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Other than setting out the garden hose to trickle in the flower beds so all my carefully-tended plants don’t dry up and blow away, I’m ignoring my yard this week. Well, not exactly. I still sit in the sunroom very early in the morning and watch the long shadows shift while I down that first urgent cup of coffee. But the temperature, as noted on the industrial-strength thermometer on the sideboard, starts climbing way too early each day for me to get out there and dig. If it’s 96+ degrees in the sunroom, I figure that’s a good excuse to stay inside and indulge in some other exercise. Like reading.

I actually enjoy working in the yard, but I’ve always had a thing about heat. In the winter, you can always add another sweater, but once the summer temps reach the point where you’ve discarded almost everything but your skin, there’s not much more you can do without affecting the electricity bill. I’m too old, too fat, too wrinkled, and too inhibited to dance about in the front yard with lawn sprinklers sending that delicious cold spray all over me, but I have to admit that I do sometimes reminisce about childhood afternoons in August, “running through the water” with my Sisty and a dozen or so kids from the neighborhood.

Running through the water could involve nothing more elaborate than slipping on bathing suits and setting the “frog-eyes” sprinkler in the middle of the front yard. Cool, but not cool! When we really got in the mood, we had water hoses from every house on the block strung together so the Bakers, the Effingtons, the Callahans, and Mr. Duplessis (who usually didn’t know he was taking part) were sharing the water bill. Picture half a dozen oddly-shaped sprinklers discharging their liquid pleasure in our front yard. It was something to rival a Disneyland display–and Disneyland didn’t even exist yet!

With not a single cellphone or tablet in sight, we’d spend the whole afternoon getting drenched and (don’t ever tell my mother) drinking from the sprinklers. It was pure bliss.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.

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