It’s summer. It’s Arkansas. It’s hotter than the shades of Hell outside. That’s pretty hot, just in case you didn’t already know.
This time of the year, I tend to stay indoors quite a lot. We have a small fishing boat, and we could go to the lake. We could swim off of it if we really wanted to. I just don’t want to. It’s too hot. Even the water at the lake feels like a bathtub this time of the year. I can just stay home, run the bath, and avoid the snakes, fish, and mud that comes with the lake. Plus, I avoid a morning shower if I take a bath in the evening. It’s a win-win, since I’m not a morning person.
I don’t know how outdoor creatures survive this time of the year. The reptiles, I don’t feel sorry for, really. They just adjust. The furry creatures, like dogs, deer, and the like, though, I just don’t see where they go to escape the heat. My own furchild, pictured here, doesn’t have to worry about it. She goes out several times a day, but otherwise is ensconced on the sofa or chair, happy and content in the a/c. I’m the same way. I worked outside as a kid and in my early 20s. I don’t know that I could stand to do it again.There is just something about summers in Arkansas that make me wonder why my ancestors stopped here. They had an entire country to explore. It wasn’t as crowded back then, in the 1880s. The could easily have stayed in the northeast or moved to the northwest. They could have journeyed somewhere close to the ocean, to at least get the ocean breezes and cool winds off the coast. But, no. They stopped mid-country, which in the summer is much like being trapped in a county fair animal pen, with no way of escape, surrounded by 1,005 of your closest friends. It’s not pleasant, to say the least.
Thankfully, my job now doesn’t require much outdoor time. If it did, I think I would just move to another state. I couldn’t go back to working outdoors in the hot Arkansas summer. This older body couldn’t take the temperatures, plus I just don’t want to. I know some folks have pools and swear that they are the best thing ever. I disagree. I see a concrete eyesore that takes up 1/3 of your backyard that is only used 4 months (maybe) out of the year but requires basically year-round care or it will end up looking like the green pond off of Kanis. Not a pretty sight to behold, and certainly not something I’d want to swim around in. I’d rather just go to the lake when I want to, which is rare.
A month from today, we’ll be traveling again. This time, we’re going to Europe for a cruise to the long-awaited Greece. Sweetie was set to sail there on or about July 31, 1990, but some world leader decided to invade Kuwait, so his ammo ship got redirected to go sit in the ocean and supply other ships. Ever since, Greece has been on his list of places to visit, so we are making the trek this year. Our next trip after that is to Australia, set for February of next year. Nothing is planned yet after that, as it will somewhat depend on my ability to take off, our daughter’s potential relocation in the Navy and the birth of their child, and our ever shrinking list of new places to explore. I would love nothing more than to travel all the time, at least for a year, to maybe get it out of my system. Who am I kidding, though? I don’t think I could ever get travel out of my system. As someone once told me, I’m “nomadic” and weird in that regard. You’ll notice he’s no longer around.
My former boss once told me about meeting the lady who later became his wife. He told her he was looking for a woman with two things: a education and a passport. Others need not apply. I guess those were on my list as well. We have been together for more than 12 years. In that time, we’ve been to many countries, crossed the equator, and soon will cross the international date line. We cam really close to that on the trip to Tahiti in 2013, but not quite. We’ll be marking that off our list in February. Just thinking about travel has me all giddy.
Just don’t make me travel outside in the Arkansas heat.