Summer Too Soon

Late on the afternoon of May 25, I broke one of the Ivey family’s cardinal rules (“No air conditioning before Memorial Day or after Labor Day”).

Somehow I just couldn’t stop myself.  Despite wick-away clothing and a wet washcloth pinned around my neck and attic fans and ceiling fans and floor fans all going full speed, I couldn’t get cool.

All I could think about was the advice a friend from the deep, deep South—coastal Mississippi, to be precise–once gave me.  “When you’re ready to file for divorce, put the kids up for adoption and take the dog on the one-way trip to the vet, it’s time to turn on the air.  It doesn’t matter if it’s only February.”

So I did it.  Shut the windows tight, flipped the switch on the thermostat from OFF to COOL and sat down in front of the open refrigerator to wait.  Within half an hour, my attitude had done a one-eighty.  I felt energized enough to plop down in front of my computer to jot down a few reflections about the weather of 2012.  I herewith share those reflections with you:
One of the best things about a mild winter is having a woodshed still half-full for
next fall.

And not having to take never-worn wool coats and sweaters to the dry cleaner.

And a surplus of hay in the barn loft.

With no dogwood winter at all and a blackberry winter that was barely a blip on the screen, the ancient pear trees in my yard didn’t get nipped even the least
little bit.  Nor did the trees with the little green apples that are so hard to mow around.

I sowed my zinnias two weeks earlier than usual this year, breaking yet another
Ivey family rule:  Don’t plant annuals until Mother’s Day.  The seeds went in the ground on April 29 and I’m happy to report that the plants are already

So are the tomatoes.

It seems like the lightning bugs appeared earlier than ever before.

Though I wasn’t brave enough to put more than my feet in Center Hill Lake on May 6, my future son-in-law Andrew—here on a visit from Denver–was.  He had a wonderful time behind the boat.  Wonderful enough, I hope, that he might just
decide that water skiing in Tennessee is more fun than snow skiing in Colorado.

Early summer has its downside, too, of course.  If poison ivy was a cash crop, I’d be rich.

Ditto for Virginia Creeper, which is trying its best to totally cover our garage and tool shed.

I hate flies even more than mosquitoes.

The ticks survived the mild winter, too.  And thrived.  Hardly a day goes by that I
don’t find at least one on me.  Sometimes they’re dug in so deep that they have to be surgically removed.  Good thing I live with a surgeon.

And speaking of surgeons, George has seen more patients with mysterious-looking warts and moles this spring than ever before.  Most of which turned out to be ticks.

And speaking of hardly a day going by without seeing something, I can’t remember the last time I made it through a day without at least one snake encounter.  From the cute little green snake who hangs out near my back stoop to the garter snake napping in the flower bed to the big-boy rat snake lurking in the tall pasture grass, they’re everywhere.  Except, so far, inside my house.  Knock on wood.  Hard.

(June 3, 2012)









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