Who said that living is easy in the summertime? Don’t get me wrong, I love being outside, the long days and the hot weather. But for me, summer is a contact sport in which I usually lose.
Two weeks ago while riding my bicycle, I decided to drop by and say hello to my neighbor. As I appeared from behind a high hedge, his dog Sharky spied me and charged with a battle cry that would scare Bravehart. Ignoring the loud commands of my neighbor, Sharky came after me like any self-respecting deep sea predator would. Trusting my friend’s control of the situation, I naively thought that Sharky would eventually hear his calls and retreat to her post to resume her duties as noise maker.
Wrong. As I stopped and stood straddling my bicycle, the pound hound went for flesh. Sharky’s canines ripped through my brand new Target shorts and latched onto my left quadricep. Ouch. While I froze in disbelief, Sharky went for blood. Luckily for me, the neighbor pulled Sharky away before her teeth broke skin. The encounter did leave a nasty bruise about two inches in diameter. I’m recovering.
The following week, while watering my Japanese iris, I heard them about the same time as one of a swarm of yellow jackets stabbed me on top of my right hand. Again, ouch. Recalling my tango with last year’s swarm, I immediately dropped the watering can. With arms flailing, I pranced like a drunken body snatcher across the front yard. My neighbors, who were taking their evening stroll, stopped for the show.
The venom from the sting caused my hand and wrist to swell. For two days, it looked as though I was wearing one red boxing glove, Michael Jackson style. My husband exacted revenge by pouring gasoline down into their underground nest. No doubt they will be back to fight another day.
So it is with great caution that I step into my favorite time of year. No walking through tall grass without my boots to protect me from chigger or snake bites. Give all wild vines growing out of control a wide berth. (Does poison ivy have three or four leaflet clusters?) While at the beach, stay away from all warm, salty water least the jellyfish find me and don’t even think about going into the ocean when the evil Under Toad has been sighted just off shore. Wear my slaps at all times to keep abandoned and rusted fish hooks, nasty dagger deck splinters, and unyielding glass bits from making a soft landing in my naked heels.
PF50 sunscreen, check. Hat and long sleeved shirt, check. Citronella candles, check.
Summertime, bring it on!