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Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Seasons of Life: Summer

If life is in seasons, then I'm in the summer of mine.  The sun is blazing down relentlessly, there's no shade in sight, and lizards, scorpions and snakes are everywhere.

So maybe that's a little extreme, but go with me on this.  I'm taking this analogy and turning it into a reminiscence of bygone years.  A hopefully entertaining rumination. 

I spent some of my growing up years and young adulthood in the southwest.  The hot southwest.  Not the pretty mountainous snow-capped southwest.

I can remember walking into stores during the summer, whether it be grocery, department, or catch-all  and being hit by the smell of heat and sweat.  I would pick my check-out line based on which one had the fewest construction workers in it.  Perky people always annoyed me during summertime.  They had no right to be so upbeat and dry when the rest of us were picking up mops in the housecleaning aisle just so we could soak up the collected sweat on the seat in our car before we had to climb back into it.

A friend of mine once told me that women don't sweat.  They glow.  I insisted on the truth of that statement to my husband for years…while reaching for a tissue to mop my beaded brow and sniffing to see if it was yet time for a reapplication of deodorant.  Thankfully I've now reached an age where I can freely admit to being overheated.  I would call it maturity or self-assurance, but the truth is, I finally gave up on trying to fake being comfortable when I'm not.

Alas, I no longer live in the southwest.  Instead, I live near the ocean – which I love – and suffer through the hideous humidity for the privilege.  I don't even live close enough to see the ocean, just close enough to know it's there.  That's okay; I don't mind.  Though my son has brought in snakes from outdoors, I've not seen a single scorpion since moving here.  Or tarantula.

I can remember being chased by a tarantula as a child.  It probably would have left us alone, but the person I was with thought to scare it away by throwing pebbles at it.  This, apparently, is what we refer to as provocation.  The tarantula chased us.  In huge leaping bounds.  On long summer nights, I still hear the sound of that thing hitting the metal as we narrowly made our escape into a trailer, slamming the door behind us in the nick of time.

So tell me, what do you love (or hate!) about summer? 

Go Back

Ahhh summer.

While in the Spring of my life I loved summer for the school vacation time, horseback riding, horse shows, family time, time with friends and sleeping late. Any of the smells of summer (fresh cut grass, impending thunderstorms, food grilling outdoors and new hay in the barn) can still transport me to the summers of my youth. The Spring of my life.

During the Summer of my life I loved summer for the school vacation (my son's, not mine!), family time, sleeping in, camping and hiking. Obviously there is some overlap here with my first list, as I always enjoyed whatever my son enjoyed. When he was tickled, I was tickled. The last week of summer I'd talk to my friends and they'd be so happy to have summer vacation ending and the kids back in school and I was sad. My time with my son was about to be cut in half - or more, depending on the day.

Now that I'm in the Autumn of my life I find that summer has less meaning. No one in my immediate family is in school, and I suspect that has a lot to do with it. My son is off on his own adventures on the other side of the country and his life has very little about it that revolves around the school year. I am in early retirement and can sleep in on any given day ....

oh WAIT ....

there's a puppy.

Move back two spaces and start life over again.



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