I really detest summer. Don’t get me wrong: I have all sorts of happy memories from the summer months, but the weather had nothing to do with the happiness. I actually had to forgive the memories of their hot weather and endless days in order to love them! We still have a good month of swelter left in Los Angeles. At least a third of my Halloweens as a kid in Riverside were spent in costumed asphyxia due to temperatures upwards of 85 degrees.
Yet, the incoming season flirts with those of us who know what to look for: this morning, the light in the kitchen was changed. Last night, the urge to sit on the porch with candle-filled glasses was irresistible. We had a smattering of rain, and the smell of wet pavement has not quite left certain corners of the city. Hooray!
And now, inspired by all of this promise and change, I shall begin draft 2 of the book.
Good riddance, summer.
For me, winter meant thick layers of ice on the windows; on the INSIDE of the windows, that is. Curling up on the one register in the house, above the coal furnace — if the fire didn’t go out during the night (Yes, we had a coal furnace). So many layers and layers of clothes. Battling brutal winds on the way to the bus stop; frozen fingers, numb toes, and frozen snot inside our noses. Ok, skating and playing in the snow, too, but darn it was cold. Don’t forget cinders and salt that somehow got into everything.
Spring meant slush. Slush everywhere. Wet and sloppy during the day, frozen during the night. Terrible how it soaks into one’s socks and shoes. And still brutal winds and the occasional snow.
Ah, summer, the one season when you could go outside in the same clothes you wore inside. Stuffing face with wild blackberries and other fruits. And water!!! — Swimming pools, hoses, playing in the creek, playing in rain storms, squirt gun fights with industrial size fire extinguishers!
I have to say autumn could be a great season, too. A new school year, football games and band competitions, warm “Indian Summer” days, the changing leaves, only the occasional hurricane….
Oh! I’m in Georgia!! We’ve had 100 degree weather here for the month of August with heat indices in the range of 110-115 degrees. Someone give us some water please!!!
You tell ’em Terry! But, I do like it here in the northeast. Where I am, on Cape Cod, the proximity of the [ever-rising] ocean gives us a cooler-in-the-summer, milder-in-the-winter climate than where I grew up in NY/PA with weather quite similar to that which Terry describes. I would love to have a longer summer!
I have the same feelings about hot as you do about cold! I grew up in the desert, without a pool (the CA equivalent to a coal furnace), with parents that firmly believed that it built character to walk to school. With my cello. Maybe it’s the grass being greener, but I love weather! Seasons! Here, it’s always sunny and 80 degrees. No rain. I get so excited when there’s a weird wind or a teeny bit of rain. (we have had less than an inch this year so far) I have been snowed in with temps below zero in Rochester, NY, been in a hurricane in FL, and lived in cold, wet, Northern England for just under a year. I loved it! Fires, scarves, staying in, rain boots, salt and muddy slush. Though perhaps the concession I should make is that I hate LA summers. Don’t eat from the shrubs…there are snakes. The water in our ocean is filthy, foamy, and opaque. The water coming out of the hose is unpotable and has industrial amounts of chlorine in it. Creek? What creek? It dried up 100 years ago.
I adore east coast summers, with the thunderstorms, humidity, smell of greenery and insane cicadas singing from the rafters.
Bah! You’ve exposed me. I am not a CA kid at heart, though I was born and raised here. If my work was not based here, I would already be in New York, New England, or perhaps Bucks County, where my dad is from.
I’m from Bucks County. My Dad and a brother are still there. When my Dad moved us out from Philly when I was three it was pretty rural. Dad got a deal on a house along the little Neshaminy because it was under water from the then-infamous (and now long forgotten) hurricane Diane. The area around us built up really fast. Now the area changed hasn’t much in the last 30 years. Mostly it’s just matured. Still green. Green, green, green — everywhere you look. ‘Ceptin’ wintertime, of course.
I have to toss in my two bits on this one.
I detest winter and I don’t have much use for fall either (probably because it means another long winter is rapidly approaching). I’d gladly trade my winter for your summer. Trouble is I guess I’d have to give up all the open spaces, the scenery and the blue skies; and accept all the other baggage that comes with life in your perpetual paradise.
Terry: So did you go to Sam Yardley’s gas station? My dad lived on Creamery Rd. My uncle lives in Newtown, and my grandma lived at Twining Village in Holland until her passing. They closed Goodnoe’s, which is as close to a crime as happens in those parts.
Wow. Never heard of Sam Yardley’s gas station, but I’m sure I’ve been through Newtown at various times.
If you look at a Mapquest, you’ll see “Street Road” (what a dumb name for a road!) runs just a bit south of Holland. We lived in Warrington, near Street Road and 611 in an old house built soon after WW II. I went to school at Archbishop Wood High School, in Warminster, near Street Road and York Road. Much of my childhood world was all pretty much along Street Road. In high school I was often at a friend’s house, a tuba player, in Southampton.
Now my Dad lives in Hatboro. My brother lives in Lansdale which is in Montgomery County.
Yep, small world.
Hey, I used to live in Bucks County too. My brother has a house there, somewhere near Newtown and New Hope. We lived in Yardley, PA, and went to Pennsbury H.S. I don’t know if Neshaminy Creek is near Neshaminy H.S., but Neshaminy H.S. was our big rival. I haven’t been back in years, but I do want to see my brother’s house one of these days.
Hey, I lived there too! I was raised in Langhorne and went to Neshaminy H.S. Maricello, the Neshaminy Creek flows behind the school, but the school takes its name from the Indian tribe that inhabited the area years before we arrived, hence our being known to all our friends and foe as the Redskins (didn’t seem racially offensive then). I now live just across the Delaware River in Princeton, but make weekly treks to Langhorne to visit my folks.
Terry, you really nailed it with your descriptions of the seasonal pleasures and perils. When I moved to the West Coast in the fall of 1974, I was ecstatic at having finally escaped the wet winter cold and the heavy humidity that accompanied too many summers days. However, I missed the simple joys that accompanied coping with elements and returned in the fall of 1987 where I immediately re-established my relationship with LL Bean. The feeling of being back in wool sweaters and fleece lined jeans while snow accumulated on the evergreens or the relief a slight breeze brings to a warm summer day proved to be unshakable. Sadly, Goodnoe’s ice cream was a part of this and will be missed. But there is still plenty of the old Bucks County culture left to be enjoyed and one of the best parts of it is just around the corner and from what I hear, the leaves are going to be even more spectacular than last year.
Emily, I got so caught up in the comments that I almost forgot to mention that I am glad to see you are “back in the saddle again”.