Friday, July 23, 2010

What We Love/Loathe About Summer

Stepping atop a soapbox in stilettos isn't easy. But the whole Gang has climbed on up, and we're ready to raise our voices on plenty of different topics. We won't always agree, but that's what makes life interesting. And we want to hear what you think, too. So join in our soapbox conversations the second Friday of each month, with a preview today and then regularly beginning in September. Now without further ado, our summer loves and hates...

MAGGIE: I love summer, plain and simple. I much prefer heat to cold. The humidity does wonders for my dessicated Irish skin (not sure if that adjective applies, but you get my drift) and my straw-like, over-processed hair. I love a delicious hamburger fresh from the grill...we hardly ever eat red meat in the fall/winter/spring months so we go to town in the summer. I love a cold margarita and some spicy guacamole. (Ok--how did this turn into Maggie's Ode to Food and Drink?) I love the riverside concerts in the park that's walking distance from our house. I love the beautiful pink petunias spilling over the sides of my window boxes. I hate, hate, hate the mosquitoes. I always say that I am the human equivalent of a citronella don't want to get bit, come sit by me. I alternately love not having a schedule and hate not having a schedule. I do enjoy not having to make lunches every night, though.

MARIAN (aka the Northern half of Evelyn David): I love, love, love...Snowballs. The Baltimore treat, not to be confused with Italian ices found in New York or orbs thrown at younger siblings. These sweet confections of my childhood were crushed (not shaved) ice, flavored with sweet syrups. My favorite? Chocolate snowball with marshmallow topping and vanilla ice cream (layered). When I was eating them I was too young to worry about the calorie count – and if I could find one now, I wouldn’t care if there were 2,000 calories in the cup, the sheer bliss would be worth it. Roses. I have a black thumb and can barely keep ivy alive. But I love the smell and look of roses and remember, with great delight, the rosebush garden that my mother, the original Evelyn, had in our backyard. The ocean at sunset. There’s something about seeing the sun dip beneath the horizon, the fierce reds and yellows slipping out of sight, that’s inspiring. Sure the sun sets in the winter, but in the summer, after an exhausting, sandy day at the beach, sunset is longer, brighter, later, and means that the nighttime fun can begin. I hate, hate, hate...The humidity. When my hair has its own zipcode, you know it’s summertime and the humidity is back. The wrinkles. I’m not talking about my skin, but my clothes after an hour in that humid summer sunshine. The smells. It’s nice to remember the roses of summer but, not to put too delicate a spin on it, there’s also the fragrant aroma of garbage, and frankly, other people and myself sweating when walking in the Big Apple. In a packed subway? Oy!

MARILYN loves summer because: Lots of kids come over to use the swimming hole in the river behind our house. (I don't go down there anymore, but it's great to hear all the happy sounds.) Life's frantic pace seems to slow down somewhat. My son barbecues for us. But she hates: All the spiders that decide to come out of hiding. We have some of the ugliest critters possible, big and hairy. I don't have a bit of trouble killing them. The San Joaquin Valley heat. Even though we live in the foothills and it's always a bit cooler up here, it's still way too hot. One good thing, it's usually a dry heat. No rain. Sometimes we don't get a single rainstorm all summer long. Electric bills. We have solar which helps, but not enough panels to take care of it all.

MISA gives a thumbs-up to: Lack of a schedule: after the crazy school year, no schedule is great! Staying up late and sleeping in: It's such a treat! Being with the kids. God love 'em! Husband time. Having him around the house is like our newlywed days. Reading: summertime means permission to read more. Misa doesn't like: Lack of a schedule: it's hard to get things done with no schedule to keep me on track! Staying up late and sleeping in: If I stay up late, I'm tired in the morning, unless I sleep in, and then I feel as if I've wasted important and valuable waking hours. Being with the kids: I need space!! Husband time: see above (kids). Reading: reading more means writing less, which isn't always good!

RACHEL loves: Having my kids home from school. They are neat people and I like the down-time with them. The beach. I never tire of the sun and surf. Snowcones. Nothing says “cheerful” like brightly colored shaved ice and the smiles they put on my kids’ faces. Concerts in the park. I love live music and being outside. Sandals. They are casual and fun, just like I try to be. Rachel hates: Having my kids home from school. They make a lot of messes and bicker all the time. Plus, they’re really loud. The beach. I’m not sure which is worse, the sand that ends up in my bikini bottom or the sand that ends up all over my van. Snowcones. Nothing but overpriced empty calories here. A blessing and a curse for any frugal, health-conscious Mom. Concerts in the park. You know how after a mosquito bites you, it starts to feel like a thousand of them are biting you now? I hate that. Sandals. Stop looking at my chipped toe nail polish. I was too busy rinsing out my bikini bottom!

