November 17, 2010

ode to summer?

I just found this rant I wrote during the Summer, how fitting now that Winter is setting in...

Basil at my community garden
Certain people were apparently created with super human resistance to heat and humidity. Perhaps there is a genetic explanation behind those who sit all winter pining after temperatures over 90 combined with an unreasonably high amount of moisture in the air (how is it that 100% humidity does not equal rain?).  They happily walk along the pavement (which, mind you, is distorted and waving in the distance as the heat rises off of it), sleep with the windows open in the middle of July and stand over grills all summer. I can tell you right now, I am not one of those people.  Maybe I have more sweat glands than most, because a walk from home to work in the summer will leave me drenched, red in the face and practically dehydrated.  

Oddly enough, from September to May I seem to forget that June through August are so incredibly hot I can barely move, and so I plan bike rides and trips to outdoor markets and dinners on roof decks with friends. And then as the mercury creeps up, I retreat alone to my dark room and spend more time in the safety of air conditioned spaces. I make excuses for why I cannot join you for lunch at noon out on the grassy knoll, or why I can't go to the baseball game on Saturday (no shade? middle of the day? metal seats?!)  But yes, I suppose I don't completely hate Summer. In grade school it meant a few months of freedom, playing in the creek, eating popsicles made from yesterday's orange juice in those awkwardly shaped silicone forms, fruit bats flying at the cut grapes we threw in the air just at dusk, playing hide and seek using the entire neighborhood as fair ground (the playhouse was base, obviously), and running through sprinklers.  Every year I joined the Summer Reading Club at the local library, and devoured books to earn points for little kitchy prizes like puppy shaped erasers and bookmarks shamelessly sporting lines such as "Reading is FUN!"  I have wonderful memories of family vacations, traveling up the West Coast to see the Tulips in bloom on Victoria Island, following the Oregon Trail backwards, spending weekends up at the cabin. Yes, I like Summer.  In high school it meant a break from the seemingly endless homework, day trips to the beach (excuse me, "down the shore") with my friend's family, and a chance to spend a few extra hours with that boy I liked, swimming in his pool, laying on the grass looking at the stars.  In college, Summer was when my closest friends and I went off for the first time without adults on exciting trips to different continents.  It was when I took my first trip alone. It meant babysitting, spending time by the pool with my roommates, and eating ice cream late into the night watching trashy TV.

But the Summer does not only hold blissful, peaceful and happy memories for me.  Summertime was when as a fourteen year old my family trekked across the country to resettle in a strange and unfamiliar city.  It was Summer when my Grandmother died, and then my Grandfather.  Summer was when I left for school, and a few years later, when I tearfully watched my little sister leave for college as well.  
But I do love Summer.  Now as an adult, it does not hold the same importance as it did growing up.  I still have to work during the Summer, I still take classes.  I pay the same bills I pay in the Winter.  But this time is different.  I planted my first vegetable garden, and would you believe I cursed the weather when the temperature unexpectedly dropped soon after my tomato plants went in?  When we had an unusually large storm recently and it hailed (oh how I love snow and other ice formations in the Winter!) I about cried thinking of the basil leaves being pelted by those small frozen bullets.  I do love that the sun stays up longer, tricking my body into thinking there are more hours in the day.  When I find myself in the comfort of my air conditioned room, I admit reading a novel while curled up under a throw feels quite wonderful.  And Summer drinks truly define refreshing.  Mint mojitos! Lemonade! Chilled white wine! ICE WATER! When in the Winter does something as simple as ice water taste so. damn. good? 

In the end I suppose I am a "grass is always greener" type gal.  More specifically, the weather is always nicer when it is not Summer type gal.  

1 comment:

  1. I've been told that following the Oregon Trail backwards is how you CURE dysentery!