From: Checking Off My Summer List, Part One More
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Summer in Northwest Montana goes by in a blur. One breezy, sparkling day, a season I call “late spring” emerges out of the weeks of rain, mud, fog, and false starts. I’m ogling the blossomy landscaping at our McDonald’s drive-through and thinking that this must be the prettiest corner of the prettiest region in the US. We’ve arrived, and I vow to hold on to each day so that the months don’t flip by quite so quickly. But then after just a couple family visits, an out-of-town trip, several smoky days we hope will go away, and some weeks of tourist-packed traffic, we’re suddenly back to new teacher training at my job. And then I see the back-to-school supplies at WalMart. And finally—the death knell for summer—come the first crimson leaves that signal we’re about to enter that other season, that one that is unpredictably glorious, and we hope long, but always the gateway into weeks of bleak indoor weather.
With a timeframe like this, those of us who have moved here because the lush woods and mountains drew us like powerful magnets have some things to get done in our spare time. We rebuke ourselves each sunny day that we’re indoors, especially when it’s not too hot (the sun out here is brutal) or threatening rain. I tend to have a mental summer checklist of things that need to happen by mid-September, because I’m lucky if October is hospitable enough for such things. I’d say I’ve done a fairly good job of covering the list this summer, with time to spare for more:More
City Journal editor Brian Anderson joins Vanessa Mendoza, executive vice president of the Manhattan Institute, for our second annual discussion of Brian’s summer and vacation reading list. Summer is upon us, and the City Journal editors are ready for some vacation. We asked Brian to tell us what books he’s taking with him to the beach this year and why. […]
I’m reading some vintage Peter Mayle this summer. I just finished Hotel Pastis. It’s a treasure – crime, romance, humor, wine, a new career, what’s not to like? It would be a great movie. It seems some famous married producer/director couple almost made it a movie, but didn’t – so there’s still an opportunity. I […]
Our local Jazz station which is a favorite – WSBZ 106.3 The “Seabreeze”, seems to being going Muzak.. I love Jazz, old, new and anything in-between. I’ve discovered new artists like Jesse Cook and Damien Escobar on this station. I have Duke Ellington’s Greatest Hits on CD – it puts me in an instantly happy […]
After a mild few months, summer heat finally hit Phoenix this week. No return of our record-breaking 122°F; yesterday was a balmy 111°. The show “King of the Hill” best expressed non-Arizonans’ view of the Valley of the Sun.
Bobby: 111 degrees?! Phoenix really can’t be that hot, can it? (steps out of car) Oh my God, it’s like standing on the sun!
Few people I know like the heat of a Florida summer. In fact, if people say they enjoy it, we assume they have a screw loose. Part of the culture requires that you complain about the heat at least once in a conversation. And when summer starts early, as it seems to have this year (today it will be 98 degrees), the moaning and groaning are cacophonous.
So, I commiserate with others on the weather; it’s always a good conversation opener. When I meet someone new or am not feeling fully awake, the weather is always a reliable topic. And something we can all agree on.More
City Journal editor Brian Anderson joins Vanessa Mendoza, executive vice president of the Manhattan Institute, to discuss Brian’s summer and vacation reading list. Summer is traditionally a time when Americans can catch up on books that they’ve been meaning to read (or reread). We asked Brian to talk about what books are on his list this year, how […]
The high of summer in Cambodia is marked by the Khmer New Year in mid-April. It’s a time when the entire country collectively sweats. Women in their fine silk and lace go to the monasteries and welcome the New Year in the searing heat. However, underneath all the sweltering heat, there is a very heady, sweet tropical aroma lingering in the air; the peak of the mango season is almost upon us.
Mango is the quintessential tropical summer fruit. I’ve mentioned before on this page that I grew up on an orchard. To be precise, I grew up on a mango orchard, and many childhood memories are associated with this fruit. With the arrival of spring in late January, the blossoms would bloom on the mango trees. The sweet fragrance of the flowers would attract insects. We’d gather dried leaves and grass around the bases of the trees and light fire to keep the insects away. By late March, as the temperature begins to rise and the budding mangoes continue to grow, there is a slight change in the air and so arrive the “mango rains.” Mangoes begin to fall from the trees, marking the arrival of the pre-monsoon rainfall. These “mango rains”, also referred to as “summer showers,” are just light sprinkles in the afternoon, but sometimes they do turn into several hours of downpour. But without the rains, the crop won’t thrive; the rains help in the early ripening of the mangoes. After the rainfall, we would gather all the fallen green mangoes and pickle them whole. Khmers love eating sour fruits, especially mangoes, pickled or fresh. If you ever visit Cambodia, you’d see fruit vendors selling sour fruits on every street corner, all over the country. We eat those fruits dipped in a mixture of salt, sugar, and chili. Our pickled mangoes never lasted until the next season.More
My last post was about summer while I was growing up in Arkansas during which I made plenty of great memories. Now that I’ve been up here in Montana for several years, I’ve made quite a few Montana summer memories.
