Going Out In Style

 

 

I don’t know how you toasted summer’s unofficial close (or if you did at all), but Mister and I went out in style. We made a few rounds of Aperol Spritz. (Spritzes? Spritz-i?)

 

Whatever. The toasting was supreme and really served to send summer on its way. I no longer felt sad about the change of season, and I even got a little excited for fall. Considering how much I’ve loved summer, I’d say that’s a big deal.

 

And that Aperol Spritz will have to do, as we’re now all out of Aperol (spritz recipe on the bottle). Oh, well. Time to start thinking about autumn drinks, I suppose. Any ideas?

Dear Summer–

 

 

Dear Summer–

 

I know you won’t be leaving for a few weeks, not officially, but this coming weekend will likely mark your departure for many of us. And before we bid farewell, I want to take a moment to let you know how much I’ve appreciated you this year.

 

In my little neck of the world, you have been quite generous this go-round. From your sparkly sun to your clear skies – I’ve enjoyed your company and your stay. In particular…

 

The Light. Your beautiful display of light really caught me off-guard this year. I can’t point to a particular day or moment when I first noticed, but I’ve absorbed as much as I could, these few months, and your light has been fabulous.

 

Friends and Family. Although Mister and I didn’t travel much, we did manage a few visits with family and friends and those times were lovely. Because we’re us, certain memories will abide with us always, as we adopt sayings and moments and work them into our lives. “Lemon, Lime – same thing!”

 

Water. For some reason, this year marked the first time I felt at one with water. As you know, Summer, I have always loved swimming. But this year the experience was new. Each time I got into the pool (and I got into it a lot), I felt at home. There was such comfort in my skin as I glided through the pool’s water. And it was magical. Truly.

 

Food. Let’s be honest about this one. I always love summer food. The fresh corn and tomatoes, the Vidalias… Your bounty during these short months has been magnificent. Seriously. You’ve outdone yourself.

 

And now you’re readying to leave. I can tell because your light has already shifted. And your evenings are getting cooler. In fact, you’re getting so cool at night as to have lowered the water’s temperature in the pool. The mercury has dropped so much in there, it looks like this weekend will be the last hurrah. Your tomatoes are dwindling and I see leaves starting to fade and drop. Kids are back in school and the gears of fall are slowly starting to turn.

 

Yes – it’s time to let you go. To paraphrase Jerry Jeff Walker, it’s time to put away the bathing suits and to pull out the cowboy boots. Actually, Jerry Jeff’s song, “Cowboy Boots & Bathin’ Suits,” kind of sums up how I’m feeling right now. I know fall will be fine, in its own ways. I’m just not quite ready to let go, Summer. There’s been so much love and joy in you. Despite certain challenges (fires, drought, politics, to name a few), I have felt deep happiness during your stay. I know, I know – that doesn’t have to go just because you’re leaving. I get it. It’s just that, well… Summer – I think I may have finally gotten old enough to understand how truly fleeting you are. That I will only experience so many of your visits going forward. That you’re a gift in my life. A temporary, holy gift. Letting go of you means I have one less summer in my all-too-short ledger. And as I’ve loved you so much, it actually hurts to let you go.

 

But let you go, I shall. I plan to enjoy the coming weekend, to acknowledge your exit with as much grace and revelry as a girl can combine, and to toast your wondrous stay. You’ve been a credit to your name, Summer. I’m honored to have lived you. I’m grateful to have known you. I’m excited for what may come – this fall, this winter, next spring. I thank you and I wish you well during your slumber.

 

To Summer.

 

Love, your friend–

Mikki

True Confessions

 

 

So. At the risk of embarrassing myself beyond recovery, I want to share something with you. I understand this may affect your judgment of me and, well, that may be something I have to accept. Here goes. I didn’t shower yesterday. Instead, I had a pool bath.

 

It happens. Some days I end up in that pool for an hour, treading water, and by the time my prune-y body climbs out, I’m so waterlogged that a shower is the last thing on my mind. And really, I feel clean on those days. I don’t stink. (I know this because I am obsessed with odors.) And after all that movement in the water, there’s no visible surface dirt to be found. I feel clean, so I think I am.

 

I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who once told me she’s gone a full month without bathing inside the house. She said pool baths are her favorite way to go in the summer. I didn’t hold that against her or anything, but I also knew I couldn’t take her path. A full month? My fear of germs can tolerate a pool bath here and there, but not a whole summer. Jeez.

 

Anyhoo – if you must judge me, go ahead. Honestly, it won’t change things on my end. As long as that pool is part of my routine, which I hope it will be for another couple of months, the occasional pool bath will be part of my routine, too. And I’m gonna love it.

Summer Food

 

 

As we are smack-dab in the middle of summer, and especially as we’re riding out the “Heat Dome” here in the States, using one’s stove is not a good idea. Searing some ahi tuna, on the other hand, is quick and yummy. Throw it on top of a Nicoise salad and, well, a girl might need some alone time with it. I’m just sayin’.

 

I don’t have a recipe for this, as it’s something I make year-round without much thought. But this time I kicked it up a notch by including capers in the salad. Why I’ve not done this in the past is a mystery, as it’s so danged good. Honestly – the reason I’m sharing it here is mostly to remind myself to make it more often. I love salad. And yet I forget about it some times, and that’s a shame. Because salad doesn’t have to be boring or complicated.

 

Even as I type this, I’m making a mental note to eat more salad. Let’s hope my memory stores hold and that I actually honor this intention. Word.

So Okay

 

 

So okay. Summer is starting off, and that’s about the best thing I can say about it. The sky isn’t falling or anything. I don’t have fires in my neighborhood. Mister and I have our health.

 

Sometimes life just hands you a heaping helping of the blahs. And that’s how I feel right now. At least I think it’s due to life. It may just be the heat.

