Cruel Summer

This weeked it was hot.  The kind of hot where you spend all the energy you have thinking of things you can make without cooking until you can’t eat anymore cold salads, but you don’t want to go out because it is too hot.  The kind of hot where you lie around and get tired just thinking about the things on your to do list.

Everyone’s first summer in Tucson is cruel.  Every time you go outside it feels like you are walking into a blast furnace, and every surface is too hot to touch – door knobs, mailboxes, even the very ground you walk on burns if you touch it without some sort of protection. Everything around you has the potential to hurt you. Things you took for granted in the spring are now almost impossible to do. 

Everyone tells you you will get used to it.  You probably will.  But while you are suffering through the first cruel summer, you are sure no one knows how you feel.  No one knows how where you come from, the cool evenings make up for any of the heat of the day.  Where the green grass is cool on your feet, and you can turn on the sprinklers to cool down if you need a break from the heat.

Your memories of those summers, by the lake, or in the mountains, only make that first, hot summer harder to bear.  You can’t get them out of your mind, especially when that heat rolls over you like a wave, as you remember lying on the grass in the evenings and looking up at the stars, or how her foot fit on the inside of your elbow when she breast fed, or how her smile lit up the room. Once the memories start, they come in waves – the green of her eyes, the sound of marble games coming from her room when she couldn’t sleep at night, her beautiful broad, crooked back in her burgundy ballet leotard.  How she still, even at 12, said callapitter, and blanklie and scunscreen.

This summer?  It’s going to be a scorcher.

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9 Responses to Cruel Summer

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    Jenine, I have truly enjoy reading your blogs. Yours is the first blog I have ever read and continue to read. I have kept your Christmas card next to my computer and see Andra & Grace each day. They keep my heart from getting too hard! When I look at each of them and I see life from a different perspective. I pray for childlike faith. I see that very clearly when I see your children. When I donate I always do it with an Andra heart. I feel like I know your girl because I know their hearts, and the hearts of their parents. Thank you for sharing your joys, sorrows, and your girls with the rest of us. They make me smile when I look at their pictures on the Christmas card or just think of them. Laura Shepley

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