Monday, June 9, 2014

Almost summer

It's summertime, almost, but don't tell anyone down here in the NE corner of Florida where it has been summertime for some time now. It is so hot and humid it is out of the question to try to do anything outside after sunrise at 6:30 am. So, if it is walking or bike riding or hiking, a headlamp is the most important gear you need for outdoor activities. It is so hot and humid that if you have to do yard work, you slather on the sunscreen and get it done as fast as you can. You may sweat the rest of the day inside with the a/c on. It is so hot and humid that you wake up and step outside and think you are in a steam room. It seems like a half hour before the car a/c can cool the car down. And then there are the bugs. My wife has a sensitivity to many of them. This is yellow fly season, there is always a season for something. If she gets a yellow fly bite she swells up like she has a small melon under her skin. She itches, and feels miserable for days. Benadryl is her best friend. So she has another reason to spend these pre-summertime days inside.

Then there is the sunscreen which I have already mentioned. We have become sunscreen addicts. We shout to each other, did you remember to put on sunscreen? Florida is the sunscreen state. At least, there is no shortage of dermatologists here. We have had spots burned, biopsied and surgeried off. But, we can't blame Florida for that! That was from pre-Florida sun abuse. It's ironic that now that we are here we are told by our doctor to make sure we avoid the sun!

And then there are the summer storms which arrive nearly daily. Thunderous thunder, dazzling flashes of lightening, and plenty of rain, as our neighbor says, "it flat laid down a bunch of rain." To put it mildly. The yards flood, roads are under water and some of the older septic tanks fill up with water and you can't flush the toilets for days. The rain brings out the frogs which bark joyfully all night long after a storm. They crawl up the windows so you can see their little feet when you look outside. They are on your car when you go out in the morning. Sometimes they jump in when you open the door and they are so quick they hide themselves before you can show them the way out. You know something they don't: the daytime temperature inside a parked car is not hospitable to frogs or humans.

Florida is not a deep state. The whole state could have a sign out at the border that says: Clean Fill Wanted. There is not enough ground to dig a basement if you wanted one.  The other day a man stopped at the house and said he noticed we did not have gutters on our house. True, most Floridians don't. You know, he said, houses here are built on sandstone. When you get uncontrolled water runoff from the roof, that's how sinkholes happen. Not trying to scare you, just saying, as he leaned up against his truck that prominently displayed his company logo: Roofing and Gutters.

It's almost summer and the livin', as they say, is interesting.