Where I live in the upper Midwest/Great Lakes region, we are experiencing a summer we thought would never come. It was a full month late, with the dependably warm weather not kicking in until July. It’s so funny because July and August are crammed full of fairs and outdoor festivals, because that is the only halfway reliable nice weather. Now the beaches of frigid Lake Michigan are packed every sunny afternoon.
This area is occupied by humidity babies, who whine and complain at rare hint of a humid afternoon. They hardly even know what humidity is because it happens here so rarely. But, they complain anyway.
In a few weeks the talk among the neighbor men who meet impromptu at the mail boxes has gone from, “This has been a weird summer!” to “Man, it is just so humid! I had to turn on the air conditioner yesterday!” I wanted to scream, “Of course you had to turn on the air conditioner! It’s August!” (In full disclosure the talk is usually about our wives, how high taxes are, and construction issues.) I get a little tired of it. I’m not a very good old codger.
That’s what happens when you are from Missouri and your favorite get-a-way in a little known barrier island on the gulf coast of Florida.
I love summer because I am an outdoor sort of guy who feels frustrated enough without being confined for months on end like I an under house arrest.
The other thing about summer is it reminds me of my youth. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in the summer. I ran amuck in their tiny midwestern town, riding my bike with my friends to the ballpark, the river, or the hardware store where we looked at fishing gear and fireworks. I loved talking with my grandpa in the evening shade of their old two-story house, and I really loved going fishing with him!
Now, the dog days are upon us. It has been warm long enough that a mild day is refreshing. I can begin to think someday, I might wear something other than a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops, though I would prefer to dress that way year round.
The yard and the perennials have already experienced their glorious peak and are looking tired and dry. The beginning of school is only a week or two away.
I sincerely wish summer was much longer. I like fall okay, but I seriously hate winter. It’s confining, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and painfully long.
We can’t do the snowbird thing yet. So, we have to grind it out, while my neighbors and friends are away in the land of sand and sunshine.
But this time of the year is something special. I remember these feelings so well. Summer has a little more life left. We are lamenting its end, yet we are a little tired of it too. The seasons give us a certain variety and rhythm. We can’t change it (unless we can move) so we may as well embrace it.
I am going to enjoy these dog days of summer.