I can usually count on two distinct aspects that normally occur every summer: 1. I fall into a summer slump and 2. Our blueberry bushes provide us with a good crop of berries.
So summer isn’t my favorite season AT ALL. I can hear many of you out there exclaiming, “What???” while shaking your heads.
In your book, summer equals relaxation, warm weather (no snow or ice), beach trips, fun in the sun, swimming and lounging in the pool, picnics, suntans, and the list goes on. I get it. You enjoy all of those activities.
Well, guess what? So do I (with the exception of suntans – this extremely fair skin I inherited from my English ancestors does not tan), but I simply cannot stand the heat and humidity of summer. I wilt like a wet dish rag.
When the weather dials it up several notches to hot, sticky, humid temperatures, I can be found inside in air conditioning. And I don’t want to be inside.
I want to be outdoors in fresh air without sweat dripping off of me, running into my eyes, and burning them. I want to enjoy time outside in sunshine without it sucking the life out of me, draining any ounce of motivation I may have drummed up. (And this, my friends, is why I love fall and spring 100% more than summer.)
What results is what I call the summer slump. I get cranky, lethargic, and totally unmotivated. Heck, I can’t even get inspired to create a lot of blog posts (indoors, of course) when summer rolls around and pushes temps into the upper digits of the thermometer.
I found this definition of “summer slump” on urbandictionary.com: A period during summer in which a person performs inefficiently due to the excessive amount of free time on their hands. The symptoms often include:
- remaining around the house for the majority of the day,
- sleeping in excessive amounts,
- persistent viewing of television,
- prolonged exposure to video games,
- neglecting personal hygiene,
- consuming large quantities of food (in most cases, junk food),
- loss of desire to leave their residence,
- and abstaining contact from the outside world other than Facebook or the occasional trip to 7-11.
The definition continued listing causes as “lack of school or a job, absence of friends, insufficient funds, and/or lack of transportation,” and also listed effects as “moodiness, weight gain, shortness of breath, insomnia, increase of nerdiness, shrinkage of intimacy, and/or depression.“
After reading this definition, I realize that perhaps I’m using the term summer slump incorrectly. First of all, I’m retired so I don’t lack a school, job, etc. Instead, I’m glad I don’t have a job right now!
Secondly, I’m not experiencing any of the effects (gee, am I more nerdy??). And lastly but foremost, the only symptoms I truly have is the first one – remaining around the house for the majority of the day.
I don’t sleep a lot, I watch TV rarely, don’t play video games. Don’t worry though because I do shower, so neglecting personal hygiene is not an issue.
I haven’t been eating a lot because it’s too darn hot to cook let alone eat. And I do have a desire to leave my home but between hot weather and this pandemic…well, there you have it.
I’m not sequestering myself away from communicating with the outside world, and Facebook – well, don’t get me started on that subject, so let’s just say I’ve been staying off social media to prevent adding extreme anger to my slumpiness (which I’m sure is not a word!).
I don’t make occasional trips to a 7-11 convenience store because we don’t have one (but there are Sheetz and Get-Go shops within driving distance) and I don’t visit those type of places regularly anyway.
Consequently, I guess I don’t have a classic case of summer slump per this definition, just my particular type – one of my own making I suppose. My summer slump consists of being lazy, unenthusiastic, and just plain uninterested because of the heat, which is totally out of my control.
And that explains aspect number 1. Now on to the second item on my summer happenings list. Blueberries.
A bumper crop of those delicious berries keeps me a tad busy. With multiple pickings, my kitchen counter has been filled with those sweet blue yummy fruit. And now, our freezer has quart-size ziplock bags full of them.
Blueberries force me to get out of my summer slump and do something – wash and dry them after picking, prepare some for eating (on breakfast cereal almost every day) and the rest for freezing.
I blanch them first then cool, dry, and place the berries in a single layer on a tray in the freezer so they freeze individually. Next, the frozen berries go into ziplock bags and I pop them back in the deep freeze. This way they don’t all lump together and you can take as many or as little berries out of the bag at a time as you want.
Prepping the berries is a plus because I’m sticking my head inside the freezer several times a day. And at least I can stay cool that way.
Summer? It doesn’t thrill me. But I’m grateful for the summer blues – blueberries, I mean. I guess you could say I’m like Fats Domino.
“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill.” ~ Fats Domino