Thursday, June 11, 2009

Have You Seen This Season?

WANTED: Summer. Also known as "the one season out of the year where it is mildly enjoyable to be outside."

I'm sending out a search party for summer because it’s nowhere to be found.

Technically it’s not summer yet. I know that. But if you’ve lived in Chicago long enough you know that we have two seasons around here: cold and hot. Cold generally lasts from late September through late April. Hot lasts from the last week of May through August. True, there are a few weeks left. Those would be the seasons know as spring and fall.

Which both last about 3 weeks.

Where is my hot season? I am waiting. By now we are usually slowly suffocating in the growing humidity that goes along with Midwest heat. 85 degrees with 90 percent humidity. For about 3 months. Yet for the past week now it’s been under 60 and rainy. Kind of like fall except that it’s spring but really it should feel more like summer.

I’m starting to think I might not even get to play my game. Which game, you ask? You didn’t ask but pretend like you did. While we’re on the topic of games you should know that I play a lot of household games. For example: can I empty the dishwasher in the time it takes for my oatmeal to cook in the microwave. The answer is often yes if I go really, really fast and risk chipping a plate or two.

We have very chipped plates.

I learned that I was not the only one that plays games like this when I read on Dawn’s FB status update that she too had raced the dishwasher.

And she won.

The game got riskier just last week when it was dishwasher vs. toaster. In other words, could I empty the dishwasher in the time it takes to toast a bagel. Almost losing to a burnt bagel, I put away the last knife right as the bagel popped up.


It was close. Very close.

Of course those are games you can play year round. But in the summer, I like to play the game how long can I last without turning on the air conditioner. Last year, the house got up to 83 degrees before I finally caved. I gave it a good fight. We’re talking no bed covers, ceiling fan at full speed an windows thrown open to the sky. But when the thermostat inside hit 83 and the humidity was more like 1000 I heard my wood floors crying SAVE US and turned on the air.

You call it crazy I call it heat acclimation. Never miss a training opportunity.

This year, I am surviving sans AC. Some days I don’t even have the windows open. It’s almost mid-June for crying out loud. Throw us a bone already. Or at least a sunny day.

Who is to blame? If Mayor Daley wasn’t ass deep in hot water for parking meters I would have blamed him. A man seated so long in Chicago certainly must have some pull with the weather. But alas he’s too busy f*cking up in other areas right now. I think about it. And what Illinois did to deserve this. And I can think of nothing other than:


Both of them. Rod and Patty. Rod for being arrested while wearing that stupid blue running suit. And Patty for being on that dumb television show. Illinois had it coming, folks. And God is pissed.

(I don’t blame him. Did you hear the tapes of those phone calls?)

The other day I met for coffee with my mom and we started devising a plan. In between catching up on the catastrophe known as John and Kate Plus 8 (like you haven’t grabbed a People magazine at the checkout line out of curiosity), we devised an exit strategy.

There must be a better place.

She confesses to me that she will go wherever I go. I think to myself I’ve got my dog, my bike, my mom – what am I missing?


Is this a necessary item or a luxury?

I'll wait to answer that. But in the meantime...

This just in. Someone posted on my Facebook page that meteorologists propose there may be no summer at all. The jet stream has dipped so low that some areas may not see a summer. The midwest included. I think about that for a moment. A year without summer is like…winter all year round.



Maybe it’s time to turn negatives into positives. To accept where I’m at and make peace with the weather. So I will make a list. Of reasons why it’s ok if summer never comes.

1. Lower energy costs.
2. Salt tabs not needed.
3. The one year where my skin will not age because I’m not getting any sun.
4. No 40 mph gusty southernly summer winds to ride into.
5. All swims will be wetsuit legal.
6. The disappearance of white pants (really, it’s a bad look folks).
7. No summer festivals where people stand in line for hours to eat food on a stick.
8. Which also means less carnies in town.
9. The ice cream truck will not drive around playing the same stupid song over & over again.
10. No chance to get eaten alive by mosquitoes.
11. Less bad smells.

