A friend of mine posted on Facebook, “Lovin’ the cool weather” in mid-July in an above-average hot summer in Hotlanta. It was no joke. We received the respite that I was wishing for only days earlier. The cool-down greeted the metro area after a quiet downpour on a Thursday night leading into a Friday morning. The pleasantness hit me when I was done with work on Friday afternoon. The breeze was like something that we typically experience in October. I always tell my daughter, “Embrace the moment when it’s here.” I know that it doesn’t sink in now as she listens to the modern pop music on her Droid phone which seems to do everything but make quality calls. But, perhaps my fatherly philosophical speeches will one day sink in when she finds out that time fights us. I know this because I have a good memory and from that, I know that she’s much like me in so many ways.

Over 30 years ago, I recall the endless summers of adolescence when I was too old for camps and too young to work. I remember on those rare hotter days on Ohio’s north coast seeking refuge in my best friend’s house gulping huge portions of “pop” from those gargantuan two liter plastic Pepsi bottles while drawing up plans for our next Super 8mm film or simply hashing through The Cleveland Press. But, we would be frolicking outside the next day – or the day after. We were the type of adolescents of a lost generation who were free of adult interference. No one needed a permission slip to go outside in those days.

Very few summers in the northern portion of Ohio have scores of days where it is like the Atlanta metro area. The summer of 1988 is the only one I recall where it rarely rained and the heat and humidity was miserable. I did an internship at the then-CBS affiliate where I would arrive at the station at 3 a.m. I’ll never forget the local Savings and Loan’s outdoor light bulb clock reading 82 degree F in the middle of the night. I had an air conditioning unit in my bedroom window which pushed that moist synthetic air towards me where I would fall into a deep afternoon slumber after working on such an odd shift.

Most northern Ohio summers typically have these breezy July days which I fondly recall through my youth and adolescence. I visit once a year and it’s a crapshoot as to what weather I get to experience: heat, rain or that comfortable cool breeze.

I compare our brief cool-down to a weather version of that Robert De Niro film, Awakenings. In the 1990 film, patients were awakened after being in a catatonic state for years not knowing how to deal with their new reality. Our weather respite was miraculous and embraced. It was an endless set of possibilities as to what to do outside without sweltering. Nevertheless, the quick cool-down was fleeting as the doldrums of reality set in after so much hope. Onward we go through summer. Yes, it’s the South and yes, we have to expect it to be hot, but can’t we dream?


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