“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” Russell Baker
Hot enough for you? Surprising as it may be to my more equatorially situated friends, summers in Canada can get pretty toasty. This past week we’ve had a string of hot, sunny days where temps have been around 36 C which translates to about 97 F. So yeah…. hot. “But it’s a dry heat.” Explains my American Husband. He grew up in the Detroit area and anything less than a humidity level of dank washcloth is not “really hot” to him. Excuse me. 36 C is hot no matter how you slice it.
The thing about summers in Canada is that we wait all year for winter to end, and when it does we love it for about 5 minutes then begin to complain about it. For instance, this very morning my best friend and I were whining about the weather. It’s too hot! It didn’t even cool down last night! I am sweaty and grumpy! Wah, boo, whine!
My best friend is in her third trimester of making a human being and therefore has a very valid reason to complain. She is hereby allowed to whine all she wants. Me on the other hand? No. Just no. After 10 months of wishing summer were here, I refuse myself any further complaining about the temperatures. I can, and will find ways to enjoy this heat wave, for in the dead of winter when we need to plug our cars in so that they will start in the morning, when we only see about 20 minutes of sunlight on any given day, when our nostrils freeze shut every time we inhale and when we feel more like hibernating than getting outside I will take the memory of these long, sultry, slow moving days of summer and wrap them around myself like an old, comfy sweater.
What better way to provide myself (and you, dear, sweaty reader) with reasons to turn this frown upside down that to write myself a LIST. Gosh! I feel better already, don’t you?
Top 8 Things I Love About The Long, Hot Summer
1. Full immersion into glacier fed lakes. Nothing can cool a person off faster than jumping into the crystal clear waters of barely thawed glacier. (also note, any fresh running stream will work as well. If you walk in ankle deep and experience brain freeze, you are doing it right).
2. The big, fat summer reading list. What’s on yours? Mine, this year has included Goldfinch, The Invention of Wings, The Rosie Project, What the Psychic Told The Pilgrim, and currently The Signature of All Things. Coming soon I have Eleanor and Park, The Vacationers and I am toying with another series like the Game of Thrones, or Divergent, or I am Number Four. I will see where my heart leads me.
3. Iced coffee. I am not a lover of ice cream, so a few years back when I tried this delightful treat I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it. Creamy, icy, deliciously coffee flavored with that nice little kick of caffeine in the early afternoon, this is my go-to beverage when I am heading outside for some sunny sunshine.
4. We live in a house that is 105 years old, give or take a few months. My favorite room in this old house of ours is not inside it’s walls, but right outside the front door. My covered front porch has two old, comfy rocking chairs, a couple of hanging fuschia baskets and a trellis at the end where the clematis climbs. It gets the morning sun and it is my very favorite place, perhaps in the world. I sit in the morning sun and read the Daily Townsman. I sit in the shady afternoon and write my blog. I sit in the early evening and enjoy an icy cold Canadian beer with my American Husband. I read my summer books in the evening and occasionally wave my hand at the neighbours as they pass by. If you are ever in the area, come and join me for an iced coffee and a visit.
5. Bare feet. The worst thing for me about the fall, when the colder weather sets in is that I have to put socks and shoes on. My feet are nudists. Entrapping them in cotton and leather corsets just feels wrong on so many levels. If it weren’t for risk of frost bite, I’d just go ahead and endure the cold so those little piggies could stay wild and free.
6. Watching our garden grow. We lived in another city for the past few years and were renting at the time. Other than a few patio tomato plants we didn’t grow anything (apart from restless). Since moving back in April my American Husband and I have put in 3 additional garden plots to augment the existing vegetable garden space. We have planted all manner of fruit and veg and are loving watching the miracle of fresh produce, appearing as if by magic from the moist, hot soil. Fresh, organic and as local as my own backyard. Yum!
7. I am not fashionably inclined. My idea of the perfect outfit is one that doesn’t itch. In summer my uniform consists of comfy cotton shorts and tank tops. I have a whole rainbow of colors to choose from and they all match each other (kind of like Garanimals for grown ups). I don’t have to think, I just grab any two and I am on my way. In my small hometown of Cranbrook, this is acceptable attire in any place of business or eating establishment. The added bonus is that doing laundry is a snap. One load, no ironing. What’s not to love?
8. The good vibrations of summer music just can’t be beat. From the timeless harmonies of the Beach Boys to the eclectic stylings of Larry and His Flask, hearing the melodious odes to summer will bring sunshine to your heart any time of year. I have so many favorites, but perhaps the greatest of all is the one by Jonathon Richmond with the immortal line: “oh the beach be one of the best things we got. For it’s not what you have on it’s what you have not.” Sheer poetry.
It’s summertime and the living is easy. So no more complaining. Sweaty weather will soon give way to sweater weather and I will be trading my iced coffee for spiced pumpkin latte and berating how quickly these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer flew by.