In the past I have written about how dangerous the cold can be here in the winter. Heat is also dangerous. I was reminded of this today has I prepared for a funeral. Tomorrow the temps are expected to be in the range of 103. I have mentions that the start time for funerals can be…..well fluid. You start when the family is ready. This funeral is for the extended of the funeral I did twice in the same day.

On my way to Pine Ridge 2 years ago I had been in my truck for well over 2 hours with the air conditioning crank and the windows rolled up. I stopped in a tiny town in Nebraska for fuel and a nature call. As I pulled up to the pump I notice that there was a steady hard wind blowing and I thought that it would feel good after so much time cooped up in the truck.

Boy was I wrong. That south wind was hot and dry. It seemed to suck the moisture right out of me. I was surprised at how uncomfortable the wind was.

Heat can be dangerous. The center has provided fans and once even an air conditioner to elders and families here on the reservation. I know that I am fortunate to be able to sleep in a cool room and that my house is air conditioned. But many are not. And those that live on the street hope for a cool night.

One of the reasons we have kept the center as a day shelter was to provide a safe cool place for people to come and spend some time. A shower feels really good after you have been sweating through your clothes.

Heat is not just a South Dakota issue. Heat and high temperatures effect people all over the world. For the homeless have a place to cool off can be as important as a warming center. I carry cases of water with me in my truck. When I see people working or walking outside I will often times offer them a bottle of water.

God love you. So, do I.

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