Summertime is finally here

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush little baby, Don’t you cry
--Ella Fitzgerald

My favorite part of the year has just arrived.

I love the summer, always have, growing up in various countries as a kid, and as an adult, all settled down and growing longer in the tooth.

I look around in the morning, only to see no school buses, no kids standing around waiting for the buses, because this is a special time of the year for everyone. No matter how hot it gets, summertime is special.

It’s a mindset. Relaxation, although most of us still have to work; trips short and long; just getting away mentally and physically for however long.

But weekend trips to places like Galveston are going to be a little crowded. I like to go on Sunday afternoons, or on a weekday if possible, when the crowds are smaller. Apparently, I’m not the only one who likes to hit the tourist spots on weekends.

I love hanging out in Brazoria County also, especially at Quintana Beach County Park or Bryan Beach. Surfside is great, but on peak summer weekends, the crowds are a little much for me. Every now and then, breaking away from the county is a great feeling.

I also like to get lost at Brazos Bend State Park when it’s not flooded.

When I sit in my backyard listening to the songbirds, having a morning coffee and reading the newspaper, that is where I want to be at that particular time, and there is no better place. That’s also getting away.

Remember how cold it was for a long time in the winter? I do. I hated it. If I want cold, I’d live in the northeast or high up there in Colorado, where it’s about 45 degrees on top of the mountains, even on a warm day.

Bring on the heat; I am ready. I have my thermostat set at 79, and no kids in the house to complain about how hot they are. I often drive my car with the sunroof open and the windows down and feel the warm breeze.

I like to swim in the Gulf of Mexico when the waters hit about 85 degrees.

One time when I was in Europe, I decided to go swimming in Lake Balaton in Hungary, at a popular tourist spot. The hotel clerks were bragging about how warm the lake has become because they were having a heatwave.

I used to swim in that lake when I was a little boy, and after all those decades, I was ready to do it again. In my mind, it was a historic event. But only in my mind.

Others who witnessed this great event saw me stick my foot in the water and heard me saying: “The hotel clerks are crazy. This is ice cold.”

Then I saw that little kids were having a great time in the lake, and I jumped in, keeping private that I could not breathe for a while until I got used to the water.

Kids can handle the cold. I see them all the time waiting for the school bus when it’s in the 40s outside, acting like it’s the middle of the summer. I have four layers of clothing on and the car heater on max, and these kids are rolling by on their skateboards, wearing T-shirts.

A Facebook friend who lives near the Canadian border posted recently that the local media was getting excited about the peak temperature prediction for the following day. It was supposed to hit 81.

“That’s just too hot, too early,” she said.

“That’s a cold front here,” I posted. “Get a sweater.”

Yes, the cold is for the birds, but not the snowbirds, who come here for warmth in the winter.
Time to make some more hot coffee and go back to the back porch for some peace and quiet – and that nice, warm breeze.