It was hot in Georgia. To quote a friend of mine: Jungle hot. Satan-in-a-Speedo hot. Angry-god hot. Pets may openly curse. Pedestrians may combust.
J went off to work -- about 45 minutes away; the city he was going to has a dearth of campgrounds and we’d rather be out a bit and staying somewhere nice than in a fleabag campground close to the customer. I tackled the laundry that had started to pile up as a result of our crowded week and fast run south. Three loads. And only one washer, one dryer in the campground facilities. After a few trips up and down the hill from our site to the laundry room, puffing my way up and back, I gave up and drove the truck up the hill and sat and read in the driver’s seat while the laundry whirled. It was cooler in the vehicle with the windows open than in the laundry room, but it was still HOT.
The lake was crowded with local folks beating the heat but the campground was fairly empty. There were a few brave souls in tents, though I laughed when I saw the cabin tent with the AC propped up in a back window. Those folks had it made in the shade; the little trailer they’d towed onto the site had all of the comforts of a modern kitchen under blue tarps: microwave, TV, beer keg, etc. And I am sure the AC worked to keep that tent nice and cool!
Our AC also did yeoman duty on that front, and we were very comfortable once we figured out we couldn’t run quite everything at the same time. The site was such that with our slide out extended the wall of the camper was a hand’s-breadth from the power box. So of course right after we got in, with the AC, fridge, water heater and the ceiling fan all going, pop! Off goes the power. We had to shift the chairs around and run the slide in partway in order to check the circuit breaker, which had indeed tripped under the load. Off went the water heater and the fan, and we had no more trouble with the power for the rest of the week. Fortunately our water heater generates scalding water in just about 20 minutes, so it was a simple matter to get up in the morning, turn the AC off for a little while, make the coffee and then turn on the water heater for nice hot showers after a leisurely breakfast.
On Wednesday my MIL arrived from California, where she’d been visiting her sisters. It turned out to be easy to exchange her plane ticket for Philadelphia to one for Birmingham, AL, not that far from where we were staying. I drove out early, did some shopping on the way, and picked her up with plenty of time to spare, especially since only one baggage carousel was working for four or five flights. Flying just holds less and less appeal these days.
On the way home we were pulled over by a state trooper. I’d spotted him and slowed down, then reached into my purse for something and apparently swerved a bit. That got me pulled over for erratic driving, but we must not have looked too threatening, because after a bunch of questions about where we were going and what we were doing he let me off with a stern warning and the understanding that the warning was going on my Permanent Record! So don’t expect to get off so lightly next time, Missy! I told him I was pretty sure that there wouldn’t be a next time; near as I can remember the last time I got a traffic ticket was over fifteen years ago.
We had a nice quiet Thursday, J went in to work and MIL and I rested up, read, and played Wii. Friday J was done with his work, so we all piled into the van and drove down to Warm Springs, GA. It was very interesting seeing FDR’s Little White House and the small museum on the site. The house was very reminiscent of Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s home. The furnishings in both were plain, simple, and to my eyes middle-class, much less ostentatious than the Hudson Valley mansions of his family and their peers. After visiting the Little White House, we went to the old polio treatment spa and the small museum there. I was intrigued to learn that unlike some other spas, the treatment center never promoted the idea that the waters themselves were healing; the warmth of the waters made it easier for polio patients to do physical therapy and that was its primary benefit. That epidemic and its effects are something I don’t think anyone my age or younger can really appreciate; we haven’t lived through anything nearly as bad. Seeing the medical equipment of the era and photos of the young patients brought home some of the fear people must have felt at the time.