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Sudie Crouch: Not-so-happy days of summer
Johannes Plenio, unsplash

A recent icebreaker during a meeting asked the question of, “What are you looking forward to the most about summer?”

I panicked and hoped I could get away with going towards the end to answer. 

The truth was, there was nothing I liked about this season. 

Sudie Crouch
It’s hot. 

It’s humid. 

There are too many bugs crawling around, and snakes love to slither around our woods. It’s nerve-wracking to have to question is it a tree limb or a snake, and if it is a snake, how fast should we run.

Plus, have you ever been a middle-aged woman having a thermo hot flash in the middle of 90-degree weather with a face full of makeup? It’s not fun or pretty. 

I sat smiling towards the camera, nodding along with the answers shared, praying maybe they’d forget I hadn’t answered. 

Everyone had such lovely answers. 

I can definitely understand the part about enjoying less rushing around with trying to get kids to school and then to work; that always was hard for me as well. 

Having a bit more freedom and flexibility in our schedule is always a good thing, and that’s probably where the lazy days of summer came from. Not that summer is a lazy time, but it’s just one that’s not quite as harried.

Some were saying they were looking forward to going on various trips. 

I’ve never been someone who has had the best of luck when going on vacations so I tend to stay home. 

Plus, vacations have normally equated to just extra laundry and who needs that? 

My mind raced with what I could appreciate about this season that we’ve officially entered. 

I didn’t like getting on the lake. 

I wasn’t a beach-going type of girl. 

I am a horrible swimmer, so even getting in the pool wasn’t something I enjoyed. Plus, I burn, then freckle, thanks to that being the only thing I got from my Crazy Redhead. 

Cookouts and barbecues were mentioned. 

Again, that involves being outside, which I try to avoid. 

And, I am not a big meat eater, so that’s not really of interest to me, even though it would probably make my teenage son quite happy. 

Camping has never been my thing as it is a combination of pretty much all the things I loathe, but has the added horror of wondering how far you’ve got to hike to the bathroom. Or even wondering if there is a bathroom. I tend to prefer my facilities to be of the plumbed and porcelain variety. 

I felt like I was the outlier, with everyone talking about all the ways they loved summer. 

I am a fall and winter person, loving the cooler temps, the colors as they change, and being able to wear scarves. 

I’m not a fan of summer clothes, as I don’t wear shorts, and even though everything may be bright and green, the pollen gets to me. There’s always something blooming or blossoming that makes me feel like my eyes will pop out of my head.

But, here we are. Celebrating all things summer, and in some wistful way, I wished I could enjoy it. 

As everyone began sharing their favorite things of summer, their happy memories started to come out in their reflections. 

Time spent with family, happy moments lazing in the sun or on the water, trips that became part of legends. 

Maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy summer. 

Most of the horrors I’ve experienced have been during those months.

Nearly going into anaphylactic shock from a bee sting. Mama didn’t believe me when I told her something was wrong and thought I was overreacting. On the way to the ER, Granny had a wreck, hitting our pharmacist. 

Getting sick to the point of going to the ER from a weird combo of ice cream, watermelon, and fried fish. 

In fact, most of my visits to the hospital happened during the summer. 

A sunburn so bad I probably should have gone.

When someone called my name, I quickly said how I enjoyed seeing the fireflies in the evening, and that wasn’t a lie. 

Sometimes, we build a fire pit to sit around briefly, and I love looking for lightning bugs as they flit around. 

That was something I could say honestly. 

I like seeing the frogs, too, even though Mia and Doodle try to catch them. 

The bears are always interesting to have run-ins with, as they seem to roam a bit more in the warmer months, and try to get in the trash. 

There may be a few things about the season that are a bit more tolerable for me but it’s not enough to make me really enjoy or look forward to this time of the year. 

My favorite part? And what I really wanted to say, but didn’t.

When it’s over.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.