I am a summer girl. Born in late June under the water sign of Cancer, I am at home in this season more than any other. I love the feeling of warm sun on my skin, accompanied by the smell of Coppertone. Summer colors fill me with joy; the greens of my yard and the turquoise and teals of a summer wardrobe. Flip flops, sunglasses and wide-brimmed straw hats are my favorite accessories. I adore spending hours in the pool, pruning fingers and toes beyond recognition. The sound of crickets after dusk is music to my ears. The twinkling of fireflies in the trees is an absolute delight. I was born to love this time of year.
Winter and I, however, do not get along. I despise being cold. Ire descends as the first leaves begin to fall and pool winterizing is imminent. My mood creeps lower and lower in sync with the diminishing sunlight. With each day growing colder, my complaints grow louder and more frequent — “I hate it!” “It’s terrible!” “This is miserable!” As winter dishes out its intolerable cruelty, I become rather intolerable to live with. One might say insufferable. Unbearable. Perhaps even a royal pain in the arse! The only cure for my condition being a packed car headed south in the direction of a warmer day.
After years of wishing and wanting, we are finally moving to the place we have escaped to for solace each winter. My husband, being the only one of us to have ever lived that far south, has tried to provide me with a cautionary tale about our new climate.
Husband: You know it gets really hot there in the summer, right?
Me: Awesome! I love summer. I love the heat. I’m looking forward to it.
Husband: Seriously, it is extremely hot and humid… a heat you’re not accustomed to.
Me: C’mon, how bad can it be? It’s hot and humid here. I’m sure I can adapt. I’m a summer girl!
Husband: It’s just that, in the winter you become a….(pauses to choose his words carefully)….a very unhappy person. I don’t want to see you become…..unhappy…..in the summer there.
Me: No worries! As long as the winters are better, you’ll have no complaints from me.
Through the course of building our home and visiting often to check on its progress, I have now been able to experience the summer he has so kindly warned of. And since we don’t actually live there yet and thus my promise of no complaints has technically not yet been enacted, I will take this one and only opportunity to provide my opinion on the matter: It is ungodly hot. The type of heat that makes you suspect that Satan himself has a summer home there. At 7:00am. At 7:00pm. At every second of every hour it is essentially a sauna. The perspiration invoked is reminiscent of a John Grisham movie (see Matthew McConaughey and Ashely Judd’s unrelenting sweatfest in “A Time to Kill”). Water exits from every pore as if it were an evil beast being exorcised by nature. It is simply and undeniably hot. But I will adapt…I’m a summer girl after all. And for the first time in my life I will actually look forward to winter.