As I sit here in my hoodie and long pants, the question on this first day of summer remains, “Summer begins?” For days, we’ve been in a weather cycle of cool temps, scattered drizzles, and no sun until mid-afternoon. Does that sound like summer?
Granted our daisies are blooming. Today Bob found buds on some of our hostas. The geraniums are loaded with blossoms. And believe it or not, our Christmas cactus now residing on our back deck is setting buds. The plants obviously believe summer is here.
I’m sorry, but it doesn’t feel like summer yet. Not long ago we had temps in the upper 90s. We turned our furnace off. The mornings have been crisp and cool, so I’ve kickstarted the furnace to take the edge off.
Summer comes every year. I know that in my mind and heart, but I want to see it, feel it, be outside in it. And in August or September, I’ll likely be begging for a cool down.
Oregon is HOT in our neck of the woods. Usually, summer days aren’t filled with temperatures nearing 100 or humidity starting the day at 70% or more. We’re accustomed to average summer temps in the low to mid 80’s, low humidity, and nights cooling down into the 60s or even high 50s.
Mornings now you can hear the sounds of neighbors doing what you’re doing–opening windows and doors to let the cool morning air in. At our place, in Meyers Woods, this will keep the house cool throughout the day with the help of shade from our old growth firs and cedars.
Many older homes in the area have no air conditioning. Oregonians are somewhat complacent thinking that global warming isn’t going to affect the Pacific NW. Best we think again, dear neighbors!
But global warming and current days are not my subject matter today. I want to talk about…
Back in the day, the 1950s.
There was no evidence of air conditioning in any of the homes on our block. None anywhere we knew about. But people fared the summer weather without a hitch.
I grew up in Nashville, TN. The south offers a hot summer for the most part. The humidity can often be as high as the temperature. Mosquitoes are everywhere.
Unlike Oregon and the NW, summer nights in Tennessee didn’t cool off much. But I didn’t mind. I counted lightning bugs and stars until Mama or Daddy called us at bedtime.
Monday was wash day at our house, and Mama laundered sheets and pillowcases. A favorite activity was handing her the clothespins, or some call them clothes pegs, for hanging the wash.
Going to bed with air-dried linens made summer nights a delight!
Hot Nights Meant Bedtime Delight.
Windows were open as far as they would go. Hopes were high for a slight breeze or a hefty draft blowing through.
I could hear Mama using the Coca-Cola bottle she used to dampen clothes for ironing. This signaled the preparation of cooling sheets, as she called them, for the long, hot night.
Each sheet was dampened as much as she felt necessary to keep us cool enough to fall asleep. When she brought the sheet to you, Mama carefully laid it over you spreading it to its full size.
Now the hope for breezes was at its peak. And as soon as someone felt a breeze, the whole house knew–there was either a long “ahhhhhhhh,” or a giggle, or one big yawn.
It was time to fall asleep and dream dreams.
What memories do you have of hot summer nights?
Perhaps there’s something you’d share with us in the comments below, or perhaps this is good fodder for a short writing piece you’ve been putting off.
Either way, my hope is that it’s not so hot where you are that you can’t sleep! Sweet dreams!
Today’s post is part of a book launch which is near and dear to my heart. Women’s Memoirs hosted seasonal writing contests–Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter–and the winners of these contests are celebrated in the launch of four volumes featuring each Season. It is an honor to be included as a winner in both the Autumn and Winter volumes. I hope you will share this news with writers and readers alike. We believe we have something very special to offer.
Please join me as I celebrate with Women’s Memoirs and the other winners of the various writing contests the launch of four ebooks filled with the best, the most inspiring of hundreds of entries. Knowledge Access Books is the publisher.
Read a review that has already come in:
It is true that each woman is a story waiting to be told–and in this outstanding collection of memoirs you’ll find many wonderful women’s stories. It is also true that each woman’s story is every woman’s story, for we share so many of the same experiences. As I read these stories [in Seasons of Our Lives], I am reading bits and pieces from my own life, and I am inspired to write my own with a more passionate and compassionate heart. I hope you are, too” ~ Susan Wittig Albert, NYT bestselling author of China Bayles mysteries, Writing from Life, Together, Alone: Memoir, and other books
Will you help congratulate these talented women by getting the word out about their stories and the special Amazon savings available for a limited time (see below)? We think the readers of your website or blog will find these 100 stories inspiring and we hope you will consider mentioning their publication on February 1st. Why that date?
For 53 hours, beginning February 1 at 8 am PST, all four volumes will be available for just $.99 each through Amazon’s Kindle Store–that’s 76% off. The price will increase by $1 each 53 hours until it reaches the regular price of $3.99 each.
Memories, Memoirs. Stories of our lives. Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett, award-winning authors themselves and co-founders of Women’s Memoirs, invited women to submit personal vignettes about the seasons of their lives. Sweet stories. Sad stories. Joyful stories. Poignant stories. The small stories that make up our days, our lives. Hundreds of stories were read and evaluated. The best of these, the award-winning stories, are included in the four volumes of Seasons of Our Lives: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring (see links below to these four volumes).
BONUS: Each real life story concludes with a takeaway from the editors–takeaways that will help readers reflect on the seasons of their own lives. And if your readers are interested in creating a legacy of their family or personal stories, these takeaways are designed to help write more dynamically and powerfully so that they can proudly share their own life seasons with family, friends and even more widely.
Thanks for reading and spreading
the word any way you can,
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