This post originally appeared June 6, 2018, on the Chile Today Hot Tamale! website. (www.chiletodayhottamale.net)
According to my calendar, the summer solstice is still 15 days away. According to the Australian lady I once dated, it is already winter in The Land Down Under, as the Aussies change their seasons at the beginning of the month. (They do not wait for the actual solstice or equinox.) But if you are a school teacher, or are married to one, you know when summer officially begins: it begins the day you no longer have to report to school in the morning. So, for me, today is the first day of summer.
I celebrated by sleeping in, until 6:00. It will take awhile for my body to ignore the 10-month-per-year habit of waking up at 4:45. It was a nice, leisurely morning, filled with coffee, a demonic whirlwind of a puppy, and a wife who laughs at everything our cute little puppy dog does, until the doggie decides to dine on her laundry.
I teach some 55 miles away from home. This I do by choice. I love where I live, and I love where I work. Unfortunately, these two places happen to be 55 miles apart, and so I commute. It gives me the chance to catch up on my podcasts, and on the morning commute, to listen to big band music. In the afternoon, I listen to the Kim Peterson Show on the radio. He is hilarious, and keeps me in stitches for the troublesome ride home.
The downside to this grand commute is that I have very little time at home during the week to get anything done. That changes during the summer. Already this morning I had a slow leak in a tire repaired. Later this afternoon, I will head out to Tractor Supply to pick up a toolbox latch that I ordered a couple of weeks ago. Heck, I may even go crazy and get the oil and filter in the pick-up changed!
Unfortunately, summer also means getting visits to the doctor out of the way. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I need a physical exam before getting my cataract removed. That happens next week. The week after that, I see the surgeon who will be removing the cataract. And, of course, there is the dentist. I have a cleaning scheduled next month, as well as the surgery.
We have a couple of Air BnB properties, and Kathy tells me that my loving touch is needed at both. But before I become the maintenance man who travels, I need to do a little work around the house here in Madison. I should start by mowing the lawn.
Let’s not forget that the Chile Today Hot Tamale festival season picks up in the summer. We will be in Highlands, NC, June 23 and 24. Those of you enjoying the cool mountain air in or near Highlands please stop by and see us.
The upside to summer is that my stress level goes down. The downside to summer is that I tend to get into Kathy’s hair more frequently. (There is something to that whole “absence makes the heart grow fonder” thing.) But recently, I took steps to avoid any trouble.
Puppy dog Lucy now has a brand-spanking new dog cage in the back yard. (It isn’t clear to me exactly why we needed to put a 10 x 10 x 6 feet chain link cage in the middle of our fenced-in back yard, but Kathy wanted it, and you don’t argue with her about things for Lucy.) We leave the door open most of the time, and Lucy loves it. We have it under some shade trees. She dug a nice little pit in the red Georgia clay, and she frequently chills in the pit, in the cage. She has it made.
And this summer, so do I. If a little too much togetherness causes me to get under Kathy’s skin, I now have a nice place to sleep!