Summer. You can have it. I can’t believe anyone over the age of 18 is bemoaning the fact that summer is almost over. OK, I’ll cut the kids and teachers some slack, since I understand the reluctance to return to the old school routine. But summer is my least favorite season, and the sooner it’s gone, the better, in my opinion.
I loved it as a kid, of course. All those long, long days, playing out in the wading pool or – once in a great while – getting to go to an actual swimming pool, making lanyards a thousand different ways at some day-camp or another, eating watermelon (the kind with seeds), seeing how many books I could read in the library’s Summer Book Program. Sometimes I went down to Florida to friends in St. Petersburg or Aunt Nell’s in Orlando (before DisneyWorld – but she had a pool, which was all that mattered).
With the exception of the Great Journey West in 1959, I don’t remember many elaborate family vacations. We traveled enough throughout the year from Chattanooga to Atlanta or to Nashville to see family. Holidays at the beach or some exotic locations happened rarely, if ever. So to child/teen-me, summer was just one long lazy time to goof around and wear shorts.
And then I grew up. College summers were spent working to earn money enough for cute clothes – all those mini- and midi-skirts and coats, hot pants, suede belts and boots (early 70’s, remember) – so I learned pretty fast that those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer were gone for good. And once into the full-blown workaday world after college, the childhood-summer experience could only be re-created over a 7-10-day vacation to the beach or mountains. Then back to work.
So here’s what summer means to me now: Heat. Humidity. Endless Bad-Hair Days. Work. Bad TV. Silly action movies. Unflattering clothes. High power bills (I refuse to live without air-conditioning, sorry).
My body, mind, and spirit longs to feel that first hint of an autumn nip in the air. Oh, to be able to open the windows and feel a wonderful cool breeze blowing through! To don a turtleneck sweater and jeans and take an energizing walk through the park. To see the first hint of gold or red in the treetops.
I love autumn, winter, and spring. Marvelous seasons! But summer? Meh. As for me, I’ll take cool, crisp air and brilliant fall colors, January’s bitter cold and snow (I love snow!), and the new grass and flowers of spring over the languid heat of summer anytime.
Ah, October – can you get here soon?