My birthday week came to a close Sunday. The weather was hot, just like I like it, and I was able to spend much of my weekend on the lake with my family and some close friends. My husband and I even found a sandy spot on Tupper Lake to beach our pontoon so that our dog could spend some time in the water with us. By the time we got home and ate dinner, I was absolutely exhausted. The sun and heat had kicked our butts. The ironic part is that I chose to spend all that time in the sun, partly because as a lifelong resident of Michigan, I’ve come to appreciate a beautiful day.

 When I thought about my exhaustion, I started thinking about all of the people I see working outside for a paycheck. Looking at this week’s weather forecast, it’s going to be hot all week long.

 I know I am spoiled. Whether I am working from home or venture to the office, I’ve comfortable with my air conditioning.

 Not everyone is so lucky. My thoughts immediately go to our firefighters who must wear several pounds of gear if they have to respond to a structure fire or car crash. I also think about our police officers who respond to any 911 call to keep us safe.

 The list of workers I feel compassion for this week also include the employees who have to round up shopping carts left in store parking lots. Once they push them all back into the store, they then have to sanitize them to keep future shoppers safe from the coronavirus. That cycle will continue all day long.

 I know I have to mow our lawn this week. It’s a chore my husband and I share to get it done quickly. Landscapers and lawn care businesses will surely be hydrating on lots of cold water to beat the heat this week. I remember years ago a landscaper who collapsed from heat exhaustion while working at a neighbor’s home. He was fine but I still ran over and offered him a big glass of water.

 To all of our farmers who are working overtime to keep their crops growing for us, DWP workers, roofers, construction crews, golf course beverage cart workers, postal carriers, lifeguards, sheriff’s office marine patrol officers, campground workers, delivery people and reporters who respond to cover breaking news, I feel for you.

 I know I’ve missed some types of workers, and I apologize.

 Being hot can make one grumpy and add to that a pandemic and facemasks, the level of grumpiness is sure to skyrocket this week.

 To all of our friends and neighbors who must work outdoors this week, I’m going to try extra hard to be extra kind. If you see someone struggling this week, offer a bottle or glass of refreshing water.

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