The Joys of Summer

Heat exhaustion feels like hell. It had been a long time but after an hour of yard work, I finally recognized it: fatigue so sudden and profound I felt as if I couldn’t lift my arms; sweat flooding down like hot fudge on an muddy sundae; a sledgehammer behind between my eyes. I had tried to keep up with the fluids, but with a heat index above 100 F, it just wasn’t working.

That’s just one of the many reasons to head north (or, as we say around here, “Up North”). Nothing follows you Up North. The lake this year was quite cool—about 70 F—and, in my mom’s words, felt like silk. She squeezed every second out of the lake, plunging in with a look of pure joy.

One of our local DJs is having her annual Guilty Pleasures show, featuring all the songs you sing along to after rolling up the car windows. My wife has the right take on this: with music, there are no guilty pleasures. Go ahead; turn on the 70’s station, roll down the windows, and sing. So what that it’s Little River Band? Who’s it going to hurt?

Kids get it. I took PalKid and her friend down to the beach for sunset (you must catch a sunset on Lake Michigan). As the sun was about to sizzle, they begged me to take them back to the house for their bathing suits. We made it back just in time to watch the sun plunge into Wisconsin as we floated in the cold, calm water.

The next day we left, and curving through the farms and forests, the soundtrack to Pitch Perfect floated out of the sunroof. Who’s it gonna hurt?

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Joy

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