When it’s hot as balls…

Instead of helping us start off the summer with tan lines and lakeside margaritas, Oregon has graced us with a sky full of clouds, wholly disregarding Portland Staters’ vitamin D deficit after finals week came to a close.

“Where is summer?” we whined for weeks.

But when summer does indeed abandon playing peek-a-boo and screams “Here I am!” it may go full force to make up for lost time. It is possible that we will be trapped indoors by the fiery hell that is the sun, and like all such disaster scenarios, we should adequately prepare ourselves.

For the benefit of the PSU community, here is a list of five activities to try by yourself, with a summer lover, or your platonic pals to evade the heat.

Use the sun to your belly’s advantage and make outdoor s’mores using Mother Nature’s oven. Build your s’mores on a big piece of tin foil with marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate—I like to put walnuts on top of the marshmallow so they’ll melt into it—and wrap it open-faced. Open your back door just wide enough for one arm to squeeze your ingredients outside and leave them there for 15–30 minutes depending on how hot it is. When it’s ready, use oven mitts or a towel to carefully bring it back into your air-conditioned living room and continue your Netflix binge-watching of the new season of Orange is the New Black.

If it’s unreasonable to go outside unless you are fully immersed in water, then buy a six pack of porters, grab your summer read and immerse yourself in a kiddie pool. You can order one on Amazon from the comfort of your home for as low as $8.19 and have it delivered to your house in two days. Get one that is inflatable so you’ll have a nice backrest to lean all your cares and worries into. It is a compact and easy way to soak in the rays without dying of heat exhaustion. You can use this time to ponder your future, sleep or stimulate your mind with Plato or Nicholas Sparks.

Do you get giddy when you strategize elaborate plans to kill off your friend’s queen? Maybe you go crazy for cards? If so, crowdsource with your friends to see who has the best games and head to your local coffee shop—you know, the one with the AC. Make sure to bring a sweatshirt just in case it gets too chilly.

If you like to eat and have a handful of friends who share this appreciation, have a potluck! You can stay inside and have your own indoor picnic if the sun is too intense. I would orientate around anything frozen or iced. Make a pitcher of iced coffee or orange juice cocktails, freeze bananas covered in chocolate with popsicle sticks and look up a no-bake cookie recipe to avoid heating up the place. Your friends can pick up grilled chicken on their way over. Tell them to bring their swimsuits and you can all cram into your new kiddie pool after dinner.

Until now you’ve probably relied on the rain to keep your car clean, but the rain is a distant memory and your car is dangerously close to having a stranger etch in the words “wash me.” Recruit some friends to come over after work with their swimsuits and get down and dirty with the suds. It is imperative to get just as wet as your vehicle. If this has yet to happen, flick the person holding the hose with soapy car water.

6. Take heart, it’s only three months. Granted, climate change may alter that reality, but for now, you can rest assured (preferably surrounded by fans) that chilly fall and soggy streets are soon to return. In the meantime, while we could keep this list rolling, the major orders of the day are water and managed activity. Still, don’t forget to keep yourself in motion: Take a hike under shady trees, run off to the coast or join the night-owl crew and take a late-hour bike ride along the springwater corridor. Whatever you get into, just remember that there are brighter horizons ahead.