighbors from other regions, the ones who set in complaining about the weather make us scratch our heads. Didn’t they know how hot it gets down here? How could our weather take them by surprise?

The reason I’m questioning newcomer’s preparations for the heat is because my neighbors Connie and Al, who have lived here for about three years, asked my son to cut their grass while they’re out of town this summer, from June 15th, until . . . it cools down. They fled to Connie’s sister’s home in New Hampshire and didn’t give us a return date, but said they’d watch the weather forecast to know when to return. We’re guessing we won’t see them back here in South Alabama until just before Halloween.


The evil sister trio of heat, humidity and hurricanes, combine forces to test our strength. Along the coast, there’s no erasing stormy memories of pulling limbs off our cars in the late heat of August, then going inside to cool off in our 95° houses with no air-conditioning, due to the power being knocked out. Never fear, the hole in the roof gave us a nice breeze as we slept. Areas further inland seem to share similar situations with more than their share of tornadoes.

What makes the storms, heat and humidity worth it, is our ability to unite and find the good in just about anything. When the weather turns ugly, neighbors spring into action, checking on each other. During a heat wave, we take a pint of homemade lemonade over to our neighbor, Miss Bertie Lou O’Dell, who taught us in the third grade, and ask if she needs help changing her air filters or if she’d like another fan. After hurricanes, we know everything in the freezer is going to ruin without electricity, so we fire up . . . click HERE to continue reading at

Thank you, hot readers!

  • Summertime in the South…..Loved this article! My husband and I sat on the front porch enjoying this beautiful day while reading your column. The two of us burst out laughing especially about the Christmas sweaters and singing Christmas carols in front of a fan. We can appreciate your sense of humor since 20 years ago we became “transplants” from up North and found much of this to be true, although we did know how hot the summers can be here. Not only have we adjusted to your weather but the way ya’ll talk and the different types of food you eat. So true about neighbors helping each other. Southern hospitality at its best.
    Again, kudos on your delightful article.

    • Beverly,

      So glad the heat, colorful language and boiled possum hasn’t scared you off! You sound like you fit in perfectly! Thanks for the kind note, and hope you have a good cool place to sit for the next few weeks!

      Best to you,

      Leslie Anne

  • haha, what is really funny most places up north have a brutal heat spell sometime every summer so they get the worst of all seasons! I’d rather be hot than cold anyday, but no hurricanes please! It’s much cooler on the coast than it is in the HOT Bham!

  • My marker is when the first week comes that the lows at night get into the 60s instead of 70s. That means windows open the next morning at least for a while, cause for celebration.

  • I love this Leslie Anne, so true. This year and last, I was complaining and this is home, sweet home. Love this title, it explains it so well. I have to say we’ve had the AC running on Christmas plenty, especially when we go all out and have a roaring fire in the fireplace. The only thing I disagree with is October, I see plenty of hot Halloweens too. May want to bump that up until Thanksgiving:)

    • Yes, my furry dog Halloween costume I wore the first year I taught kindergarten just about killed me!

  • You nailed our Southern weather! It rained all over Etowah County yesterday except at our house! So I am watering all the garden this morning! But, I am not complaining, this is home and I wouldn’t live anywhere else!

    • Thanks Pam. I think this year’s excessive rains have only made the heat worse! I can take heat better than humidity.

  • Great story. We have at the very least another month and a half to endure it. This is when I usually fade on watering my flowers like I should. I like to think this time is like those that go through winter up north, but far better because we can do water activities.

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