In the Summertime, When the Weather is Hot

by Laura

School’s out, and that means fun for all. Or fun for some, apparently, if my Facebook newsfeed is to be believed. Lots of pool pics. Lots of beach pics. Fun abounds. And we’re not entirely immune. I mean, we’ve been to a few pools. My wonderful aunt (who’s been very generous with her time AND the reason I have a laptop to type this on right now) has a pool. So yeah, we’re pooling. We pool. But most of the time we’re just here. The ten year old has been acting like every mean girl antagonist in a teen movie, which means my three year old son, who is part mynah bird, has also been acting like every mean girl antagonist in a teen movie. And that’s getting old FAST.

But I’m really trying to get out there and enjoy the season, which used to be my least favorite. The Pennsylvania winters have made me appreciate the Pennsylvania summers, even with all the ticks and humidity and humidity and ticks. The humidity is also terrible, and did you know there are ticks? We’ve been visiting gardens and attending free concerts and mini golfing and engaging in a lot of other activities I would never do without children. Oh, and of course kayaking, which I do despite the fact that I have children. No more of that for a while, I think, as the heat of the morning is still enough to lead to blisters. I’m considering paddling gloves, but who wants to wear gloves in June?

The summers here are the summers of my youth. Purple clover and chicory along the road as I drive to the farm stand to pick up the second batch of kirby cukes I will discard before pickling. (This time I even have mason jars! But realistically, it probably won’t happen.) As dusk moves in, the smell of honeysuckle perfumes the air. (It isn’t subtle. It’s like being trapped in an elevator with a librarian who’s just visited a candle store. Does that make sense to you? Well, it makes sense to me.) Then the frogs start their throat-singing and the lightning bugs smear the sky with neon light. Storms rumble through in waves. (I hope, but don’t pray that the noise won’t wake the kids.) It’s just summer, the way I remember it, but never particularly liked. But it does have that softness. The wind doesn’t slap. The trees aren’t nearly as depressing. You know how it goes. You’ve seen trees.

Summer is all about my mom, because I had her all day long. She’d partially hand over the cooking duties, having my father grill chicken from time to time, which I would never eat, due to my aversion to bone-in meats. Yeah, I always lost weight in the summer, between the grilling and the 14 mile hikes my parents strong-armed us into taking. But I still have happy summer food memories. Sugared tomatoes, sour cream cucumbers and that jello peach dessert I adored, for some reason. No one in my family will eat that stuff, but I make it anyway. Because it brings her back a little, you know?

The week before she died, my cell phone broke, so I lost all her voicemails. But I just recently found a voicemail on my computer, through Comcast or Xfinity or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves these days to try to run away from the name that we associate with SUCK. Anyway, it’s 7 whole seconds.

“Hi Laura. Uh… call me back. Bye.”

It’s good. I’m keeping it. It’s important to me. But peach jello makes an even greater impression.

Anyway, what else, what else…

Oh! I applied for a job and didn’t get it, so there’s that. It was an insignificant part-time work-from-home position editing web content (but I was really amped about it in my cover letter, er, email, because I’m pretty sure the bosses are 25 and appreciate that kind of youthful enthusiasm). Anyway, there was probably someone out there with a better feel for millennial language, and I was passed over. But I was invited to submit galleries ($5 a gallery!). What kind of galleries?

“Galleries about luxury items, homes, products, etc. Funny Spongebob galleries. Blake Lively galleries. Please make these specific to her for instance her with Ryan Reynolds, on Gossip Girl, her style, etc.”

It was only my strong desire to recoup some of the security deposit on this place that prevented me from putting my fist through the fucking wall. Also, what a well edited request!


So I submitted the galleries, because…