A brutal truth slapped me in the face this morning when I stepped outside to check the weather: It’s just not summer anymore.
I know very few people who view the brutal, sweltering heat of summer the way I do — I LOVE it. Love it love it love it love it love it. Nothing makes me happier than a good summer sweat. Certainly there is a limit. No one can be comfortable in 110 degree weather with no cooling prospects in sight. But this particular summer was like a three month long 83 degree dream. For all the complaints I heard about how it wasn’t all that warm this summer, I found it to be pretty much beautiful all around. We only ran the a/c for a total of maybe two weeks the whole time. I got lots of lake time. There were a handful of hot nights (my ABSOLUTE favorite — nothing beats the feeling of near 90 degree temperatures when the clock slowly ticks toward midnight. LOVE IT!).
I assume my affection for the heat comes from summers crammed into a three bedroom trailer in Wisconsin. While I only have a few scattered memories about when we used to stay in the cabins at Clearwater Resort on Lake Jordan, I can smell that trailer, purchased by my parents when I was around 8 years old, as clearly today as I could back then. Just close my eyes, and BAM, I can smell the mixture of dust and crisp Wisconsin nights and wet towels and taco salad and Russel’s meat market and of course, moth balls. Those summers when we crammed as many as 22 people inside that little trailer were the best memories of my childhood and early adult adventures.
Clearwater Resort is long gone, and the trailer literally fell apart after we left it, but our summers at Lake Jordan remain, thanks to Mom and Pops and their awesome lakeside hacienda. My sister Amy and I refer to it as “The Happy Place.” You cannot blame us:
This is Hank and Danny on the boat, the view from the beach at the house.
And when we are at the back of the lake, we see this:
Or, often, we see it like this:
There is no shortage of laughter and joy in the Happy Place. And I found this summer to be a particularly nice one. There were, of course, the obligatory self-portraits.
You know I must love the Happy Place when I absolutely adore a photo like this one of me and Hank, despite the way it completely and totally highlights each and every ginormous sized pore and splotchy skin discoloration flaw in my face.
And this summer just FELT so good. Check out this photo:
I cannot for the life of me imagine what Hank is saying to Tim, but look how hard he has Tim laughing. Must have been a good one.
And of course, there’s just all around good times:
You just cannot argue with the likes of hanging out with Grandpa, catching frogs while wearing a shark hat, and the “ska-do.”
Nights are nice too.
Look at that! I’ll admit, this particular night was slightly marred when the full moon made one Mr. Glockenspiel go out of his ever-loving mind and attempt to hike back to Chicago all while cornering the market on parental love. If you don’t know what I am talking about, consider yourself lucky and enjoy the moon over the water. If you do know — sorry Laura!
Anyway, back to my point. I love summer. I love hot sticky summer. I love Wisconsin summer. I seriously could use up all of my space available on this blog simply posting my favorite pictures from Wisconsin summer. And it’s gone.
Every year, after Labor Day, I PROMISE myself that I am going to get back to Wisconsin one more time in September. That I am going to look fall in the face and tell it where to go and how to get there. That I am going to get out for one more boat ride and one more back-of-the-lake swim. And every year, I fail. The weekends come too quickly, the priorities get rearranged, the commitments pile on. The next thing you know, September is out of weekends, and here I sit in Illinois. No more Wisconsin summer. Even if I can get to Wisconsin in October, I’m a minimum of 8 months away from my next dip in Lake Jordan. That just makes me so sad.
Don’t get me wrong, the Happy Place is always happy, even in the dead of winter. With winter comes ice skating and snow tubing and hopefully, if the lake is frozen through from end to end, auto races on the lake. Karaoke Bob still shows up at the Boondocks on Friday nights, even in January. The Pizza Pub is open all winter. And with the invention of the indoor water park, there’s always something to do in the Dells, even go swimming should you so choose to blow your entire tax return on a single weekend.
Jim has successfully gotten me interested in college football, and I do love the smell of fall. I love Halloween and Christmas and my birthday (January 4 for those of you who forgot, Mom). I’ll get through the lull of cabin fever and summer will be here again before I know it. But today, it’s clearly over.
It’s a sad day today.