Friday, July 27, 2007

Blooming Where You're Planted

I've been thinking on this topic for a few weeks. Well, a combination: blooming where you're planted and thinking outside the box.

We live in a place where summers are miserable. You go from air-conditioned home to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned work to air-conditioned mall, or restaurant, or whathaveyou.

For much of the country, summer is grand. It is picnics and playing outside. For me, it is mosquitos, sweat and humidity. No lie -- last week, we walked from our front door to our car -- maybe 15 steps -- and Bo Peep had 10 mosquito bites.

I tried fighting this head-on. Lots of bug spray, self-lectures about how people used to live without air-conditioning, I was just "soft" and needed to get out there and have some FUN! How many times I've dragged the family to this outdoor concert or that outdoor picnic, only for it to end up with pleas to go home and get out of the swamp. And the kids wanted to go home, too.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought, "Why?" If you live in Minnesota, people don't tell you that you need to get outside in that January blizzard and have some FUN! They say, cuddle up next to the heater, have an indoor picnic, play board games with your family and enjoy this cozy time.

So, I'm going to stop fighting it, stop telling myself how we "should" be. Summer is the winter of our discontent, so it's time to enjoy playing inside, free from bugs and heat. We get to enjoy the outside pretty much all winter long -- let's enjoy it then.

Like those of yore who canned and put up food for the winter, next March, I'm going to be filling our freezer full of prepared meals that I can either heat up in the microwave or in a crockpot (avoiding the stove or oven). Summer will be for seeing movies in cool theatres, curling up with a book rather than making dinner, browsing the library, and going bowling.

All in air-conditioned bliss.


Anonymous said...

We live in the midwest and I find summers mostly horrible because of bugs and humidity. But, before here, I lived in Tempe AZ and what you describe is exactly what we did: spent the summer in the pool or in the house--at least during daylight. It wasn't entirely horrible. And there was always January, February and March which were usually quite lovely. enjoy!

Comrade Kevin said...

I have always been a fall and winter person for the express purpose that I enjoy taking walks outside when it's not sweltering.

We've been going through the worst drought here in 50 years. The only good thing about it is that the mosquito population has been nothing compared to the way it usually is this time of year.

What gets to me is the humidity. At least out west it can be 110 degrees in the shade but be a dry heat. Here, walking outside is akin to walking into a sauna. And the worst is yet to come. We have yet to face August.

It really doesn't cool off here until well into September.

Nancy said...

I feel your pain. My Scandinavian genes cause me great anxiety when I am required to be outdoors for more than 10 minutes in the sun. I'm afraid of burning to a crisp or getting a headache.

Bring on the snow!

David said...

"self-lectures about how people used to live without air-conditioning"

Not many, not in what is now Houston. There were no Indian tribes that summered here. Many would come for a while in the cooler weather. But they migrated seasonally to cooler and drier areas in the worst of the summer.

After the Europeans came, there were larger permanent settlements on the coast (Galveston). But Houston stayed small until the coming of air-conditioning.