Fall is my favorite season. I love its colors, its smells, and the sense of productivity that the harvest and the start of the school year bring. Spring is my second favorite season with its return to life, its colors and lightness. Winter isn’t great, but I can handle it. Summer, however, I hate.
The problem with summer is simple. It’s too damned hot. Maybe it’s my Scandinavian roots, but when the temperature soars I wilt. I really can’t handle the heat. I never could. I grew up in an old house without air conditioning and summers were miserable. We had a pool, something my Granddad put in back in 1968 in a stroke of genius, but you can’t live in a pool 24/7. Nighttime was the worst. I can’t sleep in the heat which meant that for large part of my childhood summers I didn’t sleep. And I was and am a dragon when I don’t sleep. I remember several nights when it was so hot and I was so desperate to sleep that I would get up in the middle of the night and jump in the pool in my nightgown then drip my way back up to bed in hopes of catching a few Zs.
Winter is cold, true, but in the dead of winter I sleep like a baby. Growing up in said old house without air conditioning there would be times when it was so cold that there was ice on the inside of my bedroom windows. That didn’t bother me so much because I always felt snug as a bug in a rug wrapped in eight layers of blankets. It was cozy. It did, however, bother me when I had to get out of bed in the morning and run down the hall to the bathroom and wait for the water in the shower to warm up. But that was only a few minutes. Heat doesn’t go away in a few minutes when you let the tap run.
Summer is expensive. Last August my electric bill was $235 because I had the air conditioner running round the clock. That AC could have challenged Usain Bolt to a sprint it ran so much. But it was necessary. When you grow up in a house without air conditioning one of two things are going to happen to you. Either you are going to adapt to heat and it won’t be a big deal and you’ll be able to do without it or you will crave the cold so much that you will pay any price to bask in air conditioned bliss. I fall into the latter category. But it isn’t just the AC that makes summer expensive. Summer is the time of vacations. It’s the time of hotel reservations, long car trips, and outings at theme parks, movies, and other events. My wallet cries in the summer. Granted, the rest of me has a super fantastic good time, but my wallet weeps.
My wallet also gets upset because my car is always due for state inspection in August. My old car. My car without air conditioning. I love my car fall, winter, and spring. It’s not much. It’s not pretty. But it gets me from point A to point B and is very reliable. The heat works fine. The air compressor is shot and I’ve had various estimates of between $300 and $900 to fix it. That’s not counting anything else that may come up as needing to be fixed for my car to pass inspection. In the summer.
Okay, summer does have its perks. My birthday, for one. Longer daylight hours for another. Part of me wants to say that cricket is a perk of the summer, but we play in the spring and the fall too and frankly those games are so much more enjoyable. Winter has its drawbacks. No cricket, for example. Massive dumps of snow too if you have winters like the last two we’ve had in Philly. And it’s dark. But it’s easier to put on layers of sweaters and socks than it is to take anything else off when it’s hot. And in the winter I can drink hot coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. I think I can put up with snow and ice and cold a lot more cheerfully than I can oppressive heat.
So. As you can see, fall and spring are awesome, winter is a lesser evil, but for me summer is a three month trip to Hades. Man, I can’t wait until October!