It’s that time of year, again. It’s too late to be summer, too early to be fall, and too hot to care one way or the other. I’ve heard local people call these “the dog days” and somehow the connotation here is not altogether pleasing.

When I bothered to look up a true definition of dog days, I found that it usually refers to a period earlier in the year, maybe late July to early September, but it seems to me that the people who set those parameters probably didn’t reside in southern California. On our calendar, it’s September and October, when our relatives back east are cleaning out the chimney (or chimbley) flues and stocking the cellar with heating oil, that are the doggiest, most miserable days. In the foothills, the brush has dried and browned, and Scout camps are told “No campfires allowed!” Wildfires tend to begin about now, even without help from those idiots who think they shouldn’t be held to the red flag alerts.

Here in the suburbs, even with the air conditioning cooling the house to a comfortable temperature level, it seems that lassitude falls upon a person, causing a severe, if temporary, lack of interest in doing almost anything. I can always blame my lack of summer housekeeping on the dog days. Fast food finds a home here much more often than the nutrition gurus would allow us to eat it, and I think I have almost convinced my family that dust particles reproduce at least twice as fast at this time of year.

I do still try to write occasionally. Really, when I wake up at 4 a.m., I can hardly claim that the heat is too intense for my brain cells to work. Sometimes, the words just kind of jump on the (virtual) paper all by themselves, and other times I can sit at the computer until the temperature reaches the alibi point and nothing gets done except a new high score in whatever the game-of-the-day happens to be.

“It’s the dog days,” I explain to anyone who cares to listen. Not many do. They’re feeling a little doggy themselves, I think.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.


and by the way…

Have you seen my other blog? Stories Without End is something a little different.