July 2018 ttimes web magazine

Page 11

Summer Sloth by Helen Chappell

We have don’t have spring and fall anymore. We just have summer and winter. One day it’s snowing, the next day it’s shorts weather. So here we are in May, and it’s in the 90s and I’m in no way prepared for this. It’s not just adjusting my attitude, which is perpetually bad, according to some people. It’s adjusting my internal temperature and my mindset. And, horror of horrors, it’s seasonal household chores. I abhor putting the air conditioning units into the windows of this hundred-plus-year-old house, which I blackmail my friend Jim into doing for me. I just put the duct tape around them again and again and again, as it never sticks. And, oh, that first night I have to turn on the unit in the bedroom, all I can think about is those cartoons where the dollar bills f ly out the window. But anything is better than the summer humidity on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, which,

in its prime, is like breathing and moving through raspberry Jell-O. And then, there’s the most dreaded chore of all, and this year it’s a real doozy: putting away the winter clothes and getting out the summer duds. And this season, it’s culling out the stuff that goes to the thrift shop. I have my donation trash bags ready. At least I’ve gotten that far. I am not a huge hoarder. I am my orderly mother’s child, and I do get rid of stuff. (Her obsession with cleanliness made Joan Crawford look like a slob, but I didn’t inherit that gene). Also, I once helped friends clean out a 17-room farmhouse after their hoarder parents died, and it was a Life Lesson and Subject for Another Column. I have quite enough stuff, thank you, and 9