Why does every year feel like the hottest summer ever? Maybe it's just that I'm older. Or maybe they are getting hotter, but this isn't a post on global warming. I think we all know that's a farce perpetrated by Al Gore, the liberal media, most scientists, and the melting polar ice caps.
We're working on our 7th day of 96-degrees-plus. Haven't hit triple digits yet, though we're hopeful for the weekend. It gives us something to watch for, and helps break up the monotony of treating ourselves for signs of heat stroke.
I imagine it was like being on the Ark on day 39 of rain, and Noah's wife was probably like, "Dude, I'm so over rain." But Noah was probably like, "Eh, the house is already a total loss, I'm gonna have to go to the Apple merchant to get a new abacus, may as well go for an even forty at this point."
A midsummer night's storm passed through Tuesday evening, providing a brief respite from the heat and bringing a few small tornadoes to neighboring counties. The worst we got was having someone's trampoline blown into the road in front of my house.
It wasn't always like this. Was it? Summer used to seem cooler. Plenty warm, for sure, but not my-internal-organs-are-going-to-fry-if-I-stay-outside-more-than-ten-minutes hot. Anyway, it all got me to thinking about all the things summer used to be. If you'll indulge me whilst I wax nostalgic for a moment... ("As opposed to every other post you've ever written, Bone?")
Summer was a ballpark. Lit up six nights a week. Never on Sunday. (You were in church then if your momma had raised you right.) It was something to do in a town that didn't have anything else to do but go to the Hardee's or get up to no good. I met a few girls there and played a little ball. I was better at the latter but the former became a lifelong pursuit.
Summer was freedom. Being out of school. Every night felt like Friday night. And that sultry evening air seemed to feed the restlessness. Windows down, radio up. Night driving and singing loud to some old summer song.
Summer was morning trips to Mamaw's with Mom. Taking her into town and having breakfast at the Burger Chef. Days lived with no real concept of time. Mom was young, Mamaw was old, and it seemed that they would always be.
Summer was the city pool. Learning to swim at the ripe old age of... well, is that really relevant here? The cute lifeguard who unfortunately was too old for you. (Which, personally, I've come to find I much prefer to them being too young.)
Summer was vacations. Mostly just to Nashville. They were small but they were ours. Mom and Dad were still together. I'd sit in the back seat and add up the miles between dots in the Rand McNally. First I got too cool to go, then too old, and then Mom and Dad weren't together anymore.
Summer was time well wasted. Countless hours spent on video games, hanging out at the mall, riding bikes, trading baseball cards, building forts, playing basketball, or long afternoons simply being bored. Staying up late and sleeping later. Some might disagree, but I say remain a kid for as long as possible. Once the real world takes hold, it doesn't easily let go.
Summer was a song. A thousand of them, really. Sometimes sweet and wistful, sometimes upbeat and carefree. But always, ended too soon.
(One of my thousand favorite summer songs...)