I moved to Montana in June of 2014. The day I left Arkansas, there was a heat index of 120 with 90-some-odd-percent humidity. I loaded up the U-Haul with the help of several friends, stuck the cat in his pet taxi, booted up an audiobook, and set off on my great trek across the country. I drove up to Sioux Falls, SD the first day and was delighted with the much cooler temperatures. I drove to Gillette, WY on the second day to stay with my handsome now-husband. (@kaladin) Then I finished the journey up to Bozeman on the third day. Terry had already picked us out an apartment on his last leave. Got the truck unloaded, and started to settle in for about a week before the new job started.More
— Why hello, there, sand people. My name’s Amer Maid. What’s yours? The San D. Mann Family? Well, welcome to the neighborhood, guys. What’s that? You’re looking for a place to live? Well, you’ve come to the right person; that’s for sure. I’m the best beachcomber in the area; so if I can’t find you […]
Growing up, I loved summer, especially the two or three weeks with my grandparents; my cousins Judy and Joy would come over, too, and along with helping with household chores, we had plenty of time for fun. There was Little League baseball, shopping trips to Vevay, and the annual “Lawn Fate” [i.e., fête] in Moorefield—a […]
When I was a boy, then teenager, then college student, I quite loathed summers in Indiana. It always seemed like we in the midwest got the worst of all possible worlds weather-wise: Artic, breath-freezing cold in the winter and blast-furnace, lung-dehydrating heat in the winter. There were also tornados in the spring, like the one […]
When I was a kid, the local pool had specific blocks of time in which it was open to the public. A single quarter would get you into one of the two-hour sessions. Despite my extremely sunburn-prone skin, my sister and I often got our mother to let us go for both sessions. There was a 20- to 30-minute break between the two sessions in which we had plenty of time to run two blocks over to the little grocery store and grab some snacks, charging them to Mom’s account. We usually got a Yoo-Hoo and a Moon Pie apiece, snarfed them down as quickly as possible, then ran back to the pool to camp out in the much cooler ladies’ locker room while waiting for the second session to start.
My sister and I lived in the pool as much as possible during the summer. We especially got excited for family reunion time every other June. We got to have three full days in the pool with our distant cousins while the adults visited. Occasionally, I’d be so sunburnt halfway through Day Two that my mother and grandmother would ban me from the pool, so I’d stay indoors with the adults and play cards.More
I haven’t liked summer for ages. Sorry, folks. I’m the guy who is stomping on everyone’s good time. I mean, let’s face it, ever since about high school I’ve hated it. Summer has always been hot and uncomfortable with the guarantee that there’s always a limit to how much of your clothes you can take off and be socially accepted. Not that I’ve tried. That anyone can prove. I’ve experienced dry heat and high humidity and just about all between and I can safely say it’s all bad. All of it.
I hated walking in Minnesota summers that felt like you were swimming in the air, hot and muggy and uncomfortable. I don’t like the high desert summers where the air sucks out every single ounce of moisture in you and brings the temperature in your car up to three digits. It makes people crazy, too. Just ask my totally existing detective friend who notes that all the crazy and stupid crimes go up in the summer. He’s an autumn/winter guy too.More
This “summer” story starts in the winter. In order for one to truly appreciate summer, a wintry time must come first.
Each January afternoon the school bus dropped us off at home, and with great determination, my sister and I would resolve to get right out to the milking barn. The sooner we got to it, the sooner we could be finished. But it was so hard to leave the house…. Our mom always had something baking, like cookies or cinnamon rolls. We’d bring in our chilly chore clothes from the porch off the kitchen, and warm them up by the coal stove.More
The year is 2009, and July has come to Ohio’s Miami Valley, just as I predicted.
It is midday. I am sitting on my back deck, smoking my pipe and frying ants with a magnifying glass. The temperature has climbed into the mid-’90s, and the humidity is unbearable. It’s difficult to tell if I’m breathing or inhaling broccoli soup. Sweat tickles my brow. A grasshopper lands on my face. As usual, my thoughts turn to Leapin’ Lanny Poffo. Will there ever be another like him? To ask the question is to answer it.More
I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as soon as I could.
For me that was the summer of 1979, the year I graduated from college. I drove down to Texas from Michigan with my wife Janet in a brand-new car that lacked air conditioning. (Yes, they still made cars without air conditioning back then when the wooly mammoths still roamed freely.) We learned the joys of Texas 2-55 air conditioning that summer (the two front windows rolled down as you go 55 mph down a Texas highway – it was so long ago the double-nickel speed limit was the law).More
Ah, the first day of summer. And, if you’re a larger-busted woman, the first day of a season not really designed with you in mind. Even if you’re not big-busted, just older, or physically odd in some way, finding attractive but modest summer clothing whose modesty doesn’t draw too much attention to itself can be tough.
There are many causes of bustiness. One is just being heavier. Others are busty even at lower BMIs, and may spend most of their lives trying to wrangle themselves into normal-size clothing, which, especially during sleeveless season can lead to unfortunate spillover effects. Many women already wear the wrong size bra, causing not only discomfort, but needless dowdiness. At least during colder seasons, a dowdy bustline is more covered up. Not so in summer, when high-riding bands and pit-cleavage can escape the confines of clothing for the world to see.More