Monday, August 23, 2010

Is it fall yet?

What I love most about summer: The heat.
What I hate most about summer: The heat.

I guess there's just no pleasing some people!

I look forward to every summer and the chance to ride every day if I feel like it. In my somewhat skewed memory, summers as a horse-crazy teen were dry and hot and windy — that hot, dusty summer smell mingling so perfectly with the scent of my mare's sweat sticky-slick on my shorts-clad legs and that delightful horse aroma enveloping me as we went wherever our imaginations would allow. The occasional dip in a nearby creek or swim across the river cooled our dusty skin. We dried quickly, that hot wind evaporating the water and the sweat and leaving us appropriately cooled in the process.

Heat has never bothered me.

But these summers in Illinois are different than those I grew up with in Kansas.

They are hot and disgusting: A sticky, wet, muggy, suffocating heat that leaves little energy or desire to do anything but sit around in the air conditioning and curse the summer. And that means very little energy to ride. The endless days of dangerous heat advisories haven't helped matters much as I pace inside and beg for a breeze, a dip in temperature, a cool fall morning.

There is no constant wind to dry the sweat. There is only sweat that soaks and drips and drenches and clothes that cling uncomfortably to every inch of covered skin. There is no relief, just relentless, brutal heat.

My horses come in from the pasture drenched in sweat and drooping from the tips of their ears to the ends of their tails. The horse flies have been absolutely unforgiving this summer and no amount or brand of fly spray deters them. Who wants to ride when the horse is already exhausted and miserable? Not me.

I just want to ride. I need to ride. I dream about riding. I rode Sunday but it was a short ride just to get on and do my soul good. It did a lot of good but I need more!

I hate Illinois summers. Hate. Them.

You see, the bitter cold I can deal with. As long as my face isn't getting frostbitten, I'm outside. The dry heat I can deal with. This boil-water-on-your-skin and suck the life out of you humidity? Not so much.

Please fall, arrive soon? I miss you much. I'm so totally over summer.


  1. Sounds awful! We get that kind of heat, but only for two or three weeks. It's breezy and warm but not hot here in Nova Scotia. Wish I could ship it to you.
    I'm sure the heat will break any day now. Hope so. It must be awful not to be able to ride.

  2. Yuck, not jealous of your humidity AT ALL! Hopefully you can make up all that lost riding time this fall!