What do I look forward most about summer? It being over. And, that is a process that is not completed until mid-November.
Summers in my childhood meant long hours in the full sun in the hot garden where the temperature would often be in the 90s or low 100s. In addition, if my mother happened to be there, I’d have to listen to her complain in her shrill voice about something, often that I wasn’t working fast enough. The sweat did not help my glasses stay on my face as I bent over working and, without them, I couldn’t see the difference between the vegetables and the weeds.
In addition to the heat were the bugs: chiggers which dig into your skin causing burning welts, ticks that would latch onto you and suck your blood while possibly infecting you, and mosquitos which also suck your blood and spread disease. The various types of flies were less of a bother, though horse flies, about a half-inch long, were unpleasant. Sweat bees were also irritating when they would sting, wanting the salt from your sweat, I guess. Wasps were a problem in the house before we got screens on the windows, after that they were only outside but you had to be careful not to disturb them. As cold weather comes, insects begin to die. The first mass deaths come when the temperature goes down to forty. Still, some survive. I can only relax after the first hard freeze of autumn when all insects will be dead for the next several months. That happens about the second week of November. Then summer, with all the insects, is truly over.
Being in the house in the summer wasn’t much better than being outside. There was a thick stand of trees on the south side which blocked the wind, so the air around the house was still and hot – excellent for flying bugs! There was only one fan in the house. That, my mother made sure was aimed directly on her. It couldn’t be aimed at the stove where I might be cooking, the breeze would interfere with the flames of the burners. I couldn’t wash dishes in front of the fan either. And, her shrill voice in the enclosed space of the house was not at all pleasant.
So, what do I look forward to about summer? It being over – which is fully completed in mid-November. That’s when I say I do my “happy dance,” and I can enjoy being outside until early spring, or occasional warm days, when the temperature approaches seventy – then bugs began to hatch or come up out of the ground!
Autumn and early winter, until the ground is buried in snow, is my favorite time of year. FINALLY, all the insects are dead and I can work outside unbothered by their biting or sweat. If I could have six months of autumn every year, I would be delighted. Usually, I only get two. They are precious months and I savor every fleeting moment of them!