Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Leslie Hachtel’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!
This week the authors of Romance Writers’ Weekly are talking about about Summer, and the warm memories that make us feel good all year round.
Ah, Summer memories! The ones where the sun is always shining, my body is always beach ready (whatever the hell that means) and there’s always something delicious cooking on the barbecue.
Um, yeah, sorry, I’m confusing memories with fantasies. My bad.
I should probably caveat this with explaining that here in the UK summer can be as short as one day. And if on that one day you happen to be at work, doing something indoors, or catching up on some sleep, then too bad. Hope you like the rain!
Okay, I’m kidding. Well kind of. But summers here in England really are a hit and miss affair. I only realized how bad we had it when I lived in Virginia, USA for a few years, and got to experience what real summers are like. In my case they were hot, humid and were mostly spent around a pool. Yep, hard times. But the thing that really separated the US summers from our UK ones was consistency. Apart from the rare thunderstorm (which was always over quickly and then the sun came out again) I wouldn’t need to check the weather forecast to see how warm it was going to be the next day. Because it was always going to be hot.
Of course, this had it’s downsides. My hair, for one, didn’t like the humidity. I’d go from sleek straightness to crazy frizz as soon as I stepped outside the door in Virginia. Ponytails became my friend. It was also too hot to do much (I’m laughing at this right now). I tended to go from my air-conditioned house into my air-conditioned garage where I’d get into my air-conditioned car. Then I’d arrive at the air conditioned building, and still manage to work up a sweat in the five or so steps it would take me to get in there.
Apart from days in the pool, we rarely spent a lot of time outside in the Virginia summer. As the sun went down and the air cooled, that’s when the insects would come out. And these guys weren’t run-of-the-mill midges we’re used to in the UK. No, they were the Arnold Schwarzenegger of mosquitos. A few seconds outside in the evening would mean a nighttime of scratching and cursing. Even the strongest insect repellent wasn’t enough to stave off those beasts.
Even so, those were some of the happiest days of my life. My kids were little, and they absolutely adored swimming in the pool. We made a lot of friends at the pool, too, and we’d sit with our legs dangling in the water while the kids splashed around, shooting the breeze (not that there was any breeze) and laughing. We’d all take our lunches there, big freezer boxes filled with sandwiches and sodas, fresh fruit and treats. And at lunchtime we’d sit at the covered tables, trying to stop the kids from running back into the water, so the poor lifeguard could have his break, too.
Then in the evening – in spite of the insects – we discovered the best side effect of the pool was the way the kids would be out like a light by eight, their bodies heavy with the exhaustion that only a day at the pool could give. That’s when my husband and I would sit in our netted lanaii – no mosquitos allowed – and stare out at the fireflies that nestled in the trees, lighting them up like it was Christmas. I think that’s the memory of summer I’ll always carry around with me. And even now – in the cold, English weather – it’s warming me up.
I don’t miss those insects, though!
Now let’s hop over to Kathryn Reynard’s blog to get some more mouthwatering recipes. And don’t forget to check out her book, Sidelined!