(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: "ca-pub-1163816206856645", enable_page_level_ads: true }); Northview Diary: Summertime

Monday, August 08, 2022



I was eight when we moved to a now-demolished farm house right down the road from here. I loved it from the minute we moved in, until the day we had to move away. What's not to like about first time country living?

Except in the coldest days of winter, when we kids all piled in together under down comforters and carriage robes....

And...dum, da, dum, dum.....July and August.

Mom and Dad had a bookstore and an antique store on Main Street in Fonda. The buildings faced south (arsonists burned them down a couple years ago) and they were HOT. (Winter was the cold equivalent. I remember sitting at the coal stove, melting the toes of a particularly hated pair of white rubber boots. Hey, the white lines on the firebox looked kinda cool, and man did they stink!).

The folks took all three kids to work with them most summer days, although sometimes they left us older kids home to wreak havoc and turn feral. 

By the time we got home at night we were weary from hours on the sunbaked school playground a couple of blocks away, and queasy from too many grape popsicles, plus gallons and gallons of metallic-tasting village water straight out of the tap in the boarding house upstairs over the antique store.

That old farm house was as hot as Hell's attic. Sleep was slow to come to whiny, heat-soaked kids. We were too young to appreciate the few hours of cool that came most mornings, so we were miserable whether we were trying to hoe the sunbaked clay of the folks' garden, or begging for nickels at The Shop as we called it.

Oh, how we lusted for visits to Caroga Lake where we could pester Mom for trips to the ECLIPA beach to get cool and wet. And also to blow up tiny structures in Grandma and Grandpa's cabin yard. (I have an amazing uncle just a few years older than Mike and I...we spent hours upon hours building tiny edifices of sticks and twigs and fine, flat, rocks, out among the roots of the pines and balsam firs in the cabin yard. We then played with them for a while with my toy horses and Mike's toy trucks until we became a bit bored. Then we kids watched from inside the cabin while Uncle Larry blew them up with firecrackers. A good time was had by all.)

However, it was hard to sleep there in summer too. Along with the nagging heat came the mosquitoes of the evening hours. I think...nay, I know...that I was the worst whiner of all, whether over hot sleepless nights, or the need for immersion in good, cold lake water. (After all, the cold water soothed the skeeter bites for a while.)

Fast forward sixty years or so. I have been struck, over and over, by just how much this summer has resembled those years. Same kind of heat going on and on. Same rough nights, although now I have my own personal fan, which is a big improvement. 

This is just normal weather for Upstate NY in summer...all those monsoons we have experienced in the past couple of decades were not normal...this is!

Meanwhile, another thing that hasn't changed much...I am still whining. Somebody find me a beach!


Cathy said...

Oh Marianne . . . . We are time-traveling with you . . ..
What a gift . . what a gift.

Thank you.

threecollie said...

Cathy, thanks!