Monday, June 6, 2005

Full Summer

Our cable and internet connection went down last Friday, and didn't get back up and running til Sunday. Hence the lacuna in my posts. I had meant to put up something on Sunday night, but found that I had been knocked out by the sudden transition we just experienced here in G'boro -- from a cool, dry spring, to full summer, and all that entails in the piedmont of North Carolina.

First clue of transition: my regular Sunday morning run with Pete Kellet in Country Park was not the invigorating, doesn't-it-make-you-glad-to-be-alive experience that it has been since March. Rather, it started out as a my-isn't-it-humid-this-morning thing, then ended up as a sweaty, foot-plodding, this-is-the-longest-6-damn-miles-I've-ever-run-and-why-the-hell-isn't-Pete-fading-as-fast-as-I-am bit of torture.

Then back home for some reel mowing in my own yard. And since Mr. Absolutely American had assumed the summer position (that's an X-Box controller in his hand),

I decided it would be a good idea for him to perform a little useful public service, so together we touched up a few shaggy spots in the neighborhood with the power mower. (By the way, there's absolutely no reason to infer that I put him to these tasks because I, his father, ranked only 6th 7th on his list of top 10 bloggers. No reason whatever.) (Update: Mr. Absolutely American has not taken kindly to this post. He should be aware, however, that many household tasks await his efforts, should he contemplate placing A Little Urbanity any lower on his list.)

By evening all I was good for was sipping a tonic on the front porch, which is the coolest place in the domicile, since we haven't yet turned on the AC. The porch faces east, and gets some very nice breezes. The computer was inside, in the kitchen, and the kitchen was hot.

Every year I think, we don't really need the air conditioning. And I'm pretty sure we could do without it, except for one thing. Actually, two things. Two shedding, panting, Belgian Malinois dogs.

They don't exactly pant all night; if they did, I'm sure the panting would fade into background noise, and I'd sleep through it. But they just pant most of the time. At irregular intervals they start smacking their chops, then they breathe heavily through their nostrils for 30 seconds or so, then they start panting again. But wait-- a flea! Vigorous chattering and snapping of teeth as they go after it! Grunts and weird snarfling noises. Licking. Pant pant pant. Flea again! Scratching and floor thumping! Back to panting.

And then there's the hair. How is it that a dog can carry 10 bushels of hair on its body all winter and still look like a regular, short-haired dog, and not a sheep? Then, on the first hot day, it starts coming off in tufts, in clouds, falling like snow. And have you ever noticed that when you're lying on top of the sheets, kind of sweaty, listening to your dogs pant (etc.), that it's impossible not to imagine that tufts and skeins of dog hair are landing on your body, your face, and in your mouth? Wait, you didn't imagine it -- there really is a dog hair in your mouth.

So maybe that window unit will go in pretty soon. The dogs need it.

Still, summer has great pleasures, as evidenced by these people, this afternoon, at Friendly Park Pool.

Tomorrow: the first dual meets of the season in the Greensboro Community Swim Association!

I love summer.


Lenslinger said...

David - you got it all wrong. Summertime in the Carolinas sucks - at least for this camera schlub, anyway. It's enough to make an aging lenslinger wish he were...I dunno - a classics professor or something.

Anonymous said...

Ummm. You....don't...need....air conditioning? AHHHHHHH!!!!! I swear, I turn the a/c on in February. It's too HOT down here in the summer! Of course, I'm from way up in Upstate NY where we typically have our first snow in time for Halloween and our last around Mother's Day. And it's just just a little snow, mind yout - it's several feet. AND, those several feet don't cause anything to close down! Hehe. My mother complains when it hits 80 degrees.

Anonymous said...

I REALLY hope Kim gets to go back to NY state very soon.

Anonymous said...

Ummm. Ok. Are you saying that because you know I WANT to go back to NY or because you want me to leave? LOL! If it's the first one, thank you! If it's the second one...sigh.

Actually, I don't mind Greensboro, but it's not where the heart is. It is a nice city, though.

Anonymous said...

and that should have been NOT just a little snow. Please ignore my typos. I haven't had enough coffee today.

David Wharton said...

Oh, puhleez, Anonymous. Don't bother leaving comments like that.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Frontline? I've found that if you keep up with it, fleas are not a problem.

Just this week, my dog has started the summer routine of leaving the bed after an hour or so and has gone to hiding under the bed at night. It is very lonely. He does get back on the bed in the morning when he notices me stirring though.

David Wharton said...

I think the dog beds get a bit hot in summer -- maybe it's cooler under the bed?

We use an anti-flea med we get from our vet, and it works well. But with our number of pets (6), and the amount of time the animals spend outside, one or two fleas occasionally survive long enough to induce scratching.

Anonymous said...

David, have you ever run the Fun 4th 10K? I ran it twice and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. The last time I ran it I did manage to win first place in my age group, but I don't think I was that fast - I just happened to be faster than the other people who were running it at the time. There is no way that would happen if I ran it this year - I just haven't been training enough.

David Wharton said...

Kim, the Fun Fourth 10k was the first competitive race I ever ran. But I didn't come close to winning my age group!

I think I'll run it this year, too.

The Traveler said...

I hate to tell you Dad, But you were 7th, not 6th on my list. Sorry!

D. Hoggard said...

So good to have offspring that are detail oriented, ain't it David?

Thanks for the clarification, Sam.