There comes a time in summer when a gal looks at the weather, rolls her eyes, shakes her head, and wonders if it would be worth it to drive to the Rockies, even if just for a day. Usually, this urge to change my place of weather hits me in mid-to-late July, and then repeats itself, like Groundhog Day, throughout the long month of August. Unfortunately, the dog days are here about a month early, not much of a surprise given that summer started dropping by in March this year.
When I first moved to Kansas, people told me that the weather — especially the summers — build character. But the way this weather builds character is to take down whoever you thought you were first. Think you’re a reasonably, friendly, light-hearted person? Land in a week of daily lows in the mid-90s, and you might find out you’re quite the opposite. Summer here is a little like PMS on steroids, but without enough energy to get homicidal urges.
The early unshelling of big heat makes it hard to say to myself, “Oh, in a month or so it’ll cool down, so sit tight” because it’s more like three months or more of probable weeks like this interspersed with relief. On the plus side, the chiggers, ticks and mosquitoes have been knocked back, and I never have to remember to take a sweater with me if I go out at night. Dressing is simple too: shorts, tank top, sandals, and often my legs forget what pants feel like.
Y sitting outside right now, on the porch in the shade, sitting iced coffee under a blur-moving ceiling fan, I wonder what I’m complaining about. There are slips of time — early morning and after midnight or so — when it’s lovely outside so long as I don’t make any sudden moves. Like my dogs, lying sprawled across cool floors or porches, the summer heat burns me out of being elsewhere but here, taking what bearable breeze I can get. Plus, we have a magical cure for the heat: the crazy, windy, wild thunderstorms that shake everything, even the heat, out of balance for something new.