Jewish World Review July 11, 2003 / 11 Tamuz, 5763

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

Summer; the living is easy | There are 94 days of summer. That includes three full moons, a couple of meteor showers, at least two worrisome dry spells, 24-plus bouts of suffocating humidity, four dozen spectacular sunsets and a handful of "this has to be one of the most beautiful days of the year."

Some great storms are going to roll through this summer, the kind of storms that remind you you're not really as in control of life as you think you are. Black heavy clouds will bully in the from west, darken the sky and trip the street lights at 3 in the afternoon. Thunder will rattle the windows and shake pictures on the walls, and torrents of rain will plug up the storm sewers at the four-way stops.

A fast moving storm may pass through in a matter of minutes. A slower moving cell may linger as long as an hour. It's possible to sleep through a boomer and miss it entirely. And it's possible to miss one because you are glued to the Weather Channel, broadcasting from Atlanta, telling you what's happening in your own backyard.

Robins will warble this summer as morning sunlight streams through the trees. A robin's trill lasts about three to four seconds. Come evening, mourning doves will coo to announce the arrival of twilight. A dove may stick around and coo for three or four minutes, 10 if you're lucky.

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Bluebirds will glide across open woodlands and sparrows will build nests and hatch eggs in your hanging ferns and flowering baskets. They're fast though, very fast. If you are inside enjoying the comfort of air conditioning, you could miss them entirely.

There's going to be another fracas in the garden this summer. Arguing, bickering, nitpicking, all the usual tit for tat. Yarrow will try to upstage the begonias.

Daisies will stretch and bend to taunt the snapdragons and dahlias will puff their chests in an attempt to intimidate the zinnias. Meanwhile, from the safety of window boxes, geraniums will boast that they have always been the favorite.

Just when you think things have settled down, blue and pink phlox will duke it out for center stage with the coneflowers and black-eyed Susans. It's hard to ignore the color and commotion in the garden, unless of course, you're buzzing down the interstate at 70 mph listening to all-news radio all the time.

Even the tasty side of summer doesn't last for long. A single stick Popsicle can be gone in as little as three minutes, two if the temperature is over 90.

Ice cream lasts longer, but not much. Especially if it's in a bowl smothered with hot fudge and nuts.

I used to think there was a correlation between summer and age. The older you got, the shorter the summers got. Not so. Summers may be shortest of all for children.

The school year has ebbed into June and now hogs the better part of August. Pushy, that's all it is, just pushy. Summer months mean special classes for the accelerated kids, catch-up classes for those lagging behind, required summer reading for high school students, and conditioning camps for anyone hoping to play football, soccer or tiddlywinks.

There was a time summer dragged on for so long that kids couldn't wait for school to start. Now it seems as though school never really ends.

Summer simply doesn't last as long as it used to. It passes quickly, very, very quickly.

Catch it if you can.

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here. To visit her website click here.

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© 2001, Lori Borgman