If you know me at all, you know that I am no fan of winter. I hate being cold, I’m afraid to drive on icy roads, and as a volunteer dog walker at the local Humane Society, I spend a lot of time outside, even on the coldest of days. That means I spend most of the winter waiting impatiently for the weather to warm up so I can ditch my scarves, coats, gloves, and most importantly, my long underwear. So I am getting more than a little cranky about the fact that it is now July 7th, and yet I still don’t feel as if summer has even begun.
July in St. Louis is supposed to be hot and humid. This is the time of year when I am supposed to be wearing capris (they hide more spider veins and cellulite than shorts, which is important at my age), cooling off at a swimming pool, eating dinner on my backyard patio and enjoying the flowering blooms I worked so hard to plant in the spring. I should be excited about the tomatoes beginning to ripen on my gigantic tomato plants (I have no idea why they get so big) and I should be spending my evenings at outdoor concerts in the park, complaining about the humidity and swatting at mosquitoes, but still happy to be outside.
But instead of a normal St. Louis summer, this year we have gotten mostly cool weather and a whole lot of rain. We’ve had a couple of days of true summer heat, but the minute I begin to adjust to it, another cold front comes along, bringing a drop in temperatures and more rain. The flowers I so carefully planted a couple of months ago are in danger of drowning, we’ve had exactly two meals on our patio since Memorial Day and I haven’t gotten to go swimming once. Admittedly, given what I look like in a swim suit these days, that last one isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But still, I should at least have the option to go swimming if I want to. And when I go out for dinner, I usually have to bring along a sweater or light jacket, just in case in stops raining long enough that we might get to sit outside. A sweater, mind you……in July!
I know that there are many areas of the country right now suffering from terrible drought, and I truly wish I could send some of our cold and rain their way. Because I am well and truly tired of it, and I want the summer I spent those cold winter months dreaming of. I want to go outside in my bare feet; I want to eat produce I have grown myself, I want to enjoy stepping into a cool shower after coming home from the Humane Society hot and sweaty from walking dogs. Most importantly, I want the chance to grow so tired of the heat and humidity that I am actually glad when fall comes around, even though I know it will be followed by the dreaded winter. Because face it, I need my summers….they’re what help me get through my winters!