In Which The Livin' Is Easy

8 June 2005

Dear hearts, do you know what? We have mosquitoes in Minnesota. No, really. I'm sorry I didn't warn you to sit down before springing that kind of news on you, but sometimes I'm just thoughtless that way. Seriously, though: mosquitoes. Minnesota.

They're back for the season.

Also I have remembered why we have air conditioning here. Last summer was mild. It was easy, with the August we last had, to forget why exactly we would keep the house shut up. But it's entirely clear now. I knew there was a reason, and now my blood has experienced anew what my bones were sure they remembered.

Elise and I walked to DQ tonight. This was an extremely satisfying summer thing to do. There is better ice cream in Minneapolis -- better in that general neighborhood, even -- but this was not ice cream, it was DQ, and it was walking to DQ, and it was summer.

When I was still in school, summer happened by administrative fiat: summer was when you didn't have to go to school. Period. There was no such thing as a late summer or an early summer: summer came around or immediately following the last Monday in May, period and full stop. What was the weather doing? Who cared? It was summer, and the stuff that had preceded it was not.

I like this new kind of summer better, the kind where you pay attention to the humidity, the mosquito bites, the sun on the front steps when you go down to get the mail. I like that these things matter more than what somebody told you about summer.

I also like The Surgeon's Mate, which is the Patrick O'Brian novel I'm reading now, even though it's making me squirm and want to holler, "Don't do it, Maturin!" There are worse things to squirm about. You're supposed to squirm over the characters' flaws and foibles and bad choices. It's squirming over the author's that gets so painful.

Which reminds me that I'm in for revisions once I finish the draft of "Singing Them Back." Sigh. Well, onwards.

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