Summer Heat: it’s going to get worse before it gets better…
I needed to get back to the Bungalow for my sanity’s sake! Here I am to dust off the furniture, open the windows and let the light in! I brought flowers, new books, some wine and more stories. Hello Bungalow, I missed you!
I am back to my sanctuary leaving behind the drag of the summer, yes, because summer is not all that sunny and festive for me. Oh no no, Florida is (in) a state of continuous burning, it’s like you are inside an oven all the time (I’ve never been inside one but this might be how it feels like). I don’t even want to talk about tropical storms and mosquitoes. Except that I will.
First advice: have an umbrella handy and check the weather several times a day. The expression “When it rains, it pours” is what happens literally. Just don’t get mad, be prepared! After all, it’s summer in Florida. And having a pair of flip-flops in the car doesn’t hurt anyone.
The Symphony of the Damned, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood mosquitoes
You shouldn’t leave the door of your house open, unless having your blood sucked dry by mosquitoes doesn’t bother you. It’s really uncomfortable especially when you are trying to make dinner, as it often happens to me. Sort of everyday, actually (dinner, not getting bitten by mosquitoes). Worse still, it’s when you are having dinner and the real attack for food happens under the table. It’s so bizarre: making or having a meal while I AM a meal.
I leave the house as if I am running from a fire. The only difference is that I am jumping TO a fire or jumping towards the mouth of a volcano. Different things, same sensation I guess. Arriving home requires the same urgency from escaping the heat and the bloodsuckers. If zombies were chasing me I wouldn’t be that fast. I was caught up once in a bug spray frenzy inside the house. I just couldn’t take it any longer.
I see my plants succumbing to the heat and I sigh in despair. “I love you”, I say, followed by an “I am sorry”. I meant well. I water my plants everyday but it doesn’t seem enough and I swear I wait until the boiling water coming from the hose cools down. My plants would probably break down my door if they were not stuck in the soil, grab me and make me go through the same ordeal. Hopefully they would have mercy and not water me with boiling water. Maybe.
Summer is especially challenging if you have kids that are not in camp, which is my case. Let’s say you want to take them to a park and it’s 10:00am already. Forget it. This is the tough early morning choice: staying in bed or hitting the park. Something’s gotta give. You know that the kids will dehydrate in minutes and could get burned in any sizzling playground unless they are wearing asbestos outfits. This is out of the question so it’s a no-no. The most annoying thing about not having your kids in camp is having to deal with the other kids that ARE in camp and invade all the places you take yours. The place will be crowded but at least it will be easy to spot your sweeties: they are among the few ones not wearing summer camp t-shirts.
So, how can you cope with summer with no-campers? Oh, there are several options:
ANY PLACE INDOORS WITH AC (self-explanatory)
Good luck with that!
Movie theater: it gets old pretty fast for me (sort of after the first time) and it can be expensive (remember, a movie is not a movie without popcorn etc). Note: You know that the concessions are for movie theaters what the service department is for the car dealerships. This is how they make money. And I believe that our brains are wired to think “movie = popcorn”, period. You can’t go to the movies without buying a gigantic bucket of popcorn. I can’t. Well, you can but you shouldn’t, ok? Don’t mess up with one of the natural laws of entertainment.
But there are free movies or $1 movies in the summer, you may say. Yes, and that’s great! The catch: the movie starts at 10:00 am (again the dreadful choice: stay or not stay in bed?). The movie is not a new release, which for me it’s better because I will take a nap anyway… Granted, I took my daughter two weeks ago to see “The Wizard of Oz” and, no doubt, it was a better experience than watching it at home. I only missed some parts in the end. “There is no place like home”. I couldn’t wait to get home too, Dorothy, but I had a nice nap.
Total disgrace. If you a masochist, go ahead. There is nothing better for you. Go when the kids are hungry. Double-dip in disgrace.
You can go refresh yourself below the Equator or where the thermometer is kind to you. Usually summer it’s the time to grab my kids and go to Brazil (it’s winter there) but this year going there didn’t even cross my mind… Violence and chaos in Rio, Olympics and political issues, president impeached, Zika & friends, cost of living… Too much of bad stuff going on. More than the average. So, thank you very much, but no thanks… As far as I know, people want to get out of Brazil, why should I be doing the opposite? I miss my family and friends but better days will come (here and there) I just can’t handle it at this moment. Skype on them!!
PLACES WITH WATER
The beach, the pools, waterparks, sprinklers parks, anything with water. This is the best option for me. Disneyworld? I spit on the face of whoever suggests or think this is a good idea (ok, I will not do this but I will make a mental note on my “persona non grata” book. You are done in my life, my “friend”. You want to see me suffer). Are you out of your mind? You walk, walk, WALK and face endless lines for the rides, under a blaring sun and get dizzy and all you see is scarlet and sweaty faces and hanging heads of unconscious babies in their strollers (they are the lucky ones). You feel as your clothes are in flames and the hat you are wearing (I hope) is a plug for a geyser forming inside your brain. Trust me, your mood will change drastically for the worse, and not even magic can save that.
The beach has its surprises and I am not talking about speedos and tiny bikinis in dimpled bodies (I’m from Brazil, remember?). I’m talking about the extreme characteristics of some habitués. The first shock is caused by the leathery looking individuals. Walking implosions of melanin. This people are blazing – or glazing would be a better word – and they look so familiar… Snap! You find out when you expect them to lay in a giant plate next to a side of ranch dressing.
The other kind almost makes you tearful… You shake your head, low down your eyes because you know the outcome. The painful outcome of a day in the sun for that raw-whole-chicken skin. It even looks cold to the touch. No matter how many times that meat will be blanched in the ocean, the sun will not be forgiving and that will make you sad. And the recipient of UV rays even sadder.
(Strange how I compared these two types of beachgoers with chicken. I think I’m hungry)
I could go on and on but I don’t want to sound grumpy. I’m having fun with the kids. They deserve some downtime even though it’s at my expense. And by downtime, I don’t mean video games, ok? Let’s just say they are playing a little bit… more. That’s all, nothing out of control. I take them to places and hang out with them. I can manage a smile when I hear “What are we going to do today?”. I am trembling inside, divided by feelings of confusion and despair but they don’t need to know that. I courageously suggest the Zoo anyway. I am not a wimp. When in hell better hug the devil, as we say in Brazil.
In reality I am just happy for returning to the Bungalow amid the chaos of my unscheduled and unpredictable summer with kids. Inside here the temperature is always good and I am in a good mood. If I just got carried away writing this post is because I had fun writing it. I just hope it doesn’t rub people in the wrong way, especially if their skin is sun-drenched.
I do like some aspects of summer but I admit that I am more a spring kind of person. Or fall. Winter for a change – I mean Florida winter – is good, too. In regards to summer heat, though, there is still more room to get worse before it gets better… And the better I am referring to is fall.