Ah, spring. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the sun is shining.
I hate it.
I don’t like walking on icy sidewalks, but I prefer cool or cold weather. It’s easier to get warm than it is to cool off, especially when you won’t be seen in public in a bathing suit.
As a kid, I was outside all summer. We used to run through the sprinkler, ride our bikes and go to the playground until the street lights came on.
As I got older, my friends and I would “sit out,” which meant slathering ourselves in baby oil on reclining lawn chairs at high noon, preferably with aluminum foil under our chins, to make sure our faces got that healthy purple glow. And we had to put a product called Sun-In on our hair to make sure it achieved the proper look and feel, like Shredded Wheat soaked in Clorox.
Even in my 20s, I went canoeing, camping and swimming. My friends and I would drive to Florida in August because the rates were cheaper and the sun was hotter. I remember looking down at my arm one time and the baby oil was actually bubbling on my skin. I was pretty proud of myself.
Looking back on it, it’s surprising that I have voluntarily spent so much time in the heat. For some reason, we went to Italy in August and it was only one or two degrees short of London broil. We forgot it’s 10 miles from the equator.
We also went to New Orleans – again in summer – and there, as the saying goes, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Sometimes it gets muggy in Buffalo, but in Louisiana, the air is an actual physical presence, full of wonderful smells like coffee and beignets, but it’s like wearing a wet towel all the time.
Every year, though, around the middle of January, I start to think that I’ll plant a garden. A few tomatoes, some lettuce. Maybe even some flowers. Then the first nice day arrives in late March, with a warm breeze and lots of sunshine. Everybody is out washing cars and cleaning up yards. I’m in the house watching “Forensic Files.”
I love to look at beautiful gardens. Several of my friends have absolutely stunning gardens and they spend hours tending and weeding and mulching and dead-heading. I would rather stick pins in my eyes. Once in a while in the summer, usually just before sunset, I’ll go outside and edge the lawn or rearrange the rocks around the trees. But for the most part, I even find it a chore to bring the sprinkler in at night.
I do believe I am the only one who feels this way. Everyone I know just counts the days until Memorial Day when they can plant flowers or paint the house. Canalside looks wonderful to me. On the news. I was down there last year and I liked it, but it was October and raining. What a great day.
The older I get, the more the heat gets to me. I get dizzy (for real) and when I do go out for a walk, I at least take mercy on the people around me by wearing capris instead of shorts. My Irish skin is sort of the color of an LED bulb – white with a blue tint to it. I guess I should “sit out,” but as Seinfeld told Kramer after he was smoking too much, I don’t want to have a face that looks like a catcher’s mitt.
If there is anyone out there who feels like I do, I guess the moral of the story is: If we can’t take the heat, stay out of the yard. Luckily, “Forensic Files” is on all day.