Summer in the South

It gets hot in the South. Like holy mother, oh my God, don’t touch me, HOT.

To survive summer in the South, you need three things:

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1. A pool.

Everything got better once we joined a pool. Summer in the South became bearable, at least for me.

Before, I just used to hate the summer, dread it, worry about it because there was nothing to do and nowhere to go but to soak in your own sweat and misery.

In the Midwest, there are public pools. But in the South, you have to pay. I held out for years and then finally when I got pregnant, I said, We are joining a pool or I am going to kill myself.

Finally we had somewhere to go. Before, we used to just wander movie theater parking lots aimlessly, visit bars. It was so hot, you couldn’t move.

But at the pool, at least you can submerge, you get some relief, it’s not that bad.

I like a community pool. Because you don’t have to clean it. And it’s somewhere to go. You can people-watch.

I love our pool (pictured above). Because you can drink and socialize and listen to music.

And if you’re lucky, your kids will find somebody to play with so you can sit down for half a second and relax.

2. Air-conditioning.

There is no fooling. You need an air conditioner. A window unit. Central air. Whatever. Something mechanical that blows freezing cold air at you.

When we were dating and broke all the time (more so than now anyway), my husband was gifted a 1970’s two-door red Saab with a broken heat unit. Which meant, while you were driving, at all times, heat blasted out at you. Right at your face. Even in the summer. Even when it was 105 F degrees out. He would roll the windows down, stick his elbows out and drive around town, not even breaking a sweat. While I almost passed out.

Then his mother borrowed the car and totaled it and I was secretly happy about it. Because I would never have to ride in that car again.

3. A cool breeze.

You wait for it. Days and days and days of heat so hot it comes in waves off the smoking asphalt. But then, finally, one night, the wind picks up, the leaves move in the trees and the cool breeze comes. You can open the window and sit there.

And the relief!

The relief of the cool breeze. It washes over you. And it feels like a gift, a surprise, and it almost makes it all worth it — that one perfect moment of release.

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