Friday, June 04, 2004

oddly enough, the only song I can sing is Summertime

Warning: whine an cheese post with no knitting news ahead.

I am not a fan of summer. I can safely say that it is my least favorite season, and I dread its arrival every year. But I wasn't always a summah hatah.

Ever since I realized that not everyone got summers "off" and that one day I too would be among those who had to work in June, July and August, I have grown to resent those months a little more each year. Why not take a vacation each summer, you ask? (Well, you probably don't, but I can project whatever I want.)

Ah, that brings me to the second problem with summer. I grew up in Portland, Oregon. Summers in the NW were usually warmish, and usually brief. There were often a few weeks of really warm weather, but I only remember a couple of times during summer beach trips when I actually trusted the sun to warm me enough after plunging into the very chilly Pacific Ocean.

Since spending the first 22 and a half years of my life in such idyllic summer-y climes, I have lived in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and now Maryland. Can you, gentle readers, pre-ceive my post-childhood issues with this stupid season? (We'll leave NM out of this discussion because summer in Santa Fe was actually better than summer in Portland, but for the glaring lack of an ocean I would be there now.) Why, if I enjoyed the cool, rainy dampness of the Great Northwest, do I insist on living in places that not only have terrible summers (for one reason or another) but climates that are decidedly dominated by them? Let's hope, whatever the reason, that it is at least noble in intent.

I have only been in Maryland since February (when there was actual snow on the ground, folks! SNOW!) so I am hoping that this summer is better than the blistering heat of Phoenix, or the utterly demoralizing and obscene summer of New Orleans (I know, I know, maybe that is an exaggeration, but I was very... financially challenged while there, and had only one small window unit that my "neighbors" kept trying to steal and the roaches and the smell of a "city that care forgot" in August is one I would like to forget myself), or the Austin summer that is somehow just as bad even though it isn't quite as hot or quite as humid, but is just so long.
summertime, and the living is easy
fish are jumping, and the cotton is high
oh, your daddy's rich, and your ma is good-lookin'
so hush, little baby, don't you cry

one of these mornings you going to rise up singing
then you'll spread your wings and you'll take the sky
but 'til that morning there's a nothing can harm you
with daddy and mammy standing by.

...where was I? Ah yes, in Maryland. Hoping for the best. You may be thinking, as I usually do this time of the year (every freakin' year, it seems), that if I hate having to work through the summer and hate having to live through the summer, then maybe JUST MAYBE?! I am dong the wrong thing in the wrong place? It would seem. But each year, once I feel the first cool breeze of Fall, or what passes for it Things Begin Looking Up again and I forget.

I may know the right where, but I have no idea about the what. Well, that isn't true. I just started to type two different paragraphs about the what, but what if I am wrong? And this is what summer does to me. Sweat, Heat Rash, Mosquitoes, Self Doubt, and a longing for something, somewhere else. Is it any wonder that this year, now that I have a bit of confidence in my knitting, that all I want is to knit row upon row of beautiful delicate lace—to have something fragile and lovely to concentrate on through these longest months? To loop up the ennui-that-is-really-an-ache and make something of it?

People tell me that the summer here is dreadful. My hope is that it is only relatively dreadful. If you know otherwise, don't tell me. Or better yet, send ice-cubes and tell me what you do to enjoy the hottest months. Most people enjoy summers, don't they?

Oh. And the thousands upon thousands millions upon millions of cicadas that only befall Maryland once every seventeen years, that is, this year? It is a natural phenomenon, not to mention a fabulous example of my "summertime" timing, and I feel like I should comment at great and witty length about them. But they don't inspire me. I mean, they may be a bit disturbing as they kamikaze dumbly through the air, but they should be gone in another week or two. And I will hopefully be on the opposite shore when they come back.

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