Sweet Summertime

Even though I’ve lived in Wisconsin a little more than four years, it’s still tough for me to remember how slowly summer rolls in. Taking its time. Slow and steady. During the months of April and May, I find myself missing the South more than usual.

I miss the certainty that by Easter, you’ll be able to show off your fancy new Easter dress. You might need a cardigan, but you’re guaranteed to be able to twirl  about in your latest floral find.

I miss feeling the temperature inch up with each and every April rainfall. And oh, do I miss Southern thunderstorms. The air’s so thick and humid, you could slice right through it with a knife. Rain drops fall and daffodils and tulips come right up. By May, you’ve definitely retired your winter jacket, (Coat? Pssh. No need for a coat. A jacket’s been just fine, thanks.), and you’ve transitioned to shorts and skirts and sandals.

And those sandals. I miss seeing sandals everywhere in the springtime. Hearing the thwap as they hit the pavement. I miss being surrounded by men, women, boys, girls and – yes – babies wearing Rainbows, the signature Southern footwear. Those buttery leather flip flops go with anything and everything: your favorite pair of jeans and your best dress.

I miss knowing that by the time my birthday rolls around on June 1, it will feel like full-fledged summer. My birthday parties growing up were always outdoor picnics and adventures and once, I was even lucky enough to have a slip and slide. (I’m thinking I might need to revisit this. You’re never too old, right?) No, you never had to worry about June. By then, temperatures are firmly in the 70s and 80s.

I miss nighttimes that don’t really cool off. Temps dip down just enough so you can enjoy rocking on the porch swing without breaking into a sweat.

I miss those balmy Southern nights intensely. The sound of cicadas chirping. Lightning bugs flickering. Breezes whispering in the trees. There’s just nothing like the sweet, sweaty warmth of spring and summer in the South.

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