Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sun, Fun, and Chupa Chups: The Joys of Summertime

I was having one of those banner days Monday (please insert sarcasm font here). As I pulled into Walmart parking lot to go buy my groceries for the week (so you know I was in a great mood), the thermometer in my rental car--a very chic Chevy Malibu--said the outside temperature was 101 degrees. (Don't even ask as to why I'm driving the Malibu this's a sad, unlucky story that I hope is over extremely quickly). As I trudged through the hot lava fiery depths parking lot, my shorts creeping up my never-svelte thighs, I started to question my love of summer. Despite the sweet ride I had, I was wondering what in the world is there to like about hot-as-Hades weather, 99% humidity, and the general feeling that it's too hot to live?

As I write, it is hotter here in North Carolina than it is in Las Vegas. Something is seriously wrong with that picture. You could fry and egg on the sidewalk, so long as you didn't want it over easy, because it's an inferno out there and your yolk would cook pretty quickly. I made the mistake of cooking a tomato pie last night for dinner, and having the oven on for an hour made our house so hot we barely had the strength to eat once the pie was ready. Okay, we managed to make it through not one but two helpings, but the struggle was real.

So why do I like this sweltering time of year? I took a break in front of the oscillating fan and gave it some thought. When I was a kid, summer meant packing our red and white Playmate cooler full of Cokes and packs of crackers and heading to the country club pool for the day. Breaks from swimming involved a trip to the pro shop where my brother and I would agonize over the very important decision of what flavor of Chupa Chups sucker to buy, then proudly tell the cashier to charge it to my dad's account and swagger back poolside. Then there was the family vacation each summer, usually to Myrtle Beach where we would feast on footlong hotdogs on the boardwalk, load up on "essentials" at Wings, and ride all the rides the Pavilion had to offer. During my high school years, my parents put in a pool in our backyard, and I spent those summer days floating, swimming, and sunning. My first summer during college, before my dad put me to work, involved sleeping late and catching up on Charlie's Angels reruns. Now, as an adult, any free Saturdays we have involve soaking up rays on our deck while sipping cold cocktails and catching up on our gossip magazine reading. I'm starting to remember how my fondness for June, July, and August came to pass.

There are some very great, familiar, and fun things that only summer can really offer. Things like lazy evenings lit up by lightening bugs, the joy of wearing flip flops (it's nearly impossible to be stressed out while wearing flip flops), time spent at the beach with your toes in the sand or on the lake with the wind in your hair. Fourth of July fireworks, the unmistakable smell of suntan lotion, swinging in the wooden swing on the front porch at my mom's house (in close proximity to the ceiling fans, naturally). Delicious, fresh summer tomatoes (and Duke's mayonnaise) to make tomato sandwiches, grilling out, baseball games. Watermelon, the perfect excuse to eat ice cream--to beat the heat of course, and mindless summer movies: explosions, and superheros, and dinosaurs, oh my! I could keep going, but I don't want heat exhaustion to set in....

Yes, despite the heat, there is still much to love about good ol' summer, and there's a little more than a month of it left to savor. I'm going to do my best to endure the heat, upper lip sweat and all, and focus more on the pleasures this time of year brings. Before you know it, fall will be here and it will be time to pack away all the beach towels, sunscreen, and flip flops in favor of jeans, boots, and jackets. We'll have left the pool vacant with the exception of water aerobics classes, and the beach will be emptied for the sharks to enjoy in solitude. In the meantime, grab a Popsicle, work on your cannonballs, and worship the air conditioning. It's summertime--enjoy, and I'll meet you on the porch swing!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Remember: brains and looks will only take you so far, but flattery will get you everywhere.