Friday, July 08, 2016

Dog Days

I'm waiting for the edits for Fractured Families. This is a perfect time to catch up on projects and if I were the right sort of person, I would be outlining a new book or spiffing up my web page, or stalking bookstore owners to promote my new non-fiction historical book.

Instead I'm slipping into my dog days mentality.  When I was a child living in Eastern Kansas summers were often unbearable. The heat of late July and early August blanketed all the pre-air conditioning days and nights and there was no way to throw it off. It was oppressive and deadly and inescapable. This time of year was referred to as Dog Days.

There was one sure way to obtain relief but it was forbidden. We could go to Garnett and swim in the pool. But mom wouldn't let my sister and I do that because that time of year was associated with polio and diseases. Vaccines changed everything of course but the warning to stay be cautious during Dogs Days remained.

The term got it's name from Sirius, the "Dog Star" which rises and sets with the sun. During late July it's in conjunction with the sun and the ancients believed its heat was added to the heat of the sun. Which isn't true, but never mind. Hot is hot and before air conditioning this time of summer was a preview of hell.

Now there are other reasons I'm especially cautious during Dog Days. Polio aside, new dangers lurk. Lime disease infects unsuspecting fishermen and hikers. The possible complications are heart-breaking and sometimes permanent. We have daily warnings to wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants to shield our bodies from West Nile-bearing mosquitos. We're not supposed to walk at dawn or sundown--which are my favorite times--because mosquitos are the thickest then.That leaves the hottest time of the day. I'm not about to risk a heat stroke.

It's Dog Days run amuck.

So who can blame me if l lie about in a listless stupor reading, reading, reading. It's the way I was brought up.

1 comment:

Eileen Goudge said...

Thanks for the factoid. I did not know that about where there term Dog Days came from. I agree with you, by the way. Dog Days or any downtime is my time to recharge. Enjoy the rest of your summer!