Every year I can't wait for the summer. But every year, I am so in denial about how hot it gets around here. When living at the beach, just because you have the ocean close by, you think it just doesn't get as hot as...... HELL! But it does - sea breeze, or no sea breeze. Every year I get proven wrong; especially when I have to hose the kids down because they start emitting smoke from their bodies from playing outside too long.
SCORCH, SCORCH, SIZZLE, SIZZLE!
Put it this way, you know it's hot when your usual I have to roam the whole neighborhood because I am still walking ball of fertilizer cat won't even step foot towards the door to go outside because of the blast of hotter-than-Hades air singes his little brown nose if he even makes an attempt to do so. He has preferred to either lay half on, half off the sofa in a semi-coma for the entire day, or stroll around looking for various objects to destroy and call it playtime for himself.
My air conditioner has been going non-stop for four days now and I go into a half-panic mode after the local news reports last night that air conditioners all over the place are failing from trying to cool our Southern sweaty asses to death. My overactive imagination starts thinking that ours is going to blow at any moment, and I'll have to resort to hanging bags of ice under each fan while the whole family wanders naked throughout the house to keep cool.
Eewww! What a completely disgusting vision.
Regardless of the death defying heat, today my son and I decided to mow the lawn together since if only one of us did, then that one would have been passed out in the grass from heat stroke/exhaustion after about five minutes of mowing at 7 a.m. Most of the time I relish the idea of sweating like pig before slaughter as I look at it as an opportunity to "wash" myself of fat cells that have turned into squatters on my thighs. Julian looks at it as an opportunity to score more minutes/hours on Xbox 360 without parental retaliation.
But today is different.... today, our home has been transported into hell and the brown-tipped remains of what was once called grass in our yard, has to be mowed down so that hell's sun can burn off what's left of our so-called yard. I love the sound of the crunch it makes under my feet, and the feeling of a thousand needles being shoved into my tender skin. The blood tracks I leave behind go so well with the brown and green pallet at my toes.
Now I've become a bit obsessive about watering the lawn lately. Let's just say I was outside last night watering with my two newfangled garden hose attachments that have an abundant 25 ways to apply water to your garden/lawn, until about 9:00 pm.
"Why am I not using our automatic water sprinkler?", you ask.
Because I have a call-in to fix it cause it went completely haywire the other night and refused to shut off. I had possessed sprinklers watering the windows, the other side of the fence, and the other neighbors yard. It was like poltergeists had taken over my pop-up sprinklers and they were watering everything but the half-dead shit on the lawn.
I was completely soaked when I came screaming..... yes, I was screaming, into the house.
"KUUUUUURRRRRTTTT!!!! The sprinklers won't shut off and their going nuts outside!", I'm yelling as you hear a fwwwwaaappp, fwwwaaappp, fwwwaaappp, on the front door from the water smacking as it flies around and around in hapless circles. Water is now coming in under the front door.
So much for the fucking door sealers. Now the hardwood is gonna warp and mold. Great! But hey, at least I got my shower over for the evening, and my clothes laundered to boot!
So now I've been temporarily reduced to a garden hose with various attachments to water a yard that most would give up on this far in the season, but I'm too stubborn to think about. I want soft cushy stuff under my kids toes like my neighbors yard. But then again, they have that soft bermuda stuff and some idiot planted cheap centipede grass on my side that grows like a weed but has literally NO redeeming qualities whatsoever except to make the lawn look..... like a cheap lawn.
So the near dead grass has to be mowed down to make room for more dead grass that I have to tend to like sick babies needing a surrogate mother to nurture them back to health. I did it with my herbs - I will do it with a lawn full of crappy looking grass.
Julian and I take turns mowing rows while sucking ice water down like desert rats in a drought. We're both wearing so much sunscreen that it feels like someone has placed a thin layer of plastic over my skin. UV's out - heat in! Can't they make that stuff breathable at least? Plus, I am sporting the most reflective color of titanium white in my clothes that I need two sets of sunglasses just to rid myself of the blinding glare when I look down at my shorts. Julian can't even look at me at all with screams of blinding pain as he covers his eyes and shouts "Don't go into the light!"
The suffering we Southerns go through just to have a lush lawn. It's is no wonder we are the butt of so many jokes in Hollywood. Add this one to the list!
"Hey Homer - We ain't got nuttin to eat or drink, but damn we have a fine looking lawn now don't we. Did you make sure you put that extra bug-killin, weed-eliminatin, rock-crushin, ant-explodin, FDA, AMA, USDA approved herbicide, pesticide, cyanide grass fertilizer on it so that we'll have the greeenist lawn in the whole su-bur-ban-ITE neighborhood? By the way Homer, did you make sure you mowed it so we can see them puuurty diamond patterns when we drive by our yard in our ATV's?"
Please God, strike me dead if I ever get that desperate with my lawn!
We managed to mow it, but it got so stinking hot that I still haven't gotten to the waist high weeds and overgrown blackberry vines that have invaded my front entry way.
I tried weeding last night after the sun started going down because it was just too hot to do it while there was any light showing at all. I got a whole five minutes worth of weeding accomplished. I have no idea what the hell I pulled up because it got so dark so quickly. I do know I got a few blackberry vines as I am still trying to pull the flea-sized thorns out today, and I have track marks of blood in various directions across my legs from the things ripping across my skin as I pulled them out of the ground. What a pretty accessory to have with my summer dresses.
So tomorrow, I will try to rise before the birds even attempt to wake and my skin begins to fry in the 100+ degree weather in order to remove uninvited weeds and out of control fruit bushes in the front garden. The lawn is mowed, but these weeds are still taunting me - laughing at me - visiting me in my dreams and daring me to even try to pull their shallow and obnoxious roots from my entry way.
I will don steel-lined gardening gloves, take my cup of coffee and then simply crack my eggs and bacon on the front concrete porch sans frying pan, and cook my breakfast when the sun rises upon it. I will weed till the heat initially begins to bake the hair off my head through my canvas hat.
I'll get about 10 minutes worth of weeding done before I'll have to run into the house and close myself up in the freezer for the day. Unfortunately, I will have to fight five other people for the spot.