It is the best of times; it is the worst of times. If any of our four seasons could be considered the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the year it would be summertime.
Is there anything sweeter than a summer evening gathered around a beer keg and a bonfire with friends talking baseball, fishing and golf? How about going to work, whether it is to the office or on the construction site? Isnít a little more rewarding knowing that when you get there you are assured of seeing more short skirts and suntanned skin than at a Beach Boyís concert? Those are definitely the best of times.
However, summer can turn on you like a misfired bottle rocket. One minute youíre enjoying a tall glass of vanilla bean frappuccino while reading the Sunday newspaper at the patio, serenaded by chickadees and sparrows, the next you are swatting at a swarm of mosquitoes who have been awakened by a sleepy water moccasin who has slithered into a government protected wetland in the field behind the house. The little bloodsuckers force you back into the air-conditioned house so you can finish your frappe without fear of contracting malaria.
The combination of cool air and iced coffee is sure to generate a monstrous slushy headache to go along with the two-dozen welts left by the miniature vampires that have just turned you into an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. But thatís okay; itís a small price to pay for such beautiful weather. A combination of benzocaine and cortisone will fix you right upóit better, because you have errands to run and yard work to do.
Doesnít it feel exhilarating to step out of a hot shower into the artificial General Electric generated coolness? Itís the American version of a Swedes running naked out of the sauna and into the frigid Nordic air. You are alive and invigorated; you dress in shorts sandals and maybe one of your coolest Hawaiian shirts for your trip to the garden center. It has the makings of a wonderful summer dayóuntil you step outside and are punched in the stomach by the sweltering ninety-degree heat accompanied by the eighty per-cent humidityóremember, itís not the heat, itís the humidity.
By the end of the day you have been attacked by insects, given yourself a headache, youíve changed clothes six times, lost nine pounds sweating behind the lawnmower, gained it back drinking two-year-old beer from the fridge in the garage and accumulated enough dirt under your fingernails to start a bean garden.
Finally as you lay awake in your bed too exhausted to sleep and throbbing from the combination of insect bites and aching muscles, you gain a measure of relief only in the knowledge that cooler weather, fall and football season is right around the corner.