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Hot and Bothered

Hot and Bothered

Abi's self Portrait Series 1/52

Abi and Heat DO NOT mix. Not now, not ever. Even as a child, it was a no dawg from me. In fact, when I was 9 my family moved to the Philippines for a year, and I think that's where I really discovered just how much I hate to be hot. The stickiness of the humidity, the constant sweating, the heaviness in the air that made it hard to breathe. I just never could get used to it. Utah offers a much dryer heat, which can be equally as miserable. I can’t think of many things worse than the hot summer sun beating down on me as I come out of the grocery store with my three kids in tow. Then having to load up a car that's now 4,000 degrees inside, getting into said car, and driving it home just to unload it all again. No. It's just too much heat! My distaste for heat is actually a big part of who I am. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true! Temperature really affects my state of mind and dictates so much of my attitude each day. I swear, the heat goes straight to my head and stays there, building up pressure until it feels like it's gonna pop. And that's when I get cranky. I turn into a total goblin when I'm hot. Just imagine a big, red, sweaty ball with eyes and a mouth, and stringy wet hair plastered against it. That's me. I plan my life around heat and I've been teased for the measures I'll take to avoid it. While on my mission to Argentina, during the hot months, I would do all I could to stay in the shade. I remember walking the streets, always looking ahead for the next shaded spot. I'd cross the street just to be able to take 10 glorious steps in the shade, then cross again for 3 more shaded steps. I wandered back and forth for hours, always drawn to the shade. My companions thought I was crazy, but it was totally worth it to me! Even writing this, I know how ridiculous it sounds. Maybe I need therapy, but honestly, give me perfect the temperature or give me death. All I want is perfect, light-jacket weather all the time.

Let's Talk About the Weather

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, I had the idea to start a new series where I share something about myself along with a photograph that represents that part of me. Hence that picture up top of me pushing my kids in a cart over a sweltering sea of tarmac. It'll be a little diary of sorts, to dive deep into who I am, what I like, what I don't, etc. I hope that, through this experiment, I'll be able to connect more with myself, and also with you. The series is called "52 Weeks of Abi’s Self Portraits" (the name may change later because that’s kind of a mouthful). I know I’m not the only one who despises the heat. Every time I say it, I get a flood of messages validating my feelings and it feels good knowing I'm not alone. It makes me feel connected to someone else, and I’m all about connection! This platform is great for making connections, but it can be so one-sided. I want to learn more about each of you! Who are you? Are you struggling with the heat like me? How can I help you? Do you have ideas that can help me? Can we all help each other a little more? In a world where people are constantly tearing others down, being dismissive and unfeeling, can we create more bonds and more understanding? Even if it’s just us complaining about how hot it is? Throughout this weekly series I plan on opening up way more, with 52 things about me. Some are awesome, some are terrible, some are annoying, but all of it’s true. I plan on sharing things I might not be so open about on Instagram and I hope you can be open with me too. Like I said, I want to learn more about me, but I also want to learn more about you. I want to hear your thoughts. If you disagree, I still love you (even if you love the AZ heat). Guess why? Because I think it will help all of us. I don’t know how yet, but I feel passionate and excited about it. For me, that passion usually means it’s something important. Can't wait for next week. Now it's your turn! Tell me your worst "hot story." And if you live in Arizona, Florida or Texas, please tell me why. Is it really that amazing the other 9 months out of the year? I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts. For now, I’ll end with the simple fact that I don’t like heat and I'm a way better person from September to May. Love, Abi


Katy Eckenrode

I was born in San Antonio TX. I grew up not loving the heat but realizing heat meant trips to the river, lake, and neighbors pools. Heat meant hot dogs and icy juicy watermelon. It meant cooler cokes and sprites. It meant fireworks, fireflies, and cicadas singing.
When I moved to the mountains of new mexico and then again further north to washington I missed that heat. I missed getting so hot and sweaty and jumping into a crisp cool river. I missed how cool watermelon would taste after a day on a sailboat. I especially missed the heat when I was shoveling snow after seeing 24 feet of it over a bad winter.
I moved back to Texas and while I dont always love the heat, especially when its stupid hot, i look at it is as time to go to the pool and splash around. I take the oppressive heat and turn it into something fun.

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