August

Don’t tell my sister, but I hate August.

Hate it.  (But please don’t tell her, because her birthday’s in August, and she might take it personally.  I mean, for all I know, she hates January, which holds my birthday, but there you go. I hate August.)

I hate the sticky-hot weather.  I hate the way the grass starts going dull, the way the pool announces its limited hours, the way the garden looks all bedraggled and sprawling, like it has just given birth to some hulking inhuman monster and might not recover… I hate the way my kids get in August, right before school starts – they’re cranky and touchy and everybody has these unwritten rules about how they can be touched and how  loud they can stand someone else’s voice, and how to play some game they made up last Thursday…

I hate the way the sky goes all flat and no-colored in the mornings.  I hate the bushels of tomatoes piling up on the deck because I just canned a load of those already!, and I can’t get to them all before they go bad.  The house is full of dust from the gravel road.

None of my fragrances seem right for the weather.  None of my clothes do either: too casual or too formal, too bright or too dull, too warm or not warm enough, wah wah wah.

I don’t get to go back to school with fresh notebooks and a new pair of shoes.

Which wouldn’t be so bad, except I’m not lying on a beach somewhere with a Mai Tai and a new Elizabeth George novel, either.

This Is Me, right now:

So I need an attitude transplant.  I’ll try reminding myself of the good stuff about August.

The flowers in front of the house are gorgeous right now, and there are swarms of butterflies around – little white ones and sulfur yellow ones, little brown-and-orange ones, those big black ones with startlingly blue spots on their wings.

I have 40 quart jars full of tomatoes in the pantry, plus 80 ears of corn and 10 quarts of peaches in the freezer.  We’ll be eating good this winter.

Football weather and the things that go with it, like marching band and blue skies and autumn leaves, are right around the corner.

Even if nothing seems quite right in terms of scent or raiment, I have choices.  Frankly, I should probably have fewer choices and be happier with them.

I could probably go back to school if I really wanted to.

The CEO doesn’t really do lie-on-the-beach vacations.  (Ever seen a caged tiger? Then you’ve seen him with “nothing to do” on vacation.  It’s a thing to be avoided.)  But he has taken me some really cool places, and here’s a pic of one.

This is the Marine Parade on Manly, just a half-hour ferry ride across Sydney Harbour from the city.  It was taken on July 30, 2007 – and keep in mind that an equivalent date in the Northern Hemisphere would be January 30.  Note the people wearing shorts.  That day, The CEO and I did go and sit on the beach.  We talked instead of reading, and drank Cokes instead of Mai Tais, but we dug our feet into the sand and relaxed.  It was nice.  I can go there in my mind.

Images, from top to bottom: “2010 Book Lovers Calendar” from BookLoversStuff at Flickr, “Have a nice day somewhere else” from Indoorcat629 from icanhazcheeseburger.com, and photo Marine Parade, Manly, Australia from my personal files.  I don’t remember which one of us took this one, actually.

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14 thoughts on “August”

  1. I totally get your hating August. Same for me with January-February. August is leading up to September, which is MY birthday month, which is only one reason it’s the most delightful month of the year.

    Nice to look back on vacation moments, especially when you’re stuck in month you don’t love.

    Hang on – September is right around the corner.

  2. I like August. But it’s not sticky-hot here (usually), just dry hot. And we have no kids to chase around. And I usually experience the heat while lying on a blanket in the park reading a murder mystery. So, it’s different.

    1. Ugh, August. Humidity stinks.

      I’m not so much “chasing” kids around as I am “ferrying” kids around… baseball, band practice, track practice, stuff like that. But yeah, when you’re only responsible for yourself, it’s different.

  3. I can so relate to the August blahs….not as bad, however, now that my children are older. The days go by so fast any more, August seems to zoom by.

    July 30 is my birthday….July 30, 2007 I was hooked up to an IV for my first iron infusion. The hematologist was shocked at my blood work and insisted I begin anemia treatment that day, birthday or not. And lucky you sat on a beach!

    Does you sister read your blog? If so, hello Sister and Happy Birthday!

    1. Oh, hi, T!

      How “older” is “older”? Are they driving yet?

      Glad you made it through the anemia (are you still undergoing regular treatments?). The beach at Manly was really nice… a few days later, we took the train and then a bus from downtown Sydney to Bondi Beach, which is gorgeous, and the whole trip took about 40 minutes. Businesspeople in suits came to the beach, I suppose during their lunch hours, and took off their shoes to walk in the sand for half an hour – then calmly sat down at the pavilion, put on their shoes, and walked away. It was amazing to me, particularly because this was the so-called dead-of-Australian-winter, and it was 70F. Blue sky. Golden sand…

      My sister avoids my blog – either she’s too deep into Facebook or she doesn’t care for my topics. She commented to me once that it was “interesting,” in the sort of voice you use when you don’t want to say what you really think.

      1. Older as in college and beyond! I do sometimes miss those ferrying days…some of my best conversations with my children happened in a car.

        And for the moment, iron levels are OK. Went back to eating red meat, egg yolks, more beans and still lots of spinach and I seem to be able to hold my own.

  4. I’m sorry that you hate August.
    In this month I am always reminded how short our summers really are here, I love autumn but the winters are so long and dreary , damp with cold in Washington,
    I treasure summer as long as I can!
    Leaves are already changing…

    Getting all the girls ready for back to school is always such a chore but I always look forward to those precious quiet mornings after the hustle and bustle. And I *still* get a lil’ weepy when I take them that very first day, growing so big and beautiful , it saddens me that I don’t appreciate it enough how fast they are getting older.
    And this year I’m trying to go back to school too-
    to be a dental hygienist so THAT will be weird, I’ve been a stay @ home mama for years!
    I’m scared shitless but excited. I hope I can enroll for fall.

    And my Tauer saving will be over come Oct!!!!
    I have been waiting on that forever it seems 😉

    <3~T

    1. Well, hey there T! I love love love autumn and spring, and I don’t mind winter (although last winter was pretty looooonnnngggg here).

      You know what it is? The kids are sick of each other when they’re home a lot, and the bickering is getting to me. Bookworm is getting to be a real teenager, and she Has Moods, which is part of the problem. Then Taz seems to make it his personal mission to annoy people, just to see if he can make an impact. And Gaze is one of those passive-aggressive agents provocateurs… he’ll repay Taz for hitting him, or Bookworm for a snippy comment, with some provoking remark – but ONLY the provoking remark, so that he can say with perfect (but incomplete) truth later, when I come to investigate, “I didn’t DO anything!”

      I mean, I love them to death. I do. But the end of summer, like that period in January this year when they were out of school for 18 days straight, is like purgatory. There’s a picture of them up on the most recent Scent Diary, and it’s funny how I can look at that and see their personalities right there in their faces.

      I’m so proud of you for going back to school! I hope it’s fulfilling, and that you do well. (You will. I’m confident of that.) October’s coming… yay.

  5. Haha, I’ve been to Manly – stayed with friends there in December and January and we went to the beach on Christmas Day, as you do. All very surreal!

    Mr Bonkers would be a good holiday companion for The CEO. He gets very antsy on beach holidays – well, we don’t have them basically – though I may occasionally be able to wangle a beach “day”.

    I hate our Augusts, because the weather is so changeable and disappointing – prime holiday season, always a damp squib. The UK is now having summers between April and June, it is most strange.

    Elizabeth George – haven’t read her in a while. Been on a Kathy Reichs kick. The ones with bones in every title. : – )

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