things i’ve missed: humidity

It’s hot here in Tennessee.  Really hot.  Hotter than I remember it having been ever before.  

And I live in Africa… without air conditioning.

But it’s not so much the heat that I’ve realized this week I’ve missed all this time.  It’s the humidity.  

I grew up in South Alabama, where humidity is measured in the number of buckets left on the seat back of the car one is driving to the Wal-Marts.

I remember the first time Christie came to my house in Dothan (she’s from Virginia, where they don’t have hot weather OR humidity, and where everyone uses more than one fork and spoon at dinner — or high tea, whatever they call it).  We arrived in Dothan late on a Saturday night and went to worship early the next morning.  When we exited the church building that day at 11:00 (in order to beat the Baptists to lunch), she remarked, “Oh, I didn’t even realize it rained this morning while we were inside.”

We turned to her and answered, “It didn’t.  This is what we call humidity.  And later we’ll introduce you to mosquitoes.”

I’ve been missing humidity, and didn’t even realize it.

I went for my first run in the U.S. on Thursday morning.  It was an easy 6 miles, mostly on Wear’s Valley Road in Pigeon Forge,* and I started running before the sun came up.  By the end of mile 2, a very familiar thing was happening — though I’d never noticed it before that day.  [Can something be both familiar and unnoticed?  I suppose so.]

Drops of sweat were forming around my elbow and running down my arm, where they would continue past my hand until finally dropping to the ground from the first knuckle of my little finger.  And so, while running in some pretty hot weather, my pinky fingers were actually cold, the wind cutting against them.  And they were the only chilly part of my body.

I don’t think I’d ever noticed that before, but I quickly recognized the sensation of cold pinky fingers and remembered that running had felt like that all my life — since high school at least, and until I moved to Africa.

Humidity has welcomed me home.  And I’m glad to be here.

* Where Christie and I are staying in a cabin with both of our immediate families.  And where we went clothes shopping for the first new clothes we’ve bought in three years.

This post is surely to become a recurring theme on my blog over the next few months.  Not a theme of humidity, but rather of things I’ve missed.  You could say the series began with this post several weeks ago:  10 things this missionary must do on furlough.


Filed under just thinking, running, sports

8 responses to “things i’ve missed: humidity

  1. Jason

    Yes, something familiar can go unnoticed as you’ve noticed. Often it is the things we’re most familiar that we tend to overlook just for that exact reason, they’re commonplace occurrences.

  2. Welcome to the sauna that is Tennessee!

  3. Chris

    I’m not writing this for you to post, but Amanda is living in Knoxville if you make it that direction while you’re in TN. She just started working full-time at UT this month as publication coordinator for the athletic department and the sports information director for men’s tennis and women’s volleyball.

  4. Glad you’re enjoying your trip. In the Dallas area where I grew up it was a dry heat. Here in Washington, D.C., it is really humid.
    We lived in Houston for a couple of years and it felt like it had150% humidity-the why did I bother to take a shower kind.
    Also, my youngest daughter, Anna was baptized yesterday at camp. Yay!

  5. having grown up in humid Pennsylvania, I never knew what it was until I began visiting after I had moved away. And it’s a terrible, terrible thing. We were in PA in May, and we were miserable. You guys can have it.

  6. Eric Sherwood

    You got that right, way too hot here.

    Just found (and am now following) your blog. My wife and I are from Nashville and are currently praying about missionary work in Africa, not very far from where you guys are. We will be praying for you.

  7. I hate humidity and high dew points. Since I live in Alabama, you’d think I’d move, wouldn’t you? Nope. Staying for the duration with short reprieves to other places.

  8. Denise Aludo

    Another new-comer to your blog…. found John King’s yesterday… and am seriously enjoying reading you guys! Have particular interest in your incarnational series (thanks for practical steps) since I live and minister in a rural area of Western Kenya (guess that almost makes us neighbors). Much to be gleaned and may have follow up questions.

    I see y’all are in East TN…is that where your based in the US? I lived in Dandridge (bout 45 minutes from Pigeon Forge) before moving to Kenya in 2006 and will be back to visit with my family in Sept. Can’t say I’ve missed the humidity though…lol!

    Will continue reading and praying for you, Christie & Baylor…

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