 

So okay. Life is going on and doing its thing and it’s fine. Better than fine, really. Just grand. At least that’s how I’m trying to see it. And this is one of those times when it really is a choice. So I’m gonna choose sunshine and unicorns. You got a problem with that? Don’t make me send my unicorn over there to kick your ass…

Summer, Summer, Summer

 

 

Today is the first official day of summer. More like the first day of simmer. I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the world, but here in the armpit, we’re expecting 100+ degree temperatures (a hundred and eleventy, to be precise-ish), along with a rash of bat-shit crazy behavior.

 

It happens. Heat makes some folks do nut-job things. Just the other day, the first hot day in a while, the heat led some crazy old dude to walk down our street with an axe. None of us knew the old dude, but we all recognized an axe. And we all went inside and locked our doors. Dag.

 

As we move into the heat of simmer summer, let’s take care of ourselves and each other. Let’s remember to wear sunscreen and hats. And for the love of pete, hydrate, will ya? I know it’s uncomfortable, but that’s no reason to lose our minds and do things we’ll regret once we’ve cooled down. Even in the heat – let’s try to stay cool. Okay?

June Gloom

 

 

Yesterday I wrote about May Gray and how it leads straight into June Gloom. I speak for those of us in Southern California only, mind you, but there are quite a lot of us. And we deal with it.

 

Except when we don’t. Personally, I’ve got a bit of June Gloom over my shoulder today. Perhaps it’s comedown from a lovely holiday weekend. Maybe it’s tied to my bio-rhythms or some such. I’m not sure about the reasons, but I am certain of its limits. For this, too, shall pass. Yesterday I received a beautiful reminder of this from a blogger who captured my feelings (and then some) far better than I can manage.

 

Her name is Jenny Lawson and I adore her. I don’t know her personally or anything. I just love, love, love her writing. Her post from yesterday can be found here, and I encourage you to read her beautiful entry. Like I said, her words are far better than my own on this topic.

 

So for me, this is a short and sweet first-of-the-month piece. I don’t know what to tell ya. Once I’d read Ms. Lawson’s “The Bloggess” post, I saw no reason to try and rewrite her entry. No reason at all.

 

Otherwise, happy June. Summer is very nearly here,  calendar-wise. For my part, I plan to live it. Truly.

May Gray

 

 

The forecast was for heat. Instead we got gray.

 

In Southern California, we refer to this month’s overcast days as May Gray. And for some of us, it’s lovely. We know the sun is there, because it peeks through the clouds every once in a while, reminding us to be grateful for the cool days. To appreciate wearing a t-shirt during the day and needing a light sweater at night. And perhaps warning us of what’s to come. And what is to come? June Gloom.

 

I knew of June Gloom long before becoming aware of May Gray. June Gloom has been a constant for my entire tenure in Los Angeles. Personally, I certainly don’t consider it gloomy. I like the cloudy days. I like not running my a/c. I like sleeping with a slight chill in the air at night. Yes – June Gloom comes with the calendar. And yet, every single year I hear people expressing shock at the lack of sunshine. Some years we get loads of overcast days. Other years, not so much. I don’t keep meteorological records or anything, but I can remember years when June Gloom was more of an idea than a reality, and those years sucked. Because when we miss out on our clouds in June, summer heat can be unbearable. During those past sunny June months, summer just about wilted us and everything around us. Talk about the vapors.

 

So I’ll take May Gray. And starting tomorrow, I’ll look for June Gloom. Sorry if you’re visiting and not getting the weather you wanted, but trust me when I tell you we need this. Our plants need it. Our drought needs it. Our psyches need it. Besides – tanning is bad for you anyway. And honestly – there’s so much more to do here than bask in the sun.

Stuck In Hot

 

 

Yesterday found me back behind the wheel of my old car, cruising all the hell over the place. Not for fun, mind you. I had bid-ness to tend, and it took me to Holly-weird and The Valley, including points in-between. It was good bid-ness, so I didn’t complain. Not when I hit traffic, and not when I got stuck in hot.

 

Here’s what happened… I was adjusting the vent lever in the old Volvo and I felt something snap. This has never happened before, and somehow I knew it wasn’t good. It only took a few seconds to realize how right I was. It wasn’t good. The vent control had somehow broken and was stuck in hot. As in – the fresh air side of things was no longer accessible, and instead the heat from the car’s engine was pumping - hard – into the car. Ugh. I thought I could handle it. I rolled down the windows and opened both front wing windows for what some of us call 2-35 air conditioning: 2 windows opened while driving 35 miles per hour. It should have helped. But that hot-ass air floating up from the floor vent was killing me. So I did the only thing I could. I drove straight to my mechanic’s. He man-handled the vent’s control cable and locked the danged lever into fresh-air mode. And he didn’t charge me. Have I mentioned how much I love my mechanic?

 

I got back into the old Volvo and it immediately felt cooler. I drove home, comfortably, and all was well. Now that summer’s here (and it is), I’m thinking I’m gonna be okay, being stuck in cool.

 

Dear god – please don’t let there be a cold snap.

Scratch That

 

 

I thought last weekend, being the true final weekend of summer, was the end of pool time. Well scratch that.

 

See – when I think I understand the weather, it goes and flips things around and stymies me to no end. Take this week, for example. Here we are, a few days into autumn, and Los Angeles has hit mid-90s temperatures all week. Not only that, but it isn’t cooling down much at night. That, friends, makes for a mighty inviting pool.

 

So Mister and I are indulging ourselves – getting in a last blast of float time. Even with The Crud, I’ve taken to the waters to help me feel a little less fever-y. That cool pool is doing the trick. And it’s almost October, for cry-eye. That weather is such a show-off.