Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reverb#14 for July: Summertime Blues

The Prompt: Summer Time Blues | It's mid-summer and we've got the summer time blues.  Tell us how you're feeling at this mid-summer check in point.  Do you have the summer time blues?  How do snap out of it?  Or if you're still loving summer, what's been going great?

No blues for me at this point!

Don't get me wrong:summer is my least favorite time of year and mostly always has been, even as a kid. What I loved about summer then were the largely unstructured days where, once chores were done, I could read for hours, lying on my bed, or on a blanket outdoors, or in a lawn chair on our shady brick patio.

Summer was when my school teacher mother was home with us except for taking classes at a nearby university, but that got us passes to the much larger and more fun university pool. We lived close enough to walk or ride bikes there.

I hated the hot, sticky days though, hated to sweat and feel prickly from heat rash. Never athletic, I grew up in an age when there were no sports opportunities for girls, but we spent many hours on bleachers watching my brother play baseball. I spent time in the cool stacks of the library, choosing topics that interested me and pulling books off the shelves and sitting right on the cool floor to sample them. I read late into the night because it was often too hot and sticky to sleep, so I would wet down my pajamas and lay on top of the sheets while air pulled in by our whole house window fan whirled across my damp body while I read .

Summer meant occasional trips to the corner store for Popsicles or Eskimo Pies, savored on the way home. It meant cold watermelon and burgers on the grill and lemonade. I liked those things...but always was grateful for the cooler weather that came in September.

This summer we have spent time in cool mountains and piney woods and are leaving again soon for three weeks in Washington state where I expect fog, chilly mornings and cool evenings, and enough sun to keep us cheerful. We will escape most of August's parched days, watching the oaks turn blue green for lack of water and the deer turn gaunt and scruffy from lack of food and the unrelenting heat.

By the time we get back we should be just weeks away from the first rain, and that changes everything.

I will spend time during those last weeks reading in a cool room, as I did as a child, recovering from a procedure that will hopefully fix my atrial fibrillation. And I am already grateful for doctors who have practiced this procedure, for the opportunity to travel away from the heat, for the time and ability to go where we choose when the summertime blues threaten to overwhelm us.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Reverb#14 for June: Staycation? Nope....

The prompt: Staycationing | It's summertime and the livin' is easy.  Tell us about where you are RIGHT NOW.  Tell us about your summer time at home.  Does "home" mean heading out of town for the season?  Does it mean an extended staycation?  What does summer at home mean to you?

We recently returned from two weeks spent in Chiloquin, Ore., near Crater Lake National Park. Two lovely cool weeks in our little Sallie Forth travel trailer, in a marvelous large site in Collier Memorial State Park. We used the electric blanket most nights. We used the furnace most mornings and evenings. At home, temperatures were in the 100s, dipping for a few days into the low 90s, but we left here in 106 degree heat.

And then we spent just an overnight in the San Francisco area -- I had an appointment with the cardiologist who will do my afib ablation later this summer -- and it too was gloriously cool, and we spent the afternoon exploring the areas where we met and used to live, watching waves crashing into the shore at the Pacifica Pier, eating seafood paella at a beachfront restaurant, smelling the salt air and the wild dill that perfumes  the coastline there.

And we are getting ready to go again: to the Seattle area to visit daughter and grandchildren, to have some quiet downtime by the ocean and also to explore some areas we've briefly visited but want to see more of.

Last summer, tired of the heat, we vowed to spend more time away from it this summer -- and we are. With 114 on our front porch today, it is too hot to enjoy anything except a good book and a tall glass of water with lemon.