RHONDA (the Southern half of Evelyn David) says “the best of summer has always been”…home grown tomatoes, sliced and eaten with a pinch of salt…the sweet taste of Black Diamond watermelons…fresh peaches from local fruit stands…corn on the cob lathered with butter and salt…going barefoot in the grass…floating on an air mattress in a swimming pool or lake…vacations - full days where you can spend your time however you want…hydrangeas in full bloom bringing splashes of color that last for months. And the worst…mowing the yard and needing to do it all over again in three days…temps over 100F and humidity making the air so thick you can barely breathe…the smell of hot asphaltants, mosquitoes, and wasps invading my space…hot car interiorsdelays and congestion from all the road construction work.

As for SUSAN: What I love most about summer is when it's over and leaves start turning colors, the air gets crisp and tinged with the smell of chimney smoke, and pumpkins everywhere brace themselves for carving! I am such a fall baby!

What about you? What do you love/hate about summer???


  1. Great blog, gang! All good arguments in support of changing seasons . . . and going to Sleuthfest from the depths of a Rhode Island winter, of course!

  2. I'm already ready for summer to be over and the crisp fall weather to roll on in. And we still have all of August to go!

  3. I'm sooo ready for fall, too, Misa! The only problem is that I need to have A LOT more done on my current WIP before September 21 hits! So I think I'll stay inside with the AC and work so I avoid all the heat, humidity, mosquitoes and sweat!!!

  4. After the problems I've had with my a/c this past week, I'm ready for Fall temps too - although in Oklahoma the temps don't really cool down much until the end of October.

    Thanks Susan for organizing this SoapBox Stiletto Day!!

    aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David

  5. what I hate about summer is the humidity and heat.

    what I like about summer are the long days.

  6. Small update -- just got back from Baltimore where I had a...snowball! Yum!!! Not quite as well-made as those of my youth (a good snowball is a delicate recipe) -- but close enough that I'm a happy camper.

    But I'd like to add that my favorite season is Fall - bring on those pumpkins, leaves, and crisp, cool days.


  7. I don't like summer much at all.It is to warm for me, I'm not comfortable at all. Though air conditioner is a blessing wherever you can get it, it isn't natural and it doesn't feel that way at all. I'm like Marian, my favorite season is over all Autumn/Fall. Beautiful weather usually. Not to hot, not to cold. Crisp.

  8. I love/hate the hot weather. I hate the summer TV season, but I love the summer blockbusters. I love the buskers in August, but I hate the tourists who come to see them. The waterfront is overly crowded with people on vacation while I have to work and then deal with them all over my streets on the way home from work. I work at a university so summer mean a lot less students. On the other had, summer means a lot less students so it's really quite and kinda boring right now. And I still have to work! Oh, and I love/hate work in the summer. Well, I really love/hate work all year 'round.

  9. Sheesh, apparently summer means I can't spell, either. Let me try again.

    I work at a university so summer means a lot less students. On the other hand, summer means a lot less students so it's really quiet and kinda boring right now.

    Thaaat's better.

  10. I'm with Susan. The best part of summer is the end when fall starts.

  11. It's not the season, it's the change. The return of cool crisp days after the heat of summer. That first clean snowfall covering the dry grass and empty trees after the beautiful colors of fall have faded. The tiny buds of spring after the long dead winter. And the baking of the summer sun after the warm wet spring. That's the best part.

  12. I'm loving all the comments and hearing what everyone loves/hates about summer, too.

    Marian, now I want a chocolate snowball! (Do they call them "dirty snowballs" by chance?)

    Zita, what are "buskers"--or am I just such a dork that I don't know?

    Linda, that was so poetic!

  13. This summer, the heat and humidity just won't quit. That's good and bad. Bad, because I spend far too much times indoors with the A/C on. Good because it really feels like summer and the past two have had heat and sun in only short spurts. Plus, it's a good excuse to have a cold beer.

  14. Buskers are street performers. We have a big festival here in Halifax every summer. They come from all over the world. ( It gets pretty crowded at the waterfront, though (damn tourists) LOL!

  15. Re. "it's a good excuse to have a cold beer"...Erika, my husband likes that about summer, too! Not that he needs an excuse to drink one! ;-)

    Ah, Zita, thanks for filling me in! Sounds great! I might have to come sometime and do the tourist thing (oops, then you'll curse me, won't you?). Ha ha!

  16. Oh, no! I would never do that. Writers who come here are researching, they are NEVER tourists. You come on over any time you want :-)

  17. Great article...... Innovative thoughts.