Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hot August Night.....

oh its been hot. I find myself humming the opening phrases of Neil Diamond's song, Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show when it gets hot like this. This is like the summers of my youth, the air so hot and sticky, barely a hint of a breeze....the locusts singing their whining songs from the trees, starting off softly and ending in a crescendo. It always meant HOT weather was coming when you heard the locusts. We didn't have air conditioning back then and now that I've been spoiled by it, I wonder how we existed. I remember laying in bed at night and would keep turning the pillow over so it would feel cool against my face.

The days of sliced garden tomatoes, fried chicken and potato salad. That tall glass of iced tea where the outside of the glass is all wet with condensation. That unmistakable fragrance of freshly husked corn and picking green peppers from the garden, rinsing them off with the garden hose and then just taking a big bite. Ah, yes, this summer has reminded me of the summers of my youth.....lazy, hazy days.

Do they still have revival meetings in tents on hot summer nights? After marriage we rented an apartment that was located in the last building on the dead end street. It faced the woods and on hot summer evenings we could hear the services coming from a tent that had been put up on the other side of the woods. We would sit outside and listen to the songs and could hear some of the sermon, especially when a point was being made......amid all the hallelujahs and amens and then gospel music, sweet and bluesy.

That neighborhood went into disrepair a few years after we moved from there. And it has since gone through a lot of changes. It was pretty bad for a while and then a facelift was given to the area and things were cleaned up. But, unfortunately, its much like an old and haggard woman putting on layers of makeup....its all cosmetic...quickly and cheaply done. But it is better than it was and that's the important thing. Lord, that was 45 years ago we sat and listened to "the travelin' Salvation show" on the other side of the woods. I wonder if they still have them.

I have my granddaughter's school clothes all ordered and they will be delivered next week. That, of course, signals the end of summer when Back to School rolls around. I can't believe how fast the time went. I found some killer deals doing Internet shopping once again.....and suffered none of the hassle that the mall would have given us.....and got free shipping to boot. Ah, Life is Good.

I just noticed a weather alert has come up on my browser. Air Quality Alert. Never had any of those back in the "dog days" of the summers of my youth. Speaking of air.....I can't wait to see my next electric bill...........Ouch.


Jamie said...

You write so well, I can picture, smell, feel the whole thing. :)

I have had a really good summer. But this heat is killing me..and I am ready for fall. Not winter, but FALL.

Write to me. Or call me on Sunday ---your phone number has been lost in my phone, that went to the repair place for almost a month, and had no numbers when it came back. :(

I hope this weekend is wonderful for you. You are such a good grandma. Hugs, buddy.

Happyone :-) said...

I grew up in the day without AC too. I lived across the street from the town pool and lived over there in the summer. :-)
When I was a kid I used to call the locusts "hot bugs" because when I heard them I knew it would be hot!
Keep cool.

Leann said...

I still turn my pillow to get the coolness against my cheeks. No A/C here...just the good ole' fashioned windows and breezes.

Linda Medrano said...

Stay cool Val. I love this article. You capture the smells, tastes, sounds and feel of summer so beautifully!

SOUL said...

yep, this was good. just like bein there.
as per your question RE: the outdoor revivals.. yup. there is one just a few blocks over behind our house. surprisingly we never hear anything from it. we see the signs though.

there's a little carnival a block or two up to the front of us tonight. soulkid one and soulkid two shall be goin up there tonight for a while. then tomorrow us girls will make a jaunt off to Austin to do their school shopping.
i cannot wait til that school bell rings again.
i am pooped. i want my life back.
what a summer! busy busy busy.
no dawg days here this summer.

enjoy your weekend -- inside with the A/C on !!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Your descriptions do conjure up memories of hot summers before AC.

It's been hot, hot, hot here, too. Lots of rain, which begets humidity, which begets rain.....

It actually cooled off a bit this evening, and we turned of the AC about half an hour ago. I love sleeping with the windows open!

Joy Des Jardins said...

I love this post Val...I could feel my face sweating as I read it. We've had a 'weather alert' going on for a couple of days because of the heat. I just try to stay as close to air conditioning as I possibly can. I'm not fond of sweating like a pig.

This summer has really gone by so fast. My daughter, who is a teacher, is already going back to work in about a week. What the heck happened to the summer? The month of July was like a blink. And...oh those locusts; yep, that's hot weather. ~Joy

My Aimless Infatuation said...

What WOULD we do without memories? My Daddy always told me that "life is only a memory", how right he was. We still have the traveling shows around here and I passed a tent revival just yesterday. We also have been suffering with the heat in the triple digets,it has dropped 3 or 4 degrees today and expected to stay in the 90's the rest of the week but those locust are still hollering here. I'm counting the days until fall arrives,we usually start feeling a little cool air at night after labor day. Hope you have a great week val and stay cool.

gayle said...

I too dread my electric bill! My husband wears so many clothes tha the has to have it on 74 all the time. When he isn't here I turn it up. I tell him to take off some clothes and he tells me to but them on. How in the world did our parents ever make it with out air!!

dana said...

I wish you would go to the site that I'm using (where you are given a photo to write a story around)JUST FOR KICKS. You're fantastic on your own, but I would LOVE to see what you could do with a weekly photo from someone else, totally off-the-cuff to write about.

I remember as a kid, sitting outside and being chewed alive by mosquitoes, while waiting for it to cool down enough to go to bed. I also remember mom putting a box fan in one end of the house, facing out, to pull some air through the windows beside the bed.

Now? We'd all be killed in our sweaty sleep by someone high on meth.

Yep. THOSE WERE THE DAYS - heat versus safety.

ethelmaepotter! said...

Great story!

I love this description - " But, unfortunately, its much like an old and haggard woman putting on layers of makeup....its all cosmetic...quickly and cheaply done." Such brilliant imagery!

Even though we're sevral states and historical cultures apart, I feel the sisterhood here. The heat, the air quality alert, remberances of AC-less days of long ago. Corn husks, locusts, tent revivavls. Are you from the South?

My kids are both school teachers and have been back in school for a couple of weeks already. The school year summers get shorter and shorter here. Oh, for the days when we started after Labor Day!

This past weekend the kids came over and we had fried chicken, fresh creamed corn (yes, we all husked the corn!) fried okra, squash casserole, speckled butter beans, sliced Bradley tomatoes, hot rolls, and iced tea. And homemade strawberry shortcakes for dessert.

In an air conditioned dining room.

Ah, summer.

Velvet Sacks said...

I love the imagery in this post, Val. It takes a pretty talented writer to make one actually smell the words she's written, but that's what you did. The fragrance of the corn and fresh garden tomatoes is such a strong memory for me. Great post.