They're called the "Dog Days" and by today, August 20, they are actually
past by many standards. My Mom didn't know anything about Sirius
(the star, not the music system (well, she didn't know about the
music connection, either!)). What she did know about was the miserably
hot and humid weather of late summer. She didn't ever consider installing
an air conditioner (she survived for 76 years without a good night's sleep
during the month of august), instead she chose to sleep on the floor
in front of an open door during the hottest month. When I put an air
conditioner in her bedroom, she chose not to turn it on! The curse of
"the depression" years, years of deprivation, never unlearned.
Now, air conditioning is the standard for my generation, in the home,
at work, in the automobile (I learned my lesson in an August, ten-hour-
long drive in my last un-air conditioned, manual transmission automobile),
at least it is standard here along the mid-atlantic's hazy, hot and humid
"Don't bother the dogs" (if you could even find them in their secret bare-
earth scrapes under the front porch), she would say. The morning grass
would be sopping wet with dew. The afternoon air would be loud with the
screaming of the locusts (you might remember my feelings about the cicada's
love call). The late evening to early morning skies would belong to the
acrobatic ballet of mosquito and bat.
It's hot! Leave me alone. The dog days are here.