Those Were the Days

How’s the weather. Always the icebreaker question that leads to an in-depth conversation about love lives, politics, religion, life on the rocks and life in the clouds. Yeah I don’t believe it either. But let’s get to it any way.

It has been hot here lately…I do mean hot. Not the “You can fry an egg on the side walk hot”…although it has gotten that hot here in Medford OR. It has reached 97  Fahrenheit. We have even had a run of a week over 95. Pretty warm…no?

Not for me. It’s just about right. I like the heat. I like to be warm without walking around dressed like the Michelin Man…unless I’m going to the mountains for the snow. But I really can’t stand the bone chilling cold of 58 when it is damp and the cold and moisture cut through to my joints and bones.

Me?…yes I’ll take the heat. It seems easier to cope with and easier to beat. A tall glass filled with ice and a vodka tonic seems to do the trick…don’t use this method if you are under age and this drinking simulation was performed on a closed circuit lawn chair by a professional imbiber.

Our public swimming pool is closed for much needed repairs and I haven’t seen the fountains in the down town plaza spouting cooling mists for the kids to play in. This isn’t New York City in the Thirties so the fire hydrants are off limits. That leaves the old, tried and true methods of our youth. Remember the 4’x8’x1’deep swimming pool that occupied the driveway for the summer. It seemed huge to a 4 year old. And when you weren’t in the pool the front yard sprinkler was the place to be. Filled with your brothers, sisters and neighbor kids, running, jumping and inventing games to fill the day and cool down the heat. And when all were tired the mom at whoever’s house you were at would bring out the frozen Kool Aid Pops…just remember to return the Tupperware sticks so they can be reused. After lying on the sidewalk and absorbing some of the heat, out came the Slip-n-Slide. That bright yellow sheet of plastic with the built in sprinklers to keep it wet the kids cool and the pandemonium ensued. And no admonishing “One at a time” could stop the onslaught of numerous kids engaging in a sliding race and running back to get in line for more. This was an all day event and when dinner time came, those not staying for a sleepover went home wrapped in towels, shivering in the cooling evening air yelling thanks to the mom who had provided the day long fun and Kool Aid Pops.

As I sit on the lawn in my Adirondack, sipping my iced vodka tonic I let my mind slip and slide to happier days of heat cooled off by a simple yard pool and sprinklers and smile. I can happily thank my mother and the neighborhood moms for all their loving care, efforts and time and truly think “Those were the days.”…sing it Archie.


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