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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer, Summer ... Where Art Thou?

My best friend, cuddling her cute
little grandson on the 4th of July.
This little guy is one of the sweetest, most
well-behaved little kids I have ever known!
She's not only holding him close
because she loves him ...
but to stay warm!
Last summer was a total wash-out. We pretty much swam through summer ... but not in the pool. We swam through our yard and parking lots to get to our cars. With few exception, it rained most every day ... and every single weekend.  There was a small window of summer at the end of June. Fortunately, that's when I took vacation. I say fortunately because the entire eastern half of the country was inundated with rain every weekend after those glorious, sunny seven days. I spent most of last summer trying to keep the pool clean, but very little time soaking in the sun on a raft.

Spring was later than usual this year, and after a horrid winter, it was heaven indeed to wear shorts and enjoy quiet mornings on the deck sipping coffee or sit on the porch swing after dark.  This summer started out wonderful, and as the last week of June rolled around, the pool was Goldilocks perfect  ... not too hot and not too cold. It briefly ran through my mind that one year ago, that was the last perfect week of summer, but I didn't think that would happen two years in a row.

I was wrong.

It rained a lot in June, but the weekends were fabulous. Then, like last year, July brought less than ideal summer conditions. July has been rainier than usual, but it's not the rain that's ruining my summer, it's the polar vortex that traveled down from the north, bringing with it colder than average temperatures. The weather hasn't been as bad as what they've had north of us, but with highs in the 70's or low 80's, it's not the hot, sunny weather I longed for throughout that long, bitterly-cold winter. It's perfect for working in the yard ... but I don't want to work in the yard ... I want to float around the pool! The water in the pool, once the perfect temperature, is now a chilly 76ยบ. The water is still crystal-clear and beckoning ... but I'm a baby and don't want to get in it!

When my kids were growing up, we spent every 4th of July at the pool. After a day spent sunning and playing, we'd clean up and go to the fireworks downtown. This year it was too chilly to swim (only in the 70's), and when it came time for the fireworks (at a friends house this year), I had to change into jeans ... and a jacket! A jacket ... in July!!! That, to me, is simply not acceptable summer weather! I put up my jackets in early spring and have no intention of seeing them again until the fall!! I'm quite certain that I have never, in my entire life, worn a jacket in July ... until this year. (Boo!!!)

I would say that I hope August brings the hot, steamy weather we are accustomed to, but my boyfriend's daughter is getting married at the end of August. The wedding will be held in his backyard, so hot and steamy is not the ideal weather for such an event! August days around here are typically hot and steamy with nary a breeze, but the nights tend to cool into the low 70's, and sometimes the upper 60's, so even if the day is hot and humid, her evening wedding will be something out of a storybook.

The cooler weather in July has been perfect for my boyfriend to put the finishing touches on his landscaping. His yard has always been beautiful, but he's a perfectionist, so he has been busy tweaking the (amazing) landscaping already in place to give his little girl the fairy-tale wedding of her dreams. He's very good at a lot of things, and it seems landscaping is no exception. He has a very good eye for plantings and hardscapes. Over the years, it's been fun to watch him transform his once over-grown yard into the tranquil oasis it has become. He's spent the last seven years planting, building, and sweating in his yard ... so he's pretty tired of it! But wait until I post the picture of the fruits of his labor ... so prepare to be amazed!

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