July 20, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day’s gift.)
The marriage of muggy summers and reading is in my blood. I grew up in a Baltimore City row house with limited air circulation and before window air conditioners became part of everyday life. In those days, summer seemed to stretch out forever but that didn’t bother me because I had my books. On those summer days after a restless, sweaty night in a second floor bedroom, I had no desire to ride my bike or move much at all. I sat out on the glider swing on our front porch with awnings down to keep the sun off and read one book after another. If the temperature and humidity were really unbearable, I would walk to the next street and read in my grandmother’s basement. My parents’ unfinished cool and damp cellar with scampering water bugs was not an option. My grandmother’s basement, however, was finished with bookshelves, a summer kitchen and a comfortable reading chair.
Today was too hot to walk in the park and my desktop computer seemed to be generating too much heat. The heat and humidity had sucked out any ambition for productivity. I declared today reading day. I did not consider sitting uncomfortably outside on the porch to read but plopped myself down on the This-End-Up sofa, put my feet on the Ikea hassock and read several hundred pages of a murder mystery. A magic happens when I shed my skin and jump inside the heads of fictional characters with a mystery to solve. I don’t want to put the book down.
Nothing has changed over the past 60 years except that the house air conditioning system now provides more comfort. Oh yes—one other thing has changed. The summer no longer seems to stretch out forever.
My gift today is time, a book and air conditioning.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here: