I really don't like summer in Georgia. *sigh* I'm not particularly fond of winter either, but that's beside the point. I absolutely love spring and especially fall :), but I have never liked the weather that accompanies that season between the Summer Soltice and the Autumnal Equinox. Actually, unfortunately the "summer-like weather" in Georgia is not confined between the above recognized distinctions of the solar year.
Actually, I have a very love-hate relationship with summer. The association is not all bad. I passed one quarter of my youth during that season. Summer has always been the season I most look forward to in the sense of extra freedom from school responsibilities (as a student, teacher, or tutor). I like Father Dear being home more (though he does usually teach something during the summer), and I love visiting friends and relatives. I like wearing lightweight cotton dresses, and I love going barefoot or with sandals and not having to worry about covering my feet from the cold. I love waking up early for a walk and not bundling up despite the early hour.
The rest of my associations with summer are mostly bad. I really don't like summer weather, at least the weather that accompanies the summer here in the South. The last few weeks I've been aware of a few of the signs that summer is indeed soon to come upon us.
(1) The Humidity
The humidity is back. If you don't understand what I mean by that, I envy you. Georgia feels like a swamp during the summer - a very hot one. I don't mind dry heat, but I don't tolerate heat + humidity well at all. Think of a spa. All day long. Or a sauna. Ick.
It is not a pleasant experience to air dry 40 inches of hair when the atmosphere is already bursting with moisture; it's sort of like walking around in a cloud for an entire day.
(2) The Mosquitoes
I discovered my first bug bites of the year this morning: two on my left foot, and one on my left ankle. I must have acquired them during my lengthy visit to the local park on Sunday. Georgia is practically a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and I try not to find myself outdoors in the evenings without ample coverage or strong bug spray. Unfortunately mosquitos really like me, while many bug sprays don't get along well with my skin.
My record for bugbites was just over 240 in 4 hours, one hot and muggy summer evening with some Dear Friends (the Trues and Freemans) in a backyard with ample foliage - read "mosquito breeding ground". Yes, for those of you with a mathematical bent, that was a rate of just over one bite/minute. I also discovered through that experience that Caladryl should not be applied constantly and, in fact, over-application of Caladryl can irritate one's legs more so even than a surplus of 100 bites/leg.
(3) The Sun
This Sunday I got my first real taste of sun-dodging for the year. We had a picnic after church at a local park, and the sun was out and beating down on us, so I donned an ankle-length skirt, a light-weight long sleeved blouse, and a wide-brimmed hat. I then quickly headed for the shade of a large tree, where our party was picnicking :).
Those who know me well know that I work very hard every summer to keep up my ghostly-pale complexion :-D. The last time I went to the beach was 2 summers ago with my Dear Friend Emily and her Dear Family. We were there for 4 days and I used an entire family-sized bottle of sunscreen by myself. But I didn't get sunburned! In fact I returned from Florida just as pale as when I went - mission accomplished!
Some of you may laugh at my antics to avoid the sun, but then you probably don't have the same level of melanin in your skin that I have in mine - practically zilch. I don't tan, as I try to explain to people; I just burn. I can get pink from the sun after 15 minutes under partial clouds. By the way, did you know that on a typically-cloudy day, 80% of the sun's rays still get through??? People laugh when I say this until they see my pink-tinged skin after I've spent an afternoon in cloudy weather with one or two sunscreen applications. *sigh*
For those of you gasping that I had the audacity to just color part of my text in red given, (a) my pinkish-purplish blog color scheme, and (b) the purplish text immediately preceding it, it's okay, calm down. I was merely trying to associate colors with each of the three signs I listed, and unfortunately red was the best choice for the part on sunburns. I recognize that there are times to couple colors that are otherwise to be kept apart. Even I sometimes wear red and pink together on Valentine's Day. . .
So yes, summer is coming, as evidenced by various signs I have been dreading. But then, as Mother Dear just pointed out to me amidst my typing, if we didn't have summer, we couldn't appreciate the other seasons as much :). And I am looking forward to a long break from teaching and tutoring. . .
What signs of summer have you witnessed recently?