a story of Southern agriculture

Dealin’ with it all

Did you have a good 4th of July weekend?

Now that’s it’s over, do you feel like you’re on the back side of summer?

School starts in a month.  Mercy!

And if it wasn’t hot a week ago, it’s all heat and humidity from here on out, right?

Right.  Okay, time for a pep talk.  For me. 🙂

 

Once we reach the longest day of the year – the summer solstice in late June – and once the Independence Day fireworks end and Buddy stops shivering in fear – I sense a great deal of satisfaction that it’s all downhill from here.  I have to feel this satisfaction.  In fact, I cultivate it and convince myself of it because I find the frenzy of summer tiresome.

All the heat, humidity, sweat, forevermore long days and months… the etc., etc., of Southern summertime.

 

 

How can it “all be downhill hill/easy” from here when there’s still hay to put up and gardening to tend to and donkeys to deworm and sweat to roll?  It just can be.  Over the years as a farm wife, I have found that

as many of you have regardless of career or geography

attitude is everything.  Since attitude and perspective are closely related and mostly inseparable, I plead with Heaven for a good attitude in the heat.  Then I cultivate my perspective.

 

We can choose our perspective on most anything.

 

Summer is my least favorite season, therefore I keep my mind on the proverbial sunny side by reminding myself that each day after the summer solstice will be progressively shorter and shorter…

– that those few minutes less each day are a respite and a gift of greater measure than their actual length because they mean something to me – like the fireflies display their summer day grand finale earlier if the sun sets sooner. 🙂

– that my Farmers internal clock will adjust and he’ll snuggle with me longer before we have to haul ourselves up for another day in the sun.

– that sometime in mid September we’ll wake to a crispness in the air that will send me into a pumpkin frenzy.

– that I can’t have pumpkins without summer heat.

 

Each year around the end of June to the beginning of July I begin to trade my fond enjoyment of cooler seasons for appreciation of what this summer season cannot be if it is to give gifts to the other seasons.

 

 

Why does spring spring if not for summer?

Would autumn be as glorious without the sweat and rigor of summertime?

Certainly winter would be a worrisome, sorry state without the hay from summer’s heat.

downhill 1

 

Keepin’ my cool,
Emily Grace

 

How do you deal with the heat?

 

36 Responses to “Dealin’ with it all”

  1. FlaHam

    Emily, well said. But I will say as a child not living on a farm, and not having the endless chores, and not have the responsibilities of the farming community (except those brief weekends at grandpa’s). Summer was always a time of joy. Of endless baseball games, and bike riding. of leaving the house as the sun came up and going home the 2nd time I heard my named screamed. Having a grandpa farmer, I was always aware of the rigors, and I appreciated that my cousins had to deal with it and not me. Because summer was a time of lazy joy. I am much much older, I have some health issues, summer is no longer the joy it once was. But my appreciation for you and Mr. Farmer is still just as high as it was 50 years ago. Thank you, Take care and be safe, and continue to long for that crisp September morning. Take care, Bill

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    • Emily Grace

      Hi Bill. Thanks and thank you for your appreciation.

      I, too, had lazy summers in childhood with grandparents that gardened and spent a lot of time outside. I did grow up in the country – quite remote – but not in agriculture. I always wanted to grow up in a neighborhood where I had other kids to play with and came home when I heard mom holler. I’ll just be nostalgic and claim your memories for that part of me that missed adventuring with the other children. Thank you for sharing your memories! And yes, we will mind ourselves and stay safe. Farm safety is a post I need to work on. 🙂 Best, Emily Grace

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  2. Dena

    Could. Not. Agree. More.
    My boys being home and watermelon are the ONLY things that I like about summer.

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  3. Myla

    My first thought was ‘Anti-Monkey Butt Powder’! LOL. But seriously, I wouldn’t survive working in the barn without it!

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  4. Levi Thetford

    I understand how you feel. I hate southern heat anymore as well; but we wouldn’t have the other seasons without it. Thank God for air-conditioning.

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    • Emily Grace

      Hi Levi! Yes, thank God for a/c! My Farmer and I lived here four years with zero a/c. I was younger, more resilient – and I used up all my heat tolerance those four years. 🙂 LOL

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      • Levi Thetford

        I remember as a kid no ac as well as first married we didn’t have the money to pay the electricity so we didn’t use it for 2-3 years. My how times have changed. Lol.

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      • Emily Grace

        Truly! I don’t have bad memories of those no a/c years. In fact, I enjoyed that first crisp morning in September immensely more. 🙂 LOL We use it sparingly since we work outside a lot anyhow. But, come time for sleep, the cool low humidity air in the house is priceless!

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      • Levi Thetford

        It is priceless today. Like you said, I really don’t remember it being so terrible but I think at the time it must have been. With air-conditioned tractors and all I’m a big sissy now compared to then.

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      • inesephoto

        Hi! I guess it is all about temperature… Don’t like the rainy autumn and winter, and the days are also getting shorter…

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      • Emily Grace

        I see. Sunshine is your friend! I agree. Sometimes, I take Vitamin D when I’m not getting enough sun, and that helps. I guess I would get tired of rain and cold if we had more of it.

        Ah, the weather – always a topic of debate, especially among the farmers…and us outdoor photographers, too. 🙂

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  5. Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots

    I really like summer, but then I also really like all the other seasons too. So, how hot does it get where you are? Must admit my USA geography is bad and I have no idea what sort of weather you get in different regions.

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    • Emily Grace

      Hi, Anne! We have had 90+ temperatures lately and it will stay this hot or hotter for two more months or a little longer. The humidity is typically very high here in the South, and that humidity with the heat is what gets to a body’s sanity. 🙂 I have often thought I could enjoy living farther north, like England. 🙂 How hot does it get there?

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  6. Katie

    Attitude is DEFINITELY everything! I’m a spring/fall person… I would enjoy summer if I didn’t get overheated easily. 😛 I’m enjoying the heat this year, though, after all the snow we got over the winter… I’m NOT ready for winter yet!

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  7. Katie

    I love SUMMER! The evening crickets, humidity, no dry skin, sunshine on my skin, gardening with yummy cherry tomatoes juiciness bursting in my mouth, water features, afternoon rain shower, being warm, green green everywhere … 🙂 I have to “deal” with winter.

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  8. Caitlin | belong with wildflowers

    I’m learning to love the summer this year because of my garden, but I used to despite it — the heat, the humidity, the sweat, etc. But you’re so right, it’s all about perspective. When I’m outside for 8+ hours sweating and hot, I just remind myself of all the good that will come from my hard work. Plus, once you’re drenched in sweating + smelling ripe, can it get worse?! Haha.

    Other than perspective, I rely on tons of water, cool breezy thoughts + a whole lot of muttering under my breath. Hope the rest of the summer is lovely for you!

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    • Emily Grace

      So, true, Caitlin. Once you’re feelin’ the heat, you may as well stay out there and finish…my better perspective usually comes right after I get to that point. 🙂

      “cool, breezy thoughts” I like that. 🙂

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  9. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Yes, yes, and yes. Summer is also my least favorite season of all and has been since I was a young child. I dispise the heat and humidity although I love gardening. People always seem to look at me as if I’m a tad bit off when I tell them summer is my least favorite season. I’ll take 70 degrees with morning fog year round!

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