He’s Got the Summertime Blues

By Joe Darby/Opinion


There’s a classic song from oh, about 120 years ago, called “In the Good Ole Summertime.”
You’ve probably heard it, in some old movie or something. It’s got a nice tune, a nice flowing sound that’s easy to like. But, curmudgeon that I am sometimes, I disagree fairly strongly with the sentiments of the title.

I don’t see much good about the summer, except for baseball season.

First of all, it’s just too darned hot. I’ve never spent an entire summer anywhere else but in Louisiana, and I’m sure that summer can be pleasant in some places.

But here, in our old beloved Sportsman Paradise, the heat and the humidity are just too much for this old scribbler. Just the other day, I stepped outside to put mail in the mailbox and the humidity was so heavy I thought I’d stepped into a shower.

It was after some rain fell, which only made it worse. But even with less humidity, our daily summer highs of 95, 97, 100 or whatever, are simply way too warm.

Another thing about summer that I don’t like is that the grass grows. Oh, how it does grow. If it rains for two or three days in a row, the grass shoots up like, well like weeds. Then it’s more difficult to cut, you have to raise the blades on the mower, not cutting it so low, so the grass gets a head start toward the next time you need to cut.

We have a pretty big back yard and Mary has put in lots of trees and bushes, which makes the yard attractive, but acts as obstacle courses if you want to get the cutting done quickly, as I certainly do. Even with my riding mower, it takes time to skirt all the bushes, some of which are full of bees doing their bee thing. So far, I’ve escaped being stung, thank goodness.

Among the vegetation in the yard are two willow trees. Not too long ago, I was cutting under one of the willows and the weepy, hanging branches hid from my view a substantial branch about two inches thick. So, proceeding at a fair pace on my riding mower under the tree, my head hit the branch, knocking my glasses and ball cap off and causing some nasty speck of something to get caught in my eye.

My head wasn’t cut, as I thought it had been, my glasses were okay, as was the ball cap, of course. The mote in my eye was pretty painful, however, and it took about two hours for me to wash it out.

I relate this incident simply to emphasize that grass cutting is not one of my favorite activities.

Because of the heat, I try to limit my cutting to the time when twilight approaches and the blazing sun is starting to go down. If I time it correctly, I can just finish the yard while there’s still light to see by.

As I write this, I can look out the window to the back yard and see that the grass is more than a couple of inches high. But the Sears man is coming tomorrow to perform maintenance and change the blades, so I have an excuse not to cut the grass until Saturday. Maybe it will rain Saturday.  I can only hope.