Thursday, August 9, 2012

dog days

For my friends who work at schools or are in school, summer is pretty much over.  For the rest of us, these are the dog days.

One hot day after another.

Not my favorite, but for sure they have it worse in the south.  I like to think that some of the best poetry from that part of the country was written while swinging on porch swings and drinking sweet tea underneath hulking oak trees.

It seems like such a nice way to sweat against one's will.  

Thankfully, lots of things have distracted me from being uncomfortably warm.  I'm not talking about the 21 bug bites I'm currently nursing (ugh!), but I am talking about these sweet faces eating ice cream:

My sister and sister-in-laws love sending me pictures of their kids, and this auntie loves to receive them.

And who doesn't love frozen treats on a hot day?

I'm also talking about eating corn dogs and pulled pork nachos, and visiting our favorite young friends at the county fair.  They shook drinks at the lemonade stands, showed livestock in the 4H barns, performed at Medina's Got Talent, and walked around with their other young friends.  With every boy and girl I saw holding hands, I was reminded of my teenage summers in the northwest.  The music of INXS, Crowded House, Cutting Crew, Belinda Carlisle, George Michael, U2, and Swing Out Sister were all present.

Boy crushes and banana clips.

Iced Americanos with a hint of coconut are a summer staple for me and are as delicious a distraction as roasted marshmallows and watermelon, and planning a girls night out for my youth girls.  My friend, Emily (also a youth leader), hosted our most recent gathering at her parents' property.  We laughed the night away with movies, pizza, impromptu photo sessions, s'mores made over a barbecue grill (local burn ban), funny stories, and dream sequences involving guys from a certain band called One Direction.

The girls like downloading free Apps on my phone and often borrow it for that purpose.  I don't mind, though inevitably, I end up with mugs like these in my photo album:

Surprising our roommate with a trip to a friend's stables was another summer highlight.  Seeing her face light up with elation was so great.  We affectionately call Amanda, "The Animal Whisperer" because she has a special way with them.  All of them.  Amanda connected with each horse in each stall, and even got them to respond to her classic horse impersonation.

When you hear it, you'll never forget it.

Evenings spent outside, while listening to crickets and a Motown playlist, are definitely worth a mention.  Especially when they involve Italian food made by an Italian, pink sunsets, smokey campfires, moonlit rides on a John Deere Gator, and late night stories beneath a string of white lights.

Paper fans in sweaty hands
Shooing flies away
Reflections on a porch
A shelter from the scorch
When dog days came around
- Atlanta Rhythm Section

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