Whirring away in the background is the refrigerated air conditioner which makes life, if not possible, at least more likely. Don’t misread that word—that’s likely, not lively. Summertime in Texas is not for the faint hearted. We have our jokes about the trees learning to whistle for the dogs because of the dry weather, but nothing you can say about the heat is all that funny. Yes, in the summertime a seat belt buckle can brand a person’s body. And breaking down on the highway during the summer is grounds for calling out the Highway Patrol.
So, what’s so great about summer in Texas? Well, besides the lakes and the fishing and boating and water skiing and the fireworks and—oh, the usual summer stuff. . .
But summer has a redeeming quality that balances out the mosquitoes and the dad gummed love bugs. If we get just a bit of rain and the tractor stays in good working order, we can plant a fall garden. The summer gardens in nearby Charlie and Thornberry grow some of the best produce ever to please a palate; but a fall garden is a thing of delight. Planted out back where the dogs chase the rabbits, we can have cucumbers and squash until first frost. By then the turnips will have taken a good growth and be snuggled down to do their best to tempt us.
After the garden produce, just about the best thing summer promises is a change of weather in the fall. Apples and pears begin to come off and the children start going back to school. But better than fruit and a quiet house is the cooler weather, the crisp mornings that make the horses kick up their heels, and the frost lined leaves that cling to the branches. Even coffee tastes better in the fall.
Summertime used to be good for hours of reading. But the hiss and whirr of air conditioning have a tendency to make me sleepy. Or maybe it is just my age. If I were still young, maybe planting a spring garden would have made more sense than spending 82 cents per cucumber this summer. It’s not like I would have had to can all those cukes into dill pickles the way I did years ago. And instead of tomato sauce, an excess of tomatoes would just mean the grandchildren would have had more ammunition for a tomato fight.
Yes, I suppose summer is a pretty good part of life. It means the grandchildren can come for visits; the dogs can be bathed outside; the birds can raise their young; and iced tea can have fresh mint leaves from the yard. I guess the seasons are about right. No sense complaining—fall is on the way.