We are in the dog days of summer here. I look forward to the sun sinking down past the horizon where its stinging rays can’t touch me. How many summer days have I felt that same way?
I remember summers without air conditioning when the mercury would rise past 100. Laughing we called into the churning fan blades and listened for the robotic voice that laughed back. Clothes dried on the line almost as quickly as my mom could hang them as we ran back and forth through the sprinkler nearby.
As often as possible my sister and brother-in-law would come over at dinner time and light the grill in an attempt to keep the heat outside the house as much as possible. Sitting at the picnic table Dad had made we laughed and told stories as we cooked and ate together.
As soon as night fell we would slip out the front door and Mom would sit on the front steps. We would catch lightning bugs until all our energy was used up. Then we would sit alongside Mom watching cars whizzing up and down the highway down the block, listening to bragging teenaged boys shooting hoops across the street at the park, and looking up into the star filled night.
I know those days were miserable. I remember the clock with metal rays shooting out from its face making it look like the blazing sun itself. Candle holders flanked that clock on either side. I can still picture the candles wilting as the blistering day wore on until finally the candles looked like they had made a U-turn and were heading down the wall most likely in an effort to get out of that hot, hot house.
The heat was stifling, and we were packed in that place like sardines. Miserable. Yet that isn’t how I remember it. Not how I remember it at all.
Memories of hot summer days Western Kansas paint my Bigger Picture this week.