Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June Bugs and June Brides

You might wonder where I’m going with bugs and brides. What could they possibly have in common? With June brides come the images of flowers and showers, preachers and parties and the meshing of new families. With June bugs come the sounds of head-buzzing and lampshade pelting, swooshing fly swatters and cats rocketing across the living room and smashing into patio doors.

I’m thinking of both as we glide past spring into summer. We’ve had two family weddings this month and seemingly more fat brown June bugs dancing around our light bulbs than all years past. Both brides and bugs have swept quickly past leaving a fluttering of invitations and, well, wings and legs. Perhaps it’s analogous that we’re also counting more blessings than ever in our lives.

Life doesn’t always follow our plans, but along the turns of the past year we’ve found ourselves growing richer in relationships as every page falls from the calendar. The hours of this month fly past with old friends getting back in contact, new acquaintances from the weddings filling our address book and the activities of summer crowding our schedules.

Even after all the years since graduating school and university, there is still something delicious about welcoming summer and its possibilities for fun: jumping in a pool to escape the heat, slipping into a chilly matinee on a bright afternoon, choosing just the right flavor of syrup on snow cones or nestling down with that great paperback in the middle of the afternoon. It’s all lightness that we create for ourselves. Life isn’t perfect, but there is a perfectly magnificent blue sky beckoning us outside to gaze upward.

With triple digit heat in Austin, it’s important to create some slow-down time outside to slurp on a juicy watermelon and feel the condensation dripping down your wrist from an icy beverage. We find that it works to write “Down Time” on the calendar and commit to it. I’m much less likely to bump it when it’s committed on the page.

I am however, much more likely to bump into the sticky fly paper strip my husband posted on our patio to catch the bugs before they slip through the sliding glass door. Who knew they still made this stuff? Twice now while watering the plants, the breeze has shifted and sent me flailing about during a facial assault. It’s far worse than a tangle in a silky spider web. When it’s on you, it marries you and leaves a nasty trail of goo all over your face, arms, hands and hair.

I refuse to let this ick replace my happy summer memory scents like Sea & Ski lotion and baby oil. These take me back to blissful teenage afternoons in a pink gingham bikini lying on a quilt in our back yard listening to Motown hits on the radio. The sweetness of watching the clouds drift past and wondering about the future still invigorate my love for this season.

What are you doing to create lightness in your life this year? Which are your sweetest memories of summers past? What are your tricks for beating the heat?

We welcome the newlyweds into our lives and outfit ourselves for the battle of the bugs, accepting the sweetness of new love with the stickiness of just living. We’re just not using the fly paper near the brides.


  1. For me, Johnson and Johnson baby oil, mixed with a few drops of tecture of iodine, Groucho Marx's side kick touting a sweaty glass of BRISK Lipton Ice Tea on the black and white ginormous Zenith in the family room and the metal corrugated, rubber lined 3 foot swimming pool placed smack dab in the middle of the concrete drive way so as NOT to ruin Mom's perfect lawn of single-blade Kentucky Blue Grass. All the kids on the block running and diving over the side, head on into the pool. Why no one either broke their neck on the congrete bottom or sliced their torsos from pecs to pelvis from a miscalculated running start to water's entry point on the corrugated metal, is beyond me. Or soaking in a spinning sprinkler, hopping on our one speed bikes, bare-footed and helmetless, riding as fast as we could. Around and around the block (ON THE SIDEWALK!!) we went. As fast as we could until we were almost dry. And then, the Good Humor Man. Stop the world! "Mo-o-o-o-o-om!! Can I paleeeeese have 15 cents? Pah-leease? I'll pick up the dog poop! Pah-leeeeeease?" Banana and grape popsicles. Oh-my-gawd. ooops! Gotta run! Gotta go get some baby oil. Can you still buy iodine with out showing your drivers licence? It's a good day to be unemployed! Thanks Beth!

  2. Love your fight with the sticky fly paper. Very funny, Beth.

    When I was much younger, I would beat the heat by playing in the woods next to our house. Lots of shade and even a little watering hole to play around in (I was much smaller then mind you). Besides, I could hide from my big sister who lived to torture me.


  3. Love the fly paper! Did you see the sticky paper scene in "When Harry Met Sally"?
    Me? I spent five summers in a row teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding at the local pool from the time I was fourteen years old until I was nineteen. One year a few of us guards decided to swim fifty miles over the course of a summer. Usually we'd swim ten minutes every hour when it was "rest period" for everyone else. Sometimes we'd reward ourselves with Zero candy bars that we'd stick in the freezer at the concession stand until they were rock hard and now that I think about it, rendered flavorless. But they were soooo cold!

  4. Just yesterday I was swinging in the hammock, enjoying the shade and a tiny breeze while gazing up at the blue blue Texas sky. Oh, and a frosty cold Dos XX. The babies were running around like tiny crazy people. How is it they never seem to get hot? They would stop for a moment to splash into the baby pool, maybe stop to enjoy a quick popsicle, and then on to whatever insanity their little minds could produce. Thanks for reminding us to always enjoy the little things. They're often the best!

  5. I'm reading this with a fan pointed directly at my head. Thanks for a good read on a hot day.