That’s all I’ve got. You see, it’s not ok if summer never comes because even though I am an adult now, summer still has the same magic it did when I was a kid. It may only last for 3 months but those 3 months lasted for what felt like an eternity. The orchestral sound of crickets and katydids into the summer night. Watching the fireflies flicker in the field behind our house. Summer storms that roll in out of nowhere with dark clouds and thunder. Swimming in Lake Michigan when it finally gets above 68 degrees. Late August when the goldenrod explodes in the meadow and the Joe Pye Weed nears 5 feet tall. There’s a lot about summer in Chicago that I can’t wait for – so I’m hoping that some time, in the next 3 months, that it finally arrives.

Tonight we went for a bike ride. It rained all day long and finally at 4:30 pm the clouds broke and the sun streamed. For about 2 hours. It was 59 degrees. It is June 10th. Think about that. Anyways, riding around I realized I was wearing long sleeves and Chris was wearing leg warmers. Plus arm warmers. I said to him I cannot believe you are wearing leg warmers. His reply? Heat training.

He is right. Summer may not be here yet but when it arrives we will be ready for it in many ways. So bring it, summer. Bring it on. Send me your stifling heat and thick humidity. Bake me under the sun and leave me burnt on the path. I am ready. The windows are open and the ceiling fan is on. But until you arrive I will climb under my winter blanket because honestly with the damn fan’s kind of chilly in here.

In an effort to keep busy while I’m waiting for you, I’m gonna race the dishwasher. Today it’s Keurig vs. dishwasher. Think I can empty it before the coffee is ready? I’m ready to race. I've got crazy fast dishwasher emptying skills, Keurig. You're mine.

Never miss a training opportunity.


D said...

I've got two couches and will soon be adding a futon to the roster. You and whomever else needs it (Husband, Miss Daisy?) are welcome to come stay with me anytime to enjoy the consistent 70+ degree weather we are getting (oh and being the PNW, we lack all that humidity). Just lovely.

BreeWee said...

I play the dishwasher game too, next time lets text eachother when we are about to unload the dishes and race eachother long distance...

Okay, Im really writing because you said at 83 you would look at the thermostat and turn on the air... so I looked at mine, it's 84, and now I can not stop laughing (its really not that funny), but it cracked me up because I am waiting for it to hit 90 before I chill the place out!
Hope you see summer soon...

Wes said...

hahaha! What happens to your bread and bagels in an 83 degree house? Summer has been pretty good down here in the south. If you want to call this, summer :-)

BriGaal said...

Why do you people stay in that godforsaken state?!

When we moved up North (I DO live in NORTH Carolina now!) I was worried about the winter. I can't even imagine having to stay bundled up for this long. Stupid Blagojevich.

Keith said...

Summer: don't come looking in Calgary. So far this year we can count on the fingers of one hand the nice days. Wait, does it still count as a nice day if your plants died overnight because you forgot to cover them? oops, zero days.

Never played the dishwasher race, since we hardly ever use the dishwasher. No chipped plates either.

Humidity, Calgary wins! There is no humidity here. None. Zero. Ever. If skin cream or lip balm doesn't sell here, they go back and change the formula.

What about that governor that tried to sell Obama's seat? I'm sure the weather is about that. Never heard of the other issues you mention.

You're still newly weds, so that's why you are debating if the husband is necessary. As near as I can tell, for most women husbands are a 'necessary evil', good only for opening stuck jam jars, fixing some things, and dealing with icky bugs.

Shevaun said...

Hear! Hear! Coming from downstate (Peoria), I totally agree. I need a nice scorching day to go out and ride until the salt cakes on my shorts. I've had it with runny noses and cold toes.

PJ said...

At least you're not alone - it's been the same cold/rain here in New England. In fact, I'm going backwards. Instead of playing the air conditioning game, I'm back to how cold can it get in the house before I turn on the heat. I caved yesterday after an ice bath.

KayVee said...

Just FYI, it's 90 in Mississippi. Yep. Summer.

Roo said...

If you still don't have summer by August, I'll be needing a housesitter. 10 days in sunny SD and all you have to do water some plants. There's even a Peets a block away.