Making Sense Out of a Summer ‘Staycation’

Making Sense Out of a Summer ‘Staycation’
Except for my July birthday, I’m not fond of summer. Living in the South, summer means at least five months of oppressive heat and humidity. Last week, I mentioned how my husband and I had to cancel our annual beach vacation. As I dreamt about sitting on the white-sugar sands and wading in the crystal waters of Destin, Florida, I realized I experience summer on a sensory level. With stress as my No. 1 trigger, the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feelings of summer bring tranquility that I don’t experience the rest of the year. Sightseeing My favorite part about summer vacation is staring out the car window while my husband drives. When we pass through small towns, I daydream about the people who live there. I imagine what happened in the abandoned shacks lying in ruin in the middle of nowhere. I look for wildlife in the forests lining the highway and search for alligators and turtles in the waters below the bridges we cross. Stuck at home, my daily view consists of my neighbors exercising in their garage and dogs sniffing around my front yard. But a few evenings ago, I had a moment of serenity when I went outside shortly after dusk. The first lightning bugs of the season flickered everywhere. I marveled at their lights until they faded into the darkness. Heading upwind into summer If summer had a scent, it would be the perfume of the SPF 70 sunscreen I slather on at the pool and the beach. However, I don’t foresee the need for sunblock anytime soon. Instead, I’m anticipating the mouthwatering aroma of lighter fluid, charcoal, and seared meat wafting through the neighborhood and — I hope — from my backyard. I avoid using the oven and the stove during summer to prevent heating the house. That means my husband takes over more cooking duties by
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