Monday, July 10, 2006

Ahhh, Tranquil Summer.

I think that I'd be okay with summer if it was shorter and not nearly as hot as it is here. Maybe. Someone said yesterday, "Isn't this weather wonderful? It's not so hot!" (as usual) Hmmm. So very relative, that sentence. Wonderful compared to 3 weeks from now when Tulsa becomes a literal oven, yes. Wonderful compared to 363 days a year in just about anywhere north of here? Not hardly.

I'm so very much a cold weather lover. The concept of summer's great, but it never seems to work out the way it's appearing in my head.

Take, for instance, the Country Time Lemonade commercials of old. The kids run to the end of the dock, jump into the lake and swim, and Mom brings them a huge honkin' pitcher of lemonade. Serene, relaxing, just what summer's all about. Throw in a handful of fireflies and a croaking toad or chirping cricket...

Yeah, now picture it the way it really is. The kids scream at Mom until they break down her resistance to the mess and possible dangers of swimming in the back yard (be it a pool or a lake, the mess is similar), add in the loss of time working on something important in the house because Mom has to be present at the dock for safety reasons. Mom gives in, the kids tear through the house for 15 minutes, yelling that they can't find their swimsuits, which Mom finds in 15 seconds for each child. Towels are hunted down, inflatables are found and pumped up (with Dad's air compressor in the garage, which they don't leave the way they found it), and the kids are yelled at by Mom to "stop! You forgot the sunscreen. Come back up to the house!" After the sunscreen, they hurtle toward the bathwather -- referred to as a lake in cooler seasons -- and jump off the deck into the fish-, snake-, and turtle-infested muddiness, shifting midair to avoid falling onto the branch that's fallen off of the big oak tree the night before and is now floating in the murky waters.

Mom ignores all the "Mom, I'm thirsty" whines for a while before trudging back up to the house to make Twenty Lemon Lemonade. Hauling a tray full of glasses and a glass pitcher (Glass? A new improved version should really more wisely show Mom with a sippy cup or two, or maybe a Solo plastic cup stack and a Thermos.) back down the hill, Mom stubs her toe on a toy left in the yard and is glad the kids are too far from her to hear her reaction. Cursing the grass that's getting too tall again and wondering if she's bought that refill string for the weedeater that died on her last week, she finally plunks the glasses down on the ant- and dust-covered picnic table. After the kids drink their lemonade, they swim a while, then the family hikes back up the hill, Mom schlepping a load of dishes and two loads of towels to wash after bedtime. Oh, and there's a bottle of Calamine lotion to rub onto everyone because they forgot Off with the sunscreen. Looks like the fireflies aren't the only bugs out in the summer. Huh.

Yeah, I know you could say the same thing for the fall or the winter, but at least I'd be able to breathe, I wouldn't be sweating, and I could watch the boys in the back yard with my door flung wide open without fear of air conditioning the whole neighborhood and owing the power company my firstborn. Gimme snow instead, please!

Of course, the summer photo ops are awesome! Nikon D50/70, I'm saving up for you. And I'll never look back after I get you, I promise!


Anonymous said...

I love summer, but as a mom I gotta say that you hit the nail on the head with the perfect picture thing, it never happens. I cracked up reading this blog. I have been there over and over. Thanks for sharing..

CoCo said...

Great writing, Hollisann!
Now do one for "Snowdays" in the same vein! :-)
Love you tons! Ma