Making My Peace With Summer

It’s probably abundantly clear to most people who know me well that summer is not my favorite season.  I have very little tolerance for the heat, and as for the bugs, well.

But it wasn’t always this way.  My dislike for summer is fairly recent – it started about 15 years ago when we moved to central Virginia from upstate New York.  Most of my summers as a kid were spent on lakes or rivers in a place where most people still don’t have central air.  If they do, they don’t need to run it more than a week or two a year.  We run ours nearly non – stop from May through October.

Of course we save on the heating bills come winter.

My point is summer used to be fun, full of swimming and fresh garden vegetables, drive 0 in movies and soft – serve ice cream.

My kids rarely get to see the outside world until late afternoon, once the sun is not so intense and it’s not too hot to swim.

This makes me sad, and I am trying to make sure we have a better summer experience than years past.  We’re still enforcing the “no being out in the sun if it’s over 100” rule, but having the pool makes it easier to have some summer fun.

The garden is also helping me out with my summer malaise.  Good fresh tomatoes and basil and cucumbers go a long way to cure the “I miss winter” blues.

I’ve been conquering some of the heat by reminding myself that without me being out there to manage it, the garden wouldn’t thrive.  Every day I am out there to water it, pull weeds and take care of the squash bugs that have yet again invaded.  The best way to control them without chemicals is to crush the eggs whenever you find them – and find them I do.  It’s pretty gross, and I usually find a few mature bugs to deal with as well.  All in all, however, this daily attention has saved me the infestation levels I have suffered in other years.  Plus – the rewards are many.

Like this beauty, not too far from harvest-ability:

It’s a Dixie Queen Watermelon, and I hadn’t even realized it was there until today.  There’s several little ones around it.

I am so excited for them to mature fully so we can enjoy them!

There’s some pie pumpkins beginning to orange (not enough, but hopefully we’ll get a few more before the vine stops producing), about 6 or so acorn squash getting darker by the day, and about a bajillion butternut squash – several of which look close to done.

This fall we’ll have plenty of my butternut squash and apple soup.

With cucumbers I picked from the front garden today I made 4 jars of refrigerator pickles and then picked fresh basil to make pesto for dinner.

This is what saves summer for me.  I’ll try not to whine so much about the way the humidity deflates my will and the heat saps my motivation and instead I’ll savor some freshness from my garden.

But I’ll still quietly look forward to fall.  Just sayin’.

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