Monday, August 6, 2012

Thoughts About Summer and Life

I have a love/hate relationship with summer.  I love going places and seeing new people and being in places where I have not gone before or where I have not gone in a long time.  Summer allows that time and space if you can afford to get away and have the time to do so, taking time away from your work schedule.  I would love summer more if I had more time off during the summer but I have to space out my vacation time so I can have vacations throughout the year so I normally do not take much vacation time in the summer.

That being said....I hate summer, especially summers in Texas.  Texas summers begin gently (during most years...overlook the summer of 2011 though which was a scorcher from the first day of June) trying to lull you into thinking that all will be well.  There are moderately hot days but now and then there are rainy days to lower the overall temperature and there are brief respites from the heat with a gentle cooler breeze tempting you into thinking that summer may not be too bad.  July soon comes and the air gets hotter but every day is not exceedingly hot until the end of July approaches.

THEN THERE'S AUGUST.....August is the Monday of Months.  It is the month that we dread with a fear so severe we sometimes wish we could go to sleep and wake up and suddenly it would be September, much like Rip Van Winkle did when he was snoozing up along the Hudson River somewhere.  We would miss all of the oppressive hot days of August, when we must hibernate inside hugging our air conditioners in our offices and homes.  We would miss all the times we go places in our automobiles and park them while we go into a store and then return to drive away scorching our seats on the seat covers and frying our hands on the steering wheels while the air conditioner blasts tepid air into our faces as it tries to bring some cool back into our lives but we know that it will finally be cool just about the time we reach our next destination.

I have dreaded August throughout my entire life.  I dreaded it when I was a child because I knew that August meant that summer was nearly over and we would begin school again soon.  I dreaded it when I became a school teacher for the same reason.  Now that I work in a job that is not dependent on summer for supplying vacation time (because I can take my vacation time anytime I want with the exception of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter...oh well, there are always limitations on us) my reasons for hating August are different.  They do not have to do with the ending of personal freedoms due to the calendar as much as they have to do with the lack of comfort to one's own body.

Summer heat may not last the entire year but it is so hot where we live in Texas that it seems that way.  Our summers begin earlier and last longer than just about anywhere on earth.  We can have a 100 degree day in May as well as October.  It is true that such a day is a unique event, not happening often, but our landscape and climate provides the chance that such will happen.  Summer heat wrings the energy out of a person.  It makes you want to "take to the bed" (as we used to say back home).  On a hot summer day, that may be the most comfortable place to be, actually....lying in bed, the blinds closed, a fan blowing directly upon you, and the air conditioner set to a temperature that will keep you nice and cool.  One cannot live in bed all summer though.....nice idea, but realistically you still must go to the grocery store sometimes, and maybe a few other places....

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