Turns out not to be an exaggeration

By Mir
August 6, 2007

Hey, do you know how people warned me that it is, you know, HOT down here in Georgia? Do y’all (see how native I am, now?) remember how when I said I was moving here, all of my southern readers rushed to regale me with tales of summer?

And do you know how I’ve been all, “Hey, this is really not too bad at all, and also I am loving our POOL” for the month we’ve been down here?

August arrived, and right on cue, Georgia turned into the surface of the sun. And even then, I kept saying, “You know, it really isn’t as humid as I thought it would be! This is okay!” I was TRYING. But now there is no escaping it: It is REALLY FREAKING HOT.

Someone—I don’t remember who it was—even went so far as to send me an email to let me know that come August, the pool water would probably become uncomfortably warm. It would be TOO HOT TOO SWIM. I pshawed heartily when I read that. Because water is cool and refreshing, you know. How could it be too hot to swim?

Well, aside from all of the regular pool maintenance stuff that we knew about—the endless chemicals and testing the water and running the filter—it turns out that in extreme heat, the average evaporation rate here will cause your pool to lose an inch or two in a DAY. This means that we’re adding water pretty regularly. Er, um, I mean, we add water every Saturday when we’re allowed to under the current water ban.

(Occasionally on other days the hose falls into the pool for a while and maybe the handle gets jiggled. I don’t know. Don’t have me arrested.)

Water comes out of the hose pretty cold, you know. So at least the gajillion dollars a month we’re spending on water keeps the pool a nice temperature.

Or so we thought. On Sunday Otto and I hopped into the pool and immediately looked at each other and said, “Geez, the water’s kind of hot.”

(It’s the biggest, most expensive bathtub I’ve ever had….)

All this time, we thought those droves of crickets and beetles were accidentally drowning themselves while trying to get a drink. Now I wonder if they didn’t accidentally cook themselves while taking a dip.

Today I went outside to check the water level in the pool and I BURNED MY FEET on the deck. That’s the first time that’s happened. I felt stupid for not putting sandals on before I went out, but even more stupid when I put my burning feet into the water and it barely helped.

My upright freezer is currently filled with small plastic bins. We filled them with water and threw them in there to help keep it cold (I haven’t had time to fill it with actual food, yet). Tomorrow I am going to take the bins down to the pool and drop the blocks of ice in to see if it cools the water down at all. Maybe we’ll make it a scientific experiment. How long do you think it’ll take six chunks of ice, each about a cubic foot, to melt in the pool?

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Nope. I’m just trying to adapt. And not melt.


  1. Keryn

    The ice will melt in twenty minutes.

    Maybe less!

  2. Shelly

    Welcome to the south in August. I’m 60 miles east of you. I know how freaking hot it was today. Guess what? Tomorrow, more of the same!!

  3. Fold My Laundry Please

    I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and my parents had an in ground pool that was only 5 feet deep at its deepest. Needless to say, water that shallow would get fairly warm once the temperature stayed over 110. Every once in a while, my mother would take us all out to the store and buy 20 to 25 ice blocks. We would take them back to the pool and have a blast with all of our friends trying to sit on the blocks of ice and float. The blocks were all gone within 45 minutes and an hour after that, the water was warm again.

  4. jean

    I feel your pain. I’m much, much farther north (NJ) and tomorrow it will feel like 104. Hot, humid and the AC is dying. I think the ice will melt in less then 20 minutes. Have fun.

  5. Amy

    We’re here in GA, too. Tonight I left ballet with my daughter at 7 pm, and the thermometer in my car read 101 degrees. We try to swim (in the neighborhood pool–they do the chemicals for us!) before noon or in the evening so that the sunlight isn’t quite so direct. I do think the pool is now warmer than the kiddos bath water!!

  6. kathy

    I am trying very hard to feel sorry, but we’ve been cooking (in the mid 90’s and humidity ranging 70-100% throughout the day) here in the tropics since April. Mozzies come out in March. Summer is REALLY long down here. :)

  7. tinker

    Along with the heat comes the lovely Code Red smog alerts and ridiculously high power bills. Even though I constantly battle to keep the thermostat at 77 (up from the 72 my husband would keep it set), our bill electric bill usually triples from May to June and then doubles each month through September. I’m sure there is some type of exponential equation that GA Power does before they send the bills out. “Let’s see..Tinker’s bill was $40 in May. Can’t have that! Let’s make it $240 this month!”

  8. Heather

    I’ve never thought of using ice cubes in a pool! Rather clever of you. Ahem, ya’ll, rather.

  9. Cele

    Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am to live in the Pacific Northwest.

  10. Marvo

    I think you should get glacier ice. I hear it takes longer to melt.

  11. LuAnn

    You n me, both, sister. The painted parts of my back porch are unbearable without sandals.

