A Mystery
Fireworks at Sea

The Downslope of Summer

Aug 2, 2016
Hangin' Out on the River

So it's August. We're on the downslope of summer; the dog days. Back to school commericials abound.The cicadas are singing the blues, looking for love (or at least sex) and trying to avoid the cicada killer wasps.

The weather is changeable. Heat waves and thunderstorms are followed by more reasonable warm and dry days with cool nights. The most doggish of the dog days drives me back into the gym and onto the treadmill; but I still walk outside when it's not too hot. I hear the excessive heat warnings directed to small children and elders, and realize that I'm on the cusp of the latter and should probably pay attention.

My mother hated August. It meant fall was right around the corner, when everything would die and the evenings would be dark instead of golden. She used to quote my Aunt Helena and say, "I'll never see another spring!"

For me as a kid, August meant school uniforms, new saddle shoes, notebooks, binders full of blank paper, pens and pencils, a compass and protractor. I liked that part -- the getting ready. I wasn't as crazy about the actual going back to school.

In August, Pop's garden was full of beans (lima and string), tomatoes, and way too many cucumbers. Sweet corn with butter and salt was the best treat, at least until the popsicle man jangled his bells.

For me now, August is a gate. So long, summer; hello, fall. Now, sweet corn and ripe tomatoes; soon, crisp apples and pumpkin pie. The long days will fade and night will come early.

But it's still summer and the sunlight hangs around until 8:00, more or less. I know -- let's go to the pool!