No, the solstice is still a couple of weeks off, but summer is here. It just arrived, and I have proof. Lots of proof.
Like this morning I took my first outdoor shower. It’s been ready and waiting for a while now. The water was on; there was soap in the soap dish and a towel hanging from the hook under the stairs. But the chill in the early morning air was saying “Not quite yet” — until this morning.
I did the Great Seasonal Clothing Switch before Memorial Day — Memorial Day was late this year — but I didn’t pull the flannel sheets from my bed till Friday. On the other hand, I may run out of clean socks before I run out of clean undies and this is for sure a warm-weather phenomenon. In cool or cold weather, the same pair of socks can be worn for several consecutive days. In warm weather — yecchh.
Not till this morning did I know it was time to swap the cold-weather insert for the screen in my storm door.
After Trav and I got back from our walk, I did it.
This involved several trips up and down stairs, wrestling the screen out from storage behind the big hutch in my neighbor’s studio, then wrestling the heavier, less flexible cold-weather insert into its place. I was wearing cutoffs and a WisCon 22 T-shirt. When I got done I was, well, warm.
I was also on a roll. Late yesterday afternoon I decided against turning the ceiling fan on. It was warm in the apartment, the air wasn’t moving — but the fan hadn’t been on since last October. From below, the blades looked awfully fuzzy. Visualizing the blades spinning dust bunnies and cobwebs all over my apartment, I decided to let it go till tomorrow.
Tomorrow had arrived. I brought the old step ladder in from the deck. The closer I got to the fan, the gladder I was that I hadn’t turned it on last night.
Note spray bottle of dusting mixture (1/4 cup vinegar per quart of water) and dust rag on the shelf. Would they be equal to the job?
Briefly I considered hauling out my trusty vacuum cleaner. But the vac is bulky and the ladder rickety, so self-preservation won out over efficiency. I would dust the grunge onto the floor and then vacuum the carpet. (The malamute in residence hasn’t quite finished blowing his winter coat, so the carpet can always use vacuuming, even if I’ve vacuumed the day before — which I hadn’t.)
This I did. As I moved the blades counterclockwise, I couldn’t help noticing that each one in turn was perfectly aimed at my throat. Marie Antoinette on a step ladder? No, thanks.
After vacuuming the floor, I turned the fan on.
At this moment I knew that summer had finally arrived. At 11 a.m., having completed two less-than-strenuous household tasks, I was ready for another shower.
Instead, I changed my damp WisCon 22 T-shirt for a dry, super-lightweight tank top. Tank top and cutoffs? It’s summer for sure.
Only one sign of summer was missing: Travvy was stretched out on his mat next to my feet, while I kept half an eye out for ticks hiding out in his fur. My second-floor studio apartment is pretty comfortable through the summer, but hot air rises and someone can’t take his coat all the way off. Trav’s favorite summer hangout is at the foot of the stairs.
But no, wait! He’s getting up! He’s heading for the stairs . . .
It’s official: summer’s here. Travvy says so.