Jessie Raymond: Summertime and the living is busy

While golfing with my husband one evening last week, I hit an errant tee shot — and by “errant” I mean “normal,” for me — and nailed a squirrel. The poor thing had been frolicking with his buddies far from the fairway in what they surely thought was a safe zone.
They were wrong.
He lay motionless for several seconds while I looked on in horror, waiting to see if I’d killed or injured him. Up to that point, I’d never thought of my new hobby as a blood sport. Golf: like dog-fighting or bear-baiting, but with cuter outfits?
After a moment, however, the squirrel popped up and darted off to meet his pals at the edge of the woods — as if they’d be any safer over there. 
Later, I realized that the squirrel and I had something in common. The way he reacted to that golf ball upside the head is lot like the way I’ve reacted to the sudden arrival of summer: What just happened?
If I recall, winter gave way to a cold soup of a spring that dragged on for months. I wondered whether I’d be able to take off my socks even once in 2017. 
And then — BANG — just in the last week or so: summer, that time of year when you can break a sweat just sending a text.
I never saw it coming.
The first day the temperatures went over 90 degrees, I spent a half-hour trying to find our box fans. While I dug them out of the barn attic, the fruit flies returned from Capistrano to take up residence in our kitchen, and a giant, antisocial spider moved back into our mailbox. Let the games begin.
Typically, I’m anti-summer. I only tolerate it because of (a) creemees and (b) no shoveling. But in general, I prefer the nine cooler months and the associated nesting: staying home, cooking comfort foods, and putting on my pajamas as soon as it gets dark (yes, even when that’s 4:30 p.m.). 
In the winter, I’m content to sit idle on the couch or by the fire for hours, even days, at a time. Once summer hits, though, I can’t stop moving. I’m like the girl in the red garden clogs.
The change comes overnight. The first real summery day, I snap awake no later than 5 a.m. and yell to no one in particular, “Let’s go. We’re burning daylight!” 
“Who are you?” Mark says, covering his head with a pillow.
Hey, I’ve got flowers to plant and tomatoes to stake and compost to turn and rocks to move and laundry to hang out. And, unlike in January, in June the weekends overflow with graduations and weddings. Lounging is not an option.
But even 16 hours of daylight is not enough for all the things on my daily to-do list. And now that I’ve added a few evenings of golf to my weekly schedule, it’s more important than ever that I get things done in the time I have. Summer doesn’t last forever, you know.
Of course, I dislike a lot about the humid weather. The laundry gets mildew and the mail goes limp. The Raisin Bran Crunch turns to Raisin Bran Chew overnight. Last week I almost had to call 911 to come extricate me from a sweaty jog bra that rolled up to my armpits but would not go any farther. 
On the other hand, I find something energizing about the lush greenery and wildlife everywhere. I figure what we lose in ticks and mosquitoes, we make up for in birds and butterflies. How can I be lazy when there’s so much activity going on?
Strangely, I credit golf with making me really appreciate the fresh air and Green Mountain views. As demoralizing as I find the game more often than not, at this time of year being outside and walking appeals to me more than being cooped up in the house — although just saying that makes me long for a cold, dark, snowy December evening. Brrrrr (and I mean that in the coziest possible way). 
For now, in spite of the heat, I’ll keep up the dawn-to-dark pace in the never-ending quest to complete my to-do list. Not even the spider in the mailbox will slow me down. 
It won’t last, though. By August, I’ll be sick of the heat, sick of the garden, and ready to head back indoors and do nothing. The only difference this year is that I’ll be sad when it comes time to put the golf clubs away for the winter. 
The squirrels, on the other hand, are counting down the days.
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