Tag Archives: Summer

Rainy Days

(From May)

We had some rainy days this week.  I’m sure that all the students still in school at this time of year found it a lot easier to be there with the outdoor alternative being so moist.  As someone who spent a lot of my school years looking out the window, I can attest to the torture of being in school on beautiful May days.

School will be out soon, and with it will come a summer of freedom for a lot of kids.  For some there will be summer school or various types of camps or summer programs to enrich minds, strengthen bodies, and in some cases, take care of child care normally provided during the school year.

When I was a lad, things were somewhat different. 

Summer school was not optional for me, as my time spent looking out the window during the school year seems to have deterred my learning ability.  Summer school allowed me to get caught up.  I didn’t mind it, though.  It was only in the morning, and didn’t start as early as regular school.  And, for some reason, instead of milk in the morning we got orange drink produced at the dairy that sent milk during the school year.  It was the best orange drink ever.

Other than the few weeks of summer school, and family vacations, my time was my own.  I filled it with baseball, bike riding, and television, mostly.  As I got older I expanded into the area of trying to be where girls were, in the event that one would take an interest in me.  Inter-gender socializing was not my strong suit.

I had some jobs to do around the house, but I didn’t get “a job” until the summer of my senior year.  I probably missed out on having a stronger work ethic because of that, but I also had more time to just be a kid.  Since we end up working for most of our lives, that time off was a good thing.

I think about summers from those days when the weather turns warmer.  Certain smells and sights trigger strong memories of that time.  Mowed grass, fresh tar, and the rich green of the summer leaves.

Things have changed.  For safety sake, children have less freedom to get on their bikes and go.  Baseball is mostly a supervised activity.  Oh, and then there are video games.  Enough said.

I hope the students in school now make it safely to the end of the term, and have the chance to enjoy some freedom this summer.  It will help get them through a lot of rainy days as the years go by.

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Filed under 2016

Down a Quart

Summer is a wonderful time of year to be outside.  It’s warm, breezy, and the days are long.  Of course, there is one little tiny thing.  Actually, lots of little tiny things.  Mosquitoes.

Thanks to the oversupply of rain this summer, we’ve been cursed with more mosquitoes than most people can remember.  Although, it’s hard to remember anything while you’re itching and scratching from head to toe.  Especially between your toes. 

The authorities make the brilliant suggestion to avoid getting mosquito bites, due to the potential of acquiring various diseases.  Among the worst are encephalitis, West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.  We only have the first two around here, but the point is, mosquitoes are very good at sucking diseased blood out of someone or something and injecting it into someone else.

The problem is, avoiding getting mosquito bites is more easily said than done.  The chemical that goes by the name of “deet” does a pretty good job of keeping mosquitoes away, but it also does a good job of getting into our eyes and lungs.  There’s nothing like a cocktail of mosquito repellant, sunscreen and sweat to make your eyes sting.

Some people say that taking vitamin B1 causes us to be unappetizing to mosquitoes.  I’ve never tried it, but somehow I have my doubt that the solution could be that simple.  I may buy some, though, because if it works, it would be a great discovery.

The other option is to avoid mosquitoes.  The easiest way to do that is to move to San Diego.  Other than that, you can stay inside, assuming that nobody ever comes or goes from your house, since the most temporary opening of a door will let in a dozen of the little buggers. 

Since mosquitoes are attracted by vapors we emit (I won’t go into detail), you can also remain motionless at all times.  Frankly, I think they’d figure it out eventually, and you’d be a casualty of their little proboscises, poking through your epidermis (translation: pointy things poking into your skin).

Fortunately for us, we live in a part of the world where malaria and dengue fever are not a worry, though a couple of cases of dengue fever have been reported in Key West this year.  From what people say, people who survive dengue fever report it as being extraordinarily painful.  It makes a few days of itching seem pretty minor.

If we have a few dry weeks, perhaps the mosquito problem will become less of one.  If not, the only hope for us is an early, hard frost, which will also mean the end to our vegetable gardens and flowers, so that’s not something we want to wish for.

I’ve found that it’s helpful to try to put a good spin on things that don’t seem to have an up-side.  To that end, I’d like to suggest that we look at the mosquito infestation as the newest diet plan.  An hour outside may result in the loss of a pound’s worth of blood.  And, not only that, but you’ll also feel too weak to eat when you crawl back into the house in search of calamine and Benydryl.

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Filed under 2010

Summer of our Discontent

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Filed under 2009