The Dog Days of Summer

Welcome to the sunshine state.  The state of oppressively hot weather.  The state of pure sunshine and not a lot of rain.  The state of high pressure and high dew points.  The state of hot.

It’s been on the warm side, to say the least.  But I love my state.  You just have to do things early in the day, since evening temps don’t come down much at all.  Woke up to see the 6 o’clock temp at 84 F.  Crazy.  We’ve stayed inside during the day and gone to the beach in the mornings.  We’ve downed the cool water.  We’ve cleaned a/c filters to keep them blowing clean.

Hot.

It’s this point in the year when I begin to see all the fall and winter crafts coming out at the stores for crafters of all sorts to begin their holiday business work.  Fabric, flowers, ornaments, wreaths, you name it.  It’s almost literally “Christmas in July”!  I tend to want to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown.   I might even listen to a little Mele Kalikimaka or Christmas Island to take the edge off.  As much as I love the beach, the mountains start sounding a tad bit tempting.  I saw pictures of snow recently.  Fun.  We have our super light colored sand here, but the asphalt you must trod upon to get to it it blistering solid fire.  In fact, I accidentally left all the windows all the way up and forgot to put the window thingy on the dash.  I tell you what, I really did need oven mitts to drive home that afternoon.

This may a good time to remind people to check their back seat before they go in the office for a full day of work.  Kids, pets, the whole shebang.

Thinking about air conditioning makes me wonder how people did it back then.  I’ve been especially thinking about the 1950’s.  I love the 40’s and 50’s.  People were so fashionable then.  Cars were absolutely gorgeous.  The atomic age.  The space age.  Harvest gold.  Avocado green.  Andy Griffith and I Love Lucy.

Love it.

How did people cope?  I remember hearing stories of the ice truck coming around.  Big blocks of frozen goodness.  Lakes were clean and clear to swim in.  People had picnics outdoors.  Did they just deal with it?  Were they a tougher breed of human than we are today?  I can tell you that my office is so cold nowadays that I actually sit in my car without the air conditioner on for a few minutes.  Yes, the windows are down, but I’m usually frozen to the bone and I need a good thaw.  (This past week has been the exception to the rule.)

I also look back on those days when people didn’t need a lot of stuff, things, and rubbish cluttering up their homes and storage units.  Every move we make leads me to the conclusion that we still have too much stuff.  I’ve moved in the dead of winter and in the blazing heat of summer.  It’s never fun.  People stayed put.  When they bought a house, they intended to keep it.  Families were raised in homes and the parents stayed there forever, or until they retired. My grandparents moved to the country and had a fantastic garden and fish pond.  Even as a kid, I remember it being hot, but not so bad.   We shelled peas in the shade and had watermelon for a sweet treat.  We caught perch and bass off the dock and had fried fish for dinner.

Maybe I’m just getting older.  Maybe I’m just used to being a popsicle by the end of a work day.  Who knows.  Either way, I don’t envy the people who survived all those centuries before us without the “conveniences of modern life”.  Well… I do, and I don’t.  Some days the a/c is just a huge blessing.  Some days, I wish we lived in simpler times.  Some days, I just wish we could all go back to the way things used to be when people sat on their porches and talked with their neighbors.  I’m tired of evenings where I rush through a 45 minute commute and pick up the kid and get home just in time for dinner and homework.  Yeah, I’m moping about it, but it’s something to strive for.

But in the meantime, we can hope and plan our way there.  We can live below our means, turn the a/c up a couple of degrees, and enjoy a watermelon or two this summer.  We can turn off the television and put away the smart phones.  We can spend those intentional moments in the cool (not freezing) “bought air” and enjoy those around us.

So, in closing, I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  Enjoy the special moments.

Peace and love, everyone.

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