Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James
The older I get, the less tolerance I have for the summer heat. Scratch that, it's the humidity. It's very humid and the more humid it gets, the crankier I become. I don't like sweating. I love the cool comfort of air-conditioning.
I have memories of playing with the hose on my patio. I still love the smell of the first gush of water sizzling on the hot cement. That is the smell of my childhood summers. After getting wet with the hose, I'd come in, go into my bedroom, peel off the bathing suit and slide into some dry clothes. My skin felt cool and the clothes felt warm.
I'd go into the air-conditioned living room, lay down on the rug and watch TV (probably "The Brady Bunch). The air was so cold, sometimes a blanket would be required. It was so soothing and so comforting. Perfect contentment, especially if something delicious was wafting through the air.
I also remember summers at my grandparents' house. Nana & Poppop. In my childhood mind, the backyard was enormous! There was a little pool for me and my cousin. There was a marigold yellow dishpan for us to dip our feet in prior to entering the pool to avoid stray grass from invading.
After the pool, we'd put on sundresses and sit in their air-conditioned living room. We'd get refrigerated m&m's in blue or green plastic cups and crunch on them while watching TV. To this day, I prefer my m&m's cold.
My grandfather had a full vegetable garden. I loved picking cucumbers and biting carrots fresh out of the ground. They tasted so sweet. I imagine the flavor has become enhanced in my memory over time, but that's OK. They were the best carrots I've ever eaten. My grandfather still has a vegetable garden, although it is at a different house. And now, I watch my daughter help him pluck tomatoes and cucumbers from their stems.
I guess I'm just feeling reminiscent today and contemplating what my daughter's childhood summer memories will be. I hope they are full of fun, adventures, and air-conditioning.