  12. Leandra

    Don’t worry we’re going to be offended if you complain! We do! And by “we” I mean those of us who have lived here all our lives. It is just not RIGHT that it’s this hot. This kind of heat is like childbirth — you forget how bad it is from summer to summer. Pretty much the only thing to do in a time like this is to lie in front of the tv all day or find some kind of indoor entertainment. Anything else is just crazy.

  13. Crisanne

    The trick is to get in the pool to get wet (even your hair!) then get out and let the wind blow on you (without drying off). It will cool you off some. Or better yet, get in the pool then go straight inside. The AC will make you feel something you haven’t felt in a while…COLD!

    If you have any of those cups that you can freeze upside down, they really help keep your drink cool. But start out with the drink cold already.

  14. Lisa

    Not to rub it in or anything, but I believe it’ll be in the low 80’s in the upper Northeast.

  15. MomCat

    When it is so hot that you are longing for New England, remember that, uncomfortable as it is, at least you don’t have to shovel heat.

    Think of all the gloating you’ll be able to do this winter and spring. That’s what gets us Southerners through August.

    Great idea on the ice! Cheap pool toys for kids, momentarily cooler water. I like it!

  16. Jenny

    A couple summers ago, I got in my car and when I shut the door, my rearview mirror fell off. The adhesive had melted. Summer melted my car.

    Watch out for the crimes of passion. Apparently the heat and humidity make us all crazy, Tennessee Williams style.

  17. Mimipz5wjj

    August sucks, but come January/February you’ll be laughin’!

    Many a New Years Eve or Day we’re out in shortsleeves thinking it’s hot enough for shorts…

  18. Randi

    This is why I’ve never wanted to move down south – we used to live in FL when I was little, and I remember how hot I was even back then.

    God love ya Mir, for risking your sanity for love :)

  19. Caren

    May I remind you that you are in NORTH Georgia? Down here in Southeast Georgia, we have a heat index of 113 today. Wanna come visit us?

  20. Katie

    We were in Atlanta about 3 years ago at this time in the summer. I was never so happy to get back to the 95 degree 75% humidity of the Midwest again. I then understood why everything is so much slower in the South. If anyone moved any faster, they’d die of heat exhaustion.

  21. Kay

    Mmmmm….ice….with bacon salt…..

  22. Cera

    I just moved from FLORIDA to CANADA. If one more person tells me its too hot outside, too muggy, etc, I may kick them. Hard. Repeatedly.

    I hear you on the hot pool though. The ice sounds like a fantastic trick! In another two weeks or so, I could ship you some snow? ( Last year, it snowed mid – october through june 2 )

  23. Colleen

    Michigan isn’t much better..we’re experiencing 90’s lots of humidty and very little(almost no) rain. But in January when we’ve just had a foot of snow I’ll remind you of what you could be doing then…just think no school “snow” days either. :)

  24. Sophie

    Georgia in August is like chronic pain: something that you never get used to but can effectively manage. Mostly we stay indoors in August.

    You have the unhappy luck to have moved here in one of the worst droughts since the late 80’s. Summer drought = heat wave. Lots of rain = a tolerable summer. This month, and this week, is exceptionally bad.

  25. Cassie

    Yeah, I’m over in TX and it’s hot as balls over here too. Of course, my coworkers leave the air at work at 70, so during the summer I have permanent allergy / sinus problems from going in and out from 110 to 70 all day long. That, and I have to wear long pants to work to stay warm enough. That means that when I go outside, I want to die.

  26. cursingmama

    In MN we have pool covers to help keep the water warm. I wonder if anyones resourceful enough to design one to keep the water cooler than the temperature of the sun or if some kind of big tent over the top of the pool would help.

  27. Lisa

    I’ve lived in GA and it is hot!!! What I was surprised about though, is the winter. I don’t know where you are in GA, but I lived in two different suburbs north of Atlanta and it was bitter cold in the winter. The wind stung my skin and we had snow, ice on the roads, etc. It just wasn’t expected like the heat. The nice thing, though, is that it doesn’t last long.

  28. Kelsie

    I use the ice in the pool as well. I save my coffee canisters (the large Foldgers plastic kind), fill them with water and freeze. Then I take the lids off and let them float in the pool until they melt. This is a ritual that we have been practicing for several years now. Adding cold water from the faucet doesn’t do much good really.

    I do find it quite humorous that my northern friends don’t believe me when I tell them it is too hot to swim. But really? It is. For us, this summer has been quite nice. I haven’t had to add ice once at this point. That will probably change over the next month.

    What is really cool about the south though, is that when your friends from the North are pulling out their mittens and scarves, you will still be swimming! We have swam up until Halloween before. I love the months when we don’t have to turn on the a/c or heat. Just open the windows and revel in the low electricity bills.

  29. The Other Leanne

    It’s 62 here in the Upper Left Corner, overcast, might rain, and I’m wearing a fleece jacket. In AUGUST.
    Can I come swim in your big bathtub?

