A Good Day in the Sun, 2011
If you’ve been around me lately, or anyone else living around here, for that matter, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing us complaining about the weather.
You have to admit, the weather has been strange this summer. We’ve been spared the tornadoes and flooding they’ve had out in the Midwest. No giant waves rolled in from the ocean and washed everything away. Rain has been sporadic enough to avoid drought.
We should have known things would be a little weird when we started having sultry August weather before the end of May. It’s not completely unknown to have hot weather then. But the run we had of high 90s accompanied by similarly high humidity sent air conditioning units on overtime long before that traditionally becomes necessary.
In June it was even oppressive when I walked in the morning at 5:30 a.m. Some days there was hardly a breeze anywhere, a rarity when you’re around this much open water this close to the coast.
It’s been so miserable that those of us who accept that living area here in the summer means that there will be heat and humidity still couldn’t seem to stop talking about it. As if that makes a difference. As if there really aren’t more serious issues. And certainly as if there aren’t people elsewhere genuinely suffering while we sit here complaining about having to run the air conditioning already.
Still, it is with great joy that we embraced a few days of wonderful weather this past weekend. It was the kind of respite—sort of like the day your infant child become potty trained—when conditions turn good so quickly and so satisfyingly that you forget all the mess that came before.
On Friday morning when I walked it was in the upper 60s instead of the upper 80s. The air was clear and dry. If I hadn’t had work to do I could have walked all morning. After dinner my wife and I rode our bikes and went for a ride in the car with the top down, activities that were all but unthinkable a few days earlier.
Saturday, though, was the best. The day dawned bright and clear. We spent a couple of hours at the beach in the morning, where the surf was great and a breeze kept us cool. After doing some chores around the house I was able to spend the afternoon out in the garden reading and listening to the birds sing. That the book I was reading was about the virtues of bringing elements of the rural environment into the design of public spaces only made the moment seem richer.
Some people take good weather for granted. But where we live sitting outside this time of year without every inch of your body covered in clothing or some kind of slimy bug spray is like announcing to the mosquitoes and yellow flies, “Hey! Over Here! I’m available for biting!” This is part of the reason screened porches are so popular around here. This weekend it was so nice out that you didn’t need to hide inside the screen.
The pessimists among us are already buzzing about the hot and steamy weather’s that’s coming back this week. As for me, I’m trying to hold onto the memories of these last few days in the sun.