It’s hot. I mean HOT. Summertime in the deep south is no joke. In general, I hate it. The humidity is relentless, the sun, unforgiving.
I find myself trying not to bitch. But, on the other hand, what else can I do about it?
I was thankful for our reprieve from the June warmup during our stay in San Diego, where the daily temps never rose above 75 degrees and our last night there, I would have been comfortable in a light jacket.
But I’m no longer in California. I’m home. And I do love my home.
But this heat, y’all. I’m contemplating a summer home.
When A Time to Kill was filmed in Mississippi, and then I saw the film, I had to laugh at the sweaty actors. Every scene. Indoors or out. They all had a sheen of sweat and made southerners look like none of us owned air-conditioning. But, honestly, it wasn’t all that far-fetched. Just strolling across the street can cause perspiration like even the most intense gym workout.
I live for the days when rain storms pop up, because, even if we don’t see a drop, if they get close enough to my general proximity, they can give blessed relief from the 105+ heat index that we’re currently experiencing.
I spend mornings outside, because it’s the only fresh air that truly feels “fresh”, and only if one rises before the sun. I’ll have my coffee on the patio, but by the time I leave for work, it’s like stepping into a convection oven the moment I walk outside to get into my car. And it stays that way until the sun goes down again. But even then, the relief is almost always only from the blaring sun. The humidity lingers like an unwanted houseguest.
I use the oven sparingly, and the dryer only in the mornings or evenings, so as to not overwork my a/c unit. I try to grill a lot. And keep cold fruit or frozen goodies on hand. Anything to maintain even an illusion of “coolness”. There’s a reason iced tea is such a popular drink in the south.
We have a ways to go before summertime is a distant memory. When the State Fair comes to Jackson in early October, most of the time, the cooler breezes also arrive. Seemingly like clockwork. But not always. Last year, the fair saw as much heat and humidity at times as it would have in May or June. But still, the promise of cooler days stretched out on the horizon, and left us all with anticipation of the autumn season.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw fall decorations in a store and I just heaved a deep sigh. You can put a scarecrow on your porch in September if you want to, but it’s still a plausible concept that he might burst into flames before you ever light the first autumn bonfire.
Still, in the next 4-6 weeks, people will start putting out hay bales and pumpkins and cornucopias, as though trying to will the seasons to change.
But Mother Nature has a mind of her own, and she will not be rushed.
So, for now, I’ll enjoy my coffee in the morning breeze, pray for evening thunderstorms, and keep my orange and yellows and browns in storage a while longer.
Summertime is a necessary evil to contend with in the south. And, apparently, a lot of places across the globe right now. But it won’t last forever. And, one day, in a few months, when it’s been cloudy and cold and everything but the evergreens are brown and brittle, we’ll start longing for the warmth of the sun. And summer days.