Monday, May 10, 2010

There's a Reason Why People Suffer through Iowa Winters

Each year, as summer approaches I get more and more nostalgic about Iowa summers. There is something so spectacularly wonderful about an Iowa summer that I’m struggling to find the words to completely capture the essence of what I love about it. This is my third attempt at writing this entry, and I think only those of you who have also experienced an Iowa summer will truly appreciate this post.


The heat begins to roll in around mid-June, but the stifling humidity usually doesn’t set in until July if you are lucky. Once it does, you know it will be sticking around until at least September, so you really appreciate the brief period of beautiful warm weather and the cool nights where you can leave the windows open and fall asleep listening to the sounds of leaves rustling outside or a gentle rain falling.

These early summer evenings are made for grilling. You sit on the patio with friends eating, drinking and talking as the sun sets. Burgers, sweet corn bought from a roadside stand, and fresh fruit afterwards. A cool breeze carries with it the scent of freshly cut grass as twilight falls and fireflies begin to appear. Soon twilight gives way to a deep blue sky pierced with millions of stars. Off in the distance the cicadas’ song mixes in with the deep croaking of frogs.

The air begins to cloud with haze and as you walk in flip flops through the grass back to your car at the end of the night, your feet become wet with dew. A slight breeze blows through and you shiver, but it’s that weird feeling of being cold and yet hot at the same time, similar to the way you feel after an intense workout in the winter.


On the days that come later in the season it’s sometimes so hot by the time you wake up that you know taking a shower is essentially pointless. You watch the morning sun come up and gradually burn off the haze of humidity that has fallen overnight.

Everything is so green and lush as you drive to work. Wild roses and tall prairie grasses line the ditches of the highway.

You spend the day working in an extremely air conditioned office and, for a few minutes, the blast of heat that hits you as you walk out of the building to the parking lot at the end of the day feels good. You can hardly breathe in the thick air and you can feel the heat radiating up off the pavement in waves. You get into your overheated car and immediately crank on the AC and roll down the windows.

You know a day like this is going to bring in violent weather and you watch the sky change as you pull out of the parking lot and onto the highway. Gray clouds swirl about as the sun begins to disappear. By the time you get home, the sunshine is a distant memory. It’s now as black as midnight and you hear the faint rumble of thunder in the distance. The sky lights up as bright as day when a bolt of lighting streaks across the sky. A few sprinkles fall on your windshield. You briefly consider rushing into the house before the sky opens up completely, but you wait, because you know that getting wet on the walk from the car into the house will feel refreshing.


And, in these moments, you are once again reminded of why people put up with Iowa winters.

1 comment:

Andrea-Memories As A Mom said...

That was beautifully written!!! Yes, I can relate!!! But I don't think I could have expressed it that well, great job.