A very unusual near-end-of-summer is taking place in our area. August, once a hot and steamy month that allows me to jump in the pool after work for a relaxing time of floating in the warm water with a good book and a glass of chilled wine, has decided to turn the heat down by about ten degrees during the day, and a bit more as the afternoon goes on.
No. I’m not ready. Not at all.
I’m meant for sun, flip flops, swimsuits, sundresses, cool summer drinks, and nights as well as afternoons swimming in the pool after work, with our flamingo inflatables keeping us company.
Lately all I seem to see on my Facebook feed are posts about how happy people are that it’s getting cooler already. How they’re welcoming all the fall treats: pumpkin spice everything, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins, etc. They’re talking about having bonfires and roaring fireplaces.
Now I like fall. But I like it when it’s time for fall to arrive. This is August. It’s summer! It’s still time for pool parties, not bonfires, at least not yet. The other morning it was 66 degrees! In August! It should have been at least 80! I’m not ready to give up my summer!
I know summer in other parts of the country is taking a huge toll with droughts, fires, and problems with not having adequate electricity to run the air conditioning. That’s not what I’m discussing. I just don’t want summer to go away yet!
It just seems that Mother Nature is having an identity crisis, or maybe going thru the change of life. Will somebody please give her some medication?
I’m just not ready for summer to end. Who’s with me here?
Growing up in a small town on the eastern shore of Maryland had a lot of advantages I never really appreciated until I was older. A lot older, as you some of you may say.
But summer some 60 years ago took on a whole new meaning from today. It was less hectic, quieter, and more relaxed than it is today. (And not nearly as hot as this year.)
Because we lived just outside of the town limits, our house was surrounded by two small fields and a woods (which seemed really big back then). There were fields across the road as well, and we watched the corn all summer as it grew and grew, eventually hiding the homes across the road, growing to reach its potential for the fall harvest.
Just a quiet rural setting. No crime. No violence. No video games or cell phones.
Back then almost every summer evening was filled with the singing of crickets and frogs, and fireflies lighting up the night as soon as it started to get dark. We’d look forward to catching them and then seeing how many it took to light up the dark corners of our rooms. (Thank goodness my mom always came in and let them escape back outside after we were asleep.)
I remember many nights falling asleep on the glider in our big screened porch listening to the crickets and frogs serenading their friends as well as my mom and me. What wonderful sounds they made. Plus it was cooler out there since we had no air conditioning.
There were some nights during those summers that it was so hot we could look out in the distance from that wonderful porch and see what we called “heat lightning”…silent flashes of light in the distance with no cracks of lightning or thunder, or even any signs of rain.
And the air was so clean, so clear, we could gaze up into the night sky and pick out the constellations. Sometimes we’d even drive down to the bay and listen to the waves lapping against the small pier that was left over from a long ago storm. The sky there was even clearer and the stars easier to see. And when it happened to be a full moon, it was absolutely breathtaking.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days. Sure, we have our Jeremiah the bullfrog who likes to sing to us in the back yard after a summer rainstorm, but it’s just not the same. We haven’t been able to find him, or his wine we’ve heard that’s mighty fine, but we still get to listen to him, and he sure sounds happy.
What about the fireflies? I can’t remember the last time we saw any. Crickets? I haven’t heard them chirp in ages. And come to think of it, we see very few honeybees…and they used to fly all around in those distant summers, gorging themselves on all manner of blooms on bushes and flowers, and pollinating everything in our gardens.
How about butterflies? I haven’t seen many of those recently either, and we have a lot of flowers and flowering bushes in our backyard. They used to fly around the yard all summer when we were growing up.
Yes, I do miss those summers. And I actually appreciate the memories of them much more than I ever thought I would. Because it was an easier way of life, or it seemed to be, because we were still growing up, and still had our innocence and the belief that these little things would always be a part of our lives.
Now they are only memories in my mind’s eye, stored in a database of pictures only I can see. But they’re there, and I wish you could see them, too.
The sounds and sights of summers in times past….these are my memories.
Just for fun…and because we like flamingos so much…we’ve written several whimsical stories about these interesting pink birds! And more are sure to follow.
The fascination we have for flamingos just sort of happened. It all started out with someone giving my husband and me a flamingo statue as a gag gift. Then I decided he needed another one, so I found a really cute one. We put them both in the Florida room, and all of a sudden, before we even realized it, our little collection of these pink birds had grown and had not only become the main décor in that room, but many of them had also migrated to the family room, and of course, outside by the pool.
And somehow, new flamingos still seem to pop in when we least expect it! Birthday presents, Christmas gifts, or just picking out one in a store because, well, because it just said “buy me”! And they’re quite attractive flamingos, I might add. Of course the plastic ones are out by the pool. And this summer we added solar lighted flamingos out there as well…. In fact, we now have flamingos in just about every room.
We’ve realized that flamingos really are beautiful birds. Yes, they have a not so wonderful and undeserved reputation for tackiness, but seriously, how can you resist a bird that’s bright pink, eats shrimp and shows up in the most unusual places?
They are also quite intelligent, or at least the ones we have by our pool seem to be. They know how to withstand snow, sleet, cold weather, and really don’t require a lot of maintenance at all, except for the occasional scrubbing when their pink plastic feathers get a bit grungy. They’re always there to greet us when we go outside, and summer, well, summer is their favorite time of year, probably because they’re very social animals, and they love it when we’re outside in the pool with them, or cooking shrimp and steak on the grill!
And when we host our annual Flamingo pool party, well, they are just beyond tickled pink. In fact, they’re usually the stars of the event!
So, in honor of our flamingo fascination, we decided to let the flamingos have their say online. After all, they’ve told us some interesting stories over the years, and it’s time to share some of them!
May you enjoy their words of wisdom as much as we do!