Anyone who knows me either in person or through this blog is aware that I am not a fan of hot weather. The past couple of weeks in Arkansas have been sweltering, with temperatures hovering in the upper nineties and heat index readings in the hundreds. As much as I enjoy going on nature walks, or attending Arkansas Travelers baseball games or just sitting outside on the patio, all of that has to wait until a break in this heat! At least I’ve gotten a lot of writing done, sitting in my air conditioned den with a glass of iced tea and admiring nature from inside the glass doors.
For those of you also looking for ways to escape the summer heat, here are a few suggestions:
Find a shady spot by a cool lake. The photo above was taken at a popular shore-fishing spot on Lake Conway here in central Arkansas. Imagine sitting there with a cold drink and a nice breeze coming off the water. Ah.
Enjoy the World Cup games on TV. I have to confess to being somewhat of a soccer novice, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the games, despite the U.S. team’s heartbreaking loss to Ghana. As I write this, the Netherlands and Slovakia are fighting for a place in the next round. I’m thoroughly impressed by the athleticism of the players — and amused by their theatrics. I find it funny that they will writhe on the ground in simulated agony when barely touched in an attempt to draw a penalty, yet when they’re really hurt — broken ribs, split lips, slashed legs or bloody noses — they’ll suck it up and keep playing. I can see why football (as the rest of the world calls it) is so popular all around the planet.
Sno-cones! Every year, as soon as the thermometer begins to rise, I start craving a cup of finely shaved ice flavored with syrup. Vendors in brightly-colored trailer-stands begin to appear in area parking lots, and I always have a hard time driving past without stopping. I had my first sno-cone of the season yesterday and it was delicious. The most difficult part is trying to decide between the dozens of flavors displayed on the menu.
Games. I love playing games with my family. Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Yahtzee, Phase 10, Uno, Canasta Caliente (Kerry and I turn that into a full-contact card game! No one else will play with us). My daughter and son-in-law introduced us to a new game during their Christmas visit — Settlers of Catan. That was a lot of fun. I can’t wait until they come home from Massachusetts for a visit in August and we can gather around the kitchen table again for an evening of board games and laughter.
Enjoy a good book. A blazing summer day is the perfect time to find a shady spot or a cool corner and escape into fantasy. Of course, cold winter days are also good for that. Let’s face it, any time is the right time for a good story.
Speaking of which — you were expecting this plug, right? — my new Silhouette Special Edition, THE DOCTOR’S UNDOING, will be available in stores in the coming week. This is the third book in the Doctors in Training series — Ron and Haley’s story — but if you missed the first two, don’t worry. Each book stands alone.
Wherever you are, whatever your weather, I hope you enjoy this last week of June.