hot weather Spring, autumn, winter, all of them have their special joys for me. I love seeing the new growth of flowers, the changing colors, the stark beauty of bare trees and snow. However, I have to confess that summer is a tough one. Maybe it’s the red hair and pale skin with affinity to 10,000 SPF sunblock that does it, but I’ve always had a hard time with summer. I just wilt in the heat. As much as I love going to the beach, the sea and the breeze just aren’t enough to save me.

Being from Virginia, I’m used to the oven effect in the DC area and the amazing humidity that smothers the state starting almost every July. If you’ve never experienced it, we’re in the middle of a heat wave this very week! I have learned the joys of going out for ice cream as the sun is going down(when you get that ice cream cone in your hot little hands, it feels like you are holding the corner of heaven) or spending lazy afternoons in heavily air-conditioned museums and galleries. Now I’m up for a new challenge. This year, I’m going to a good friend’s August wedding in the Deep South and I’m making a vacation out of it. I’m pretty sure my puny heat wave survival skills are not equal to it, but I am determined to have a grand time.

I do remember hiking in Mississippi one July and while the location was beautiful, I don’t think that I would survive another round of that. I have memories of a breathtaking view, but I also seem to recall feeling the need to jump in a nearby lake. And then the lake ended up being warm as bathwater. Indeed, I’m pretty sure steam rose from my skin. So, as much as I look forward to my getaway, I have to admit that a part of me wonders if I’ll be able to manage the heat. And I am determined not to be the wimp on this trip!

So, those of you that love the summer and can flourish in the heat waves that wilt the rest of us, what’s your secret? What do I need to do to stand tall when it’s eleventy gazillion and one degrees outside?

-Lynn Spencer