Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Can't Take The Heat?

I find myself reluctant to blog during the heat. We live in a century house with no air conditioning, which really isn't much of problem in northeast Ohio except for a week or two a year when the air is so humid you can barely breathe. It's difficult to move around. Cool showers twice a day help, but getting work done is a chore.

Today we woke to find cooler temperatures and I'm reminded of growing up without air conditioning. We didn't think twice about it. Nobody had it. Mom kept big oscillating fans in the kitchen and living room and we stood within inches after an afternoon in the sun, our hands sticky from a cherry Popsicle drip. Glasses of iced Kool-Aid sweat on our shorts. Hair pulled up into ponytails, our sunburned faces knew nothing about sun block. It was the 'sixties and we didn't give a flip about anything other than the next cold bottle of pop and maybe a trip to the local swimming hole.

Sitting here now in my old house with the bees and hornets swarming around the porch, I listen to the sound of summer's wavy heat floating through the screen door. I can't get away from it, I can only drown it out with a fan or two. By the time the trash truck picks up last weeks bags, the cicadas will join in with the bees. I watch the pond evaporate before my eyes. Time for iced tea and egg salad. Heat does a number on my appetite. And my worth ethic. My computer generates too much heat, becomes my typical excuse.

But ... then ... I'm reminded of the summers of my youth, when not even the heat could stop us from building tents over clotheslines and riding miles on our bikes to explore new frontiers. We never thought twice about sex offenders or that there was such a thing. Life was good and sweet and we had not a care or a worry in the world. Not even a skinned knee could stop us from a trip to the store where an electric Coca-Cola sign was the swinging door between worlds. A hand full of Pixie Sticks and cooling green bottles in a metal box was all it took to forget about the oppressive heat.

Since it's cooler today, I'll pound out a few pages. But my mind wants to listen to the giggles of girls, their secrets and their dreams. This next novel is in full swing, and I find that often part of the writing process is allowing your characters to take shape off the page first. This summer's heat is a good excuse to do just that.

Blessings to you and yours.

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