Thursday, July 8, 2010


We're in real summer now. We've had temperatures in the 90s all week. And before you Texans start razzing me about how hot it is there, remember, we just do not air condition much up here in the far, cold north. So what do you do when it's 98 outside and 92 inside?

First, we try to get outside work done early. It's not that that work can be completed before it gets hot; there's too much to do and not a lot of shade in the pasture and garden. If I'm outside as the sun creeps over the hill between here and Mackville, I can be eased into the coming heat like a frog in a pan of heating water.

Second, we show some gratitude for having these temperatures during swimming lessons. Last year, and almost always say those in the know, it was mighty chilly during swimming lessons. Some parents even sat in their cars instead of on the beach while their children turned blue in the water with the wind whipping around their wet hair.

We also giggle over the excuse to go to the beach every day when it's this hot. We're not shirking on our house and garden chores; we HAVE to take the children to swimming lessons. And Caspian Lake feels truly heavenly on days like this.

Also, we try not to cook. It's a good time to eat all that abundant lettuce before the heat turns it bitter. Sandwiches are a lovely thing. Refried beans and tortillas are an easy meal. Hot dogs and other grillables are a nice option, but your local coop might run out, especially during the week following July 4th.

We try to buy fans, but if you wait until day 4 of the heat, you can forget about buying a fan in Vermont. Fans are a seasonal item, like snow boots, so once they run out, you have to wait until next year.

Finally, we watch the garden. Blight is less likely in this weather, so I say a little prayer over the tomatoes and sing "Uncle Aiken".

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