I love you. I really do. Now go away.
P.S. That was a lie. I hate you.
Yes, it’s that time of year when we have technically transitioned into fall, but where it is still a bajillion degrees outside and mosquitoes still feast on me if I am outside for about a millisecond.
I am in my fifth decade on this planet, and I have lived most of it in the South. And pretty much every year when this time rolls around, I have the same sentiment.
Now, I know what you may be saying. “Mike, if you don’t like the weather here, why don’t you move.” Well, first off, while I don’t like summer, I like winter even less. I have a friend who moved from south Florida to Rochester, NY, a few years ago, and I assure you I don’t envy him when I see pictures of him using a snowblower for what seems like eight months out of the year.
And I love living in the South. Sure, we have our warts and the occasional PR issue, but for the most part, it’s a lovely place to live. My family is here. Most of my friends are here. The food is fantastic, you’re never that far away from anything you want to do, and Cheerwine is readily available at most any store. Our beaches are beautiful, our mountains are majestic (if a little shorter than those out west), and our dirt roads, while oft mocked, can lead you to some of the most scenic drives around.
So, I love you, South, but once again you’re killing me with the weather.
As it does most years, this fall teased us a little by giving us a few days of lovely temperatures. We all get excited and open windows and maybe, just maybe, even consider making sure we know where our favorite sweatshirt is.
Then, after two days of that, Southern Mother Nature says, “Just kidding, y’all. I’m gonna make it 90 again.”
I remember years ago when my grandmother, who spent the vast majority of her life in the South, told me, “You know when you get used to the heat in the South? Never. That’s when.” And every year about this time, I am reminded of how right she was. But I am especially reminded of it when we have officially entered fall and I go to sit on my back deck to work and have to use bug spray and a fan, which, oh by the way, is really just pushing around more hot air, so it’s kinda like someone standing there with a hair dryer pointed at me. When college football has kicked off, I should be able to wear my good luck Bama sweatshirt, by gum, and not die of a heat stroke as a result.
But I will weather (ha!) a few more weeks of this, and eventually we will get to the point where the temps will dip to the appropriate levels, and my family can have our first big batch of chili of the season. And I will ease into the rest of fall and then winter knowing that the temperatures will soon be more to my liking. I will take delight in drinking the occasional Cheerwine and not shoveling snow. And before I know it, it will be summer again. And I will remember that I will never get used to it.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.