How I Coped with Summer

I’m Abbie Johnson Taylor, and I wrote this post.



Now that fall has come, I reflect back to “those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,” and as the song says, I wish we could just stay in that season. Like most, this past summer went by way too fast. It wasn’t as long or hot as other summers. Of course, like everyone else, I complained about the heat, but I had my ways of dealing with it.

The window air conditioning unit in the spare room was my best friend. With the help of ceiling fans scattered throughout the house, it kept things pretty cool. I drank plenty of water, as I always do. With a few pieces of ice, it also kept me cool. Then of course, there was my old pal, Dr. Pepper. It was just what the doctor ordered, although it took away some of the water I drank, but that was okay because I could always drink more water.

On summer evenings when the weather cooled, I sat in my back yard and did email or read a book, slapping mosquitos when necessary and eventually moving indoors to avoid being bitten. I sometimes went with friends to concerts in the park, where we bought ice cream at a nearby stand.

In the early mornings before it got hot, I took long walks by the creek, feeling the cool breeze caress my bare legs and arms. It was a great way to start a hot summer day.

When I was growing up, my family often took trips to the mountains to cool off during the summer, but now, my family is either dead or scattered across the country, and I don’t have many opportunities to visit the highlands, especially since I don’t drive.

In my younger adult years, I attended a camp for the visually impaired on Casper Mountain, approximately 200 miles south, then west of Sheridan, Wyoming, where I now live. Here, I made friends and learned computer and other skills and had plenty of opportunities to walk in the woods and enjoy nature. Although the camp is still there today, there’s no adult program anymore due to an unwillingness by the state and other entities to pay for it.

Now, summer is gone, and fall is upon us. I already miss those days of relaxing in my back yard with a Dr. Pepper and a good book, the sounds of band music floating through the air at the park, the salted caramel ice cream I enjoyed during such a concert. Oh well, there’s always next year, isn’t there?

How did you cope with summer heat? Are you glad fall is here? Why or why not?


I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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The Slough Water Was Warm, But Wet…

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin

Recently there was a request in the local newspaper where I spent my childhood for articles containing memories of growing up years. I began to wrack my brain, (an interesting phrase now that I think about it), for any such memories. And I asked myself if I really wanted to write about the ones which readily come to mind, as those were usually embarrassing.

Would it be about the time I was hit by a spit ball in country school and got caught throwing it back, and had to write many times, “I will not throw spitballs in school”? I never did again. Or should it be the time I forgot to bring the drinking water?

Our little country school sat on a small knoll, surrounded by tilled fields, and was at least a mile from anyone’s farm. It was a one-room school house with windows on the south side, and a small entry for coats and boots and some bookcases.

An old barn sat a ways away and provided shelter for any horse ridden as a means of transportation to school, and the object we threw the ball over in “ante over.” In ante over, two teams of students on opposite sides of the barn threw a ball to each other and if the ball made it over the roof, the person catching the ball tried to tag members of the throwing team as they rounded the building, changing sides of the barn, thereby gaining new members to their team. It was always a guess as to which side to round the barn and miss the tagger. If the ball failed to go over the roof, the thrower yelled “pig’s tail!” then tried again.

Old telephone
The phone from our farmhouse now hangs on my kitchen wall. The school, however, had no phone.

We also had a crock water cooler in the school room that was to be filled by students taking turns bringing drinking water to school. Every farm had their own well, but the school yard did not have a well. There was no phone, and that year, the teacher had no car. She boarded, (lived, slept and ate) at my parents’ place, which was three miles from the school. My dad provided transportation to and from school for both of us.

It was a hot day in spring or fall, the season escapes me, and I forgot to bring a can of water to school. By afternoon recess, there was a bunch of thirsty kids. Not everyone brought drinks with their lunch from home, or brought much to drink.

Soon, a bunch of us younger kids, (I think I was in third grade that year) were gathered around a somewhat fetid pond of water in the ditch a little ways from the school yard. It looked clear, sitting there surrounded by grass and rushes. Tongues were very dry and the sun was very hot, and we had played hard at noon hour and during recess.

Then, deciding factor, we found a rusty can lying in the ditch. After each of us had a small drink to quench our thirst, we headed back to class.

Only a couple first graders got sick that night that I remember. But the upset stomach didn’t linger, thank goodness.

Old school 4
Me and my two classmates at the school where one year thirst overcame common sense.

However, over a half century later, the memory, and the embarrassment, lingers amongst more happy memories created at that little country school.

Something Fishy

This post by Jennifer Flaten

My birthday is February 29, which makes me a Pisces. According to the astrology charts, I am a water sign, and adore all things aquatic. I do love seafood, sea horses and the color of the ocean. Actually getting into the water….eh.

In fact, one chart insists that Pisces love nothing more than to spend the day swimming.
That’s so not me. I do like water. I just prefer viewing it from a far while I sizzle like an iguana on the nice, hot, sandy beach.

I can be persuaded to sit by the water, and I would certainly jump at the chance tIMG_6757o enjoy the sea from a stunning yacht…but swimming, and getting wet….not so much.

I am less a swimmer and more a floater and I don’t even do that very well. I hate the back float (water in my ears) and do not intend to ever float face down in the water. I don’t even like getting my face wet in the shower.
When it came time to teach the kids to swim I had to rely on my husband and parents, all three are wonderful swimmers. Now thanks to their teachings the kids are excellent swimmers, who are always begging me to go into the water with them.

Usually, I say no and stay dry and warm on the deck of the pool, but occasionally I go in the water with them. I don’t know why, maybe so they can tease me because my idea of swimming is a half-hearted doggie paddle?

Most of the time I just stand shoulder deep in the water, gently moving my arms around, sort of like a bird testing the idea of flight, I am a fish testing the idea of swimming. After swirling the water around for a while, I declare myself tired (hey, the water offers a lot of resistance) and head for the shore.

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