  30. Burgh Baby's Mom

    If you have a freezer big enough, take one of those cheap inflatable pool toys, fill it with water, then freeze. Good times, good times.

  31. AKD

    Two nights ago in the Bay Area I was wearing a sweatshirt AND a jacket to walk to the store.
    But since I HATE hot weather, I’m not complainin’
    But I am laughing at myself for thinking a few years ago I wanted to move to Atlanta. Talk about “touched.”

  32. ScottsdaleGirl

    I was just commenting this morning on how the 65% humidity..in the desert…had actually given us reprieve from the 115 degree sunny heat. Because now we are only at around 95-100. With 65% humidity. In the desert.

  33. Stephanie Chance

    I have lived in the south all of my life, and even I am hollering, ‘It’s too freakin’ hot to go outside!’ It’s that global warming, don’t cha know.

    I remember going to Russia on a study tour for about two weeks and upon arrival back home being bowed to the ground by the heat and asking my brother, ‘Has the air always weighed so much here?’ I could hardly drag my butt to the vehicle, much less carry my luggage. And that was just May.

    You just think the pool water was getting warm. The kids have just been too lazy to get out and go to the bathroom. :)

  34. Ayla-Monic

    Having grown up in the prairies (of Canada), extremes in temperature are not foreign to me.

    Think of it this way: August may be unbearable… but at least your winters won’t be -40 degrees. (In Saskatchewan, where I grew up, summers could get up to… 95 degrees F, sometimes (but rarely) higher, and winters could get to -40 once you factored in the windchill factor.)

    So, just think about winter. (Of course, when winter rolls around, you’ll probably be wishing it was August.)

  35. Sarah

    Burning patio decks are horrible. I grew up in Arizona, and I remember as a kid, having contests with my sister/friends to see who could walk across the black asphalt of the pool parking lot the longest without having to run for shade. Ah, to be a kid again with no pain neurons…

  36. -jean

    Moved to Florida in April of 2006 so am spending my 2nd summer here. Hot.Hot.Hot. However, we are finding it NOT as hot as it was in Missouri where opening the front door always felt like cracking open the oven to see if the cookies are done. Here, even in central Florida, we get an afternoon cooling seabreeze coming from one coast or the other. It doesn’t last long, but long enough to hop out of the bathwater-temp-pool and stand around until you get honest to goodness goosebumps. Ahhhhhh. Who’d a thunk?

  37. Chuck

    We’re under a heat advisory today in Texas.

    In Phoenix, they have the same issue with the pool water getting too hot to swim in in the summer, I hear. I tend to stick to the air-conditioned indoor pool at the Y this time of year.

  38. Roxanne

    While it’s true you can’t shovel heat, there are only so many layers you can remove to cool.

    When it’s cold, you’ve got options.

    We extend our pool season “up north” with heated pools and fire-pits…we swim April through October then play, ski, tube and skate in the snow and ice. Electricity and engines have made snow removal a non-issue…options … I’m all about options.

    Good Luck and load up on that chlorine- with criters offing themselves in your pool – there are bound to be bacteria issues !!

  39. Chris

    I think it is just about as hot and humid here, in Chicago.
    I’m not sure, I’m just sayin’ that it is sooo humid here as of late. I almost wish I had a warm pool even if I might have to skim the rats out of it.

  40. MsRebecca

    It is so humid here in Ohio and I talked to a few of my clients today in Georgia and Alabama..the one guy told me it’s so hot he can’t speak, his thoughts are blocked by sweat.. Nice..

  41. Lauren

    Eew… I think that hot pool water is the grossest of the gross! That said, I work for a pool company in Australia, where we are currently on like level one zillion water restrictions, and it’s like a billion degrees here in summer. Without trying to sound like an advertisement (we don’t ship to the states anyway! :P), if you put a pool cover on your pool, you will reduce the evaporation by up to 98%… but you just have to watch the type you use, if you put a transperant one on, it will INCREASE the water temp, but you can get a non-heat blanket, which should help keep the temperature down AND saves water! I don’t know anyone who stocks them in the US but if you check http://www.daisypoolcovers.com.au (our supplier) you should be able to see what I’m talking about :)

  42. Brigitte

    Maybe one day (like when the NH house is off your hands?), you can re-do the patio with that plasti-wood stuff, it doesn’t get so hot (I don’t think).

  43. Annie

    I feel your pain. We’re in GA too (Atlanta) and it’s been unbearable lately. Luckily Henry is too little to demand swimming, but we’re going stir crazy hiding from the heat all day. And last night a transformer blew due to overuse (ie overworked AC), which scared the bejezus out of us and left us without power for three hours. Awesome.

  44. angie

    I remember living in Nashville as a child, and the ground, deck, grass, everything was too hot for feet or shoes. I hope the ice cubes work!

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