‘The season winds down while I’m still winding up’
I was on the phone with my mother the other day, discussing the fact that most of the 2016 championship-winning Cubs players had been traded — one, my fave, Javier Baez, is now playing for the Mets — when we interrupted our solving of the world’s problems with a big…heavy…sigh.
We didn’t even need to ask each other what the sigh was for. It was August, after all.
If June is spiked with the thrill of Friday-like expectation, and July is packed with the pleasures of an endless Saturday, then August is tinged with Sunday’s bittersweet longing.
It’s like when you were a kid and you were doing your homework at the dining-room table while Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color was playing in the next room. It was Sunday night. Where on earth did the weekend go?
Well, picture a whole month when you feel like that, and you’ve got August. August makes you realize that summer is about to slip through your fingers, and you haven’t gotten around to doing a whole bunch of summery things you’d been looking forward to since — well, since last summer.
I don’t know about you, but I have a veritable Leaning Tower of summer reading left to go. A drawer full of shiny skewers that never once made a kabob. Fancy napkins printed with flamingos and lobsters that have yet to cradle a cocktail. And don’t get me started on the white bucks that didn’t once make it out of the closet after Memorial Day. At least now I won’t have to put them away after Labor Day.
I suppose there are plenty of people who really don’t like summer. They can’t handle heat, say. Humidity does weird things to their hair. Or maybe they get twitchy lying in a hammock. (Not my Dad, mind you. That’s him looking super summery-relaxed in the photo at the top of this story.) Incidentally, guess how many times we hung up our hammock this summer? If you guessed “zero” you win an extra ear of sweet corn.
But I’m not one of them. I adore summer. The heat, even the humidity. The mad racket of the birds at 5:00 in the morning. Cooking dinner outside every night, clutching a pair of tongs in one hand and a cocktail in the other.
The fact that I can dash outside any old time and not layer on the sweaters and coats. Heck, I don’t even mind the traffic (much), since I refuse to participate; I leave my house by car just once a week to do my “vector:” dump, IGA/post office/liquor store, then home.
I could go on and on about what I love about summer and how August makes me realize there’s not that much of it left to love. But I really need to get back outside with a glass of iced tea and whatever’s on top of my Leaning Tower of books.
Here’s hoping your week is full of corn and tomatoes and sandy shoes and the scent of Coppertone. Oh, and board games if you find yourself indoors with people you love.
Amagansett, New York. August 2021