So summer arrived in a rush after staying cloudily, coolly away all June. And, man, no one was ready. I was definitely not feelin’ it– feelin sweaty and lumpy and like last year’s clothes don’t fit. Again.
The temperatures shot up to almost 100 before we’d even gotten used to 75, and we definitely did not have our summertime house-temperature-management regimen down yet for the year. (After a few days or a week, we are all in the groove— Fans full blast, al night long, pointed at the parts that need them most. In the morning keep pushing cold air in til you have to leave for the day, then Shut It Down. Shut everything that shuts, and block out every speck of that hellishly intense sunlight. When the sun goes down, begin feeling the air. As SOON as it is cooler than the air in the house, REPEAT last night: Fans full blast… And so on.)
But we did not have the system down yet… had to dig around for fans, remind each other to shut doors, hang a curtain where there hadn’t been one… It took a couple days… (embarrassing, but true.) In that time, that hellish sun was just cooking the air molecules inside the house. Heatin’ them up. You can’t get that back. Our house is brick. They make pizza ovens out of brick for a reason.
So, the first few days of the heat I was grumbly sticky sweaty and kind of hating summer. Lots of people can’t WAIT for summer. I can totally wait for it, and I am usually just fine with saying goodbye to it. I was not excited about the force with which it arrived this year.
Then, we went to the river and I remembered that part. The river.
The river. Which river doesn’t really matter too much, though they each have their own character and their own awesome treasures and their own particular issues. (Lookin’ at you, Blackfoot.) The rivers that shape our land places take on a critical importance in the summer. Seriously, there are days when the only thing that works, that soothes me down from my crabtree is to get submerged in something cold and flowing and forgiving.
Whether it’s the Clark Fork right downtown, or the Blackfoot dodging tubers and usually collecting trash or the Bitterroot requiring a bit more time but a lot of payoff, or even the icy and stony Rattlesnake Creek– I need them. I love them and I need them and I am so thankful for them and their cold, flowing goodness.
Up to my knees or neck in one of these beauties, I can almost see what’s so great about summer.