The past two days in Portland have been 100 degrees. I hear other people complaining about the weather, but I don’t have any problem with it. I spent the entire last summer in Terlingua, Texas, surprisingly content in the face of 110-plus degree temperatures every single day for three months. In fact, if the weather was always this hot in Portland I wouldn’t ever consider moving! (Though if it was always this hot and sunny the population would probably be quadruple what it is now.)The thing I find so fascinating about the onset of hot weather in the Pacific Northwest is the sudden appearance of skin. Specifically, women in sundresses. Granted, their newly exposed limbs are white and pale, but to see the proliferation of girls, women, mothers, daughters, grandmas, whatever age, in paper-thin cotton frocks with spaghetti straps and hemlines above the knee…well let’s just say it’s not how they look, but how they carry themselves, and it’s inspiring. I met an editor friend for coffee today at Crema and as I sat there at our sidewalk table I watched an assortment of women walk past in Really Cute Dresses. It was not their dress styles that caught my attention but the bounce in their steps, the smiles on their faces, their faces tipped up toward the sun (and not scowling and hunkering down against the usual rain). I overheard a 60-something-year-old women at the next table telling her friend how the summer weather inspired her to buy the new flowered mini-skirt she was wearing. “It was only $15 at Twill, and it’s stretchy,” the gray haired woman explained, twirling around like a high school cheerleader. Regardless of the sweat dripping down their backs and the lack of air conditioning, I have never seen people in Portland this happy. Forget pie, it’s sun that equals happiness! As for me, I’m going to enjoy the heat while it lasts. I’m so optimistic that I’ve dragged my own sundress collection out of storage, laundered and ironed each one, and dug my sunglasses out from the back of the drawer. According to the weather forecast, the sun will shine for five more days. Less than the shelf-life of an apple pie, but long enough I won’t have to repeat outfits. Long enough to heat up my bones and turn my skin the color of pie crust.
Bake me, baby, bake.