By Scarlette Quille
Summer is the best. I live for summer. Summer is the light at the end of a long freezing journey through winter’s frozen hellscape. It is easy to get caught up in the magic of summer, laying on our floaties with drinks in our hands oblivious to the dangers lurking all around us. Today’s column is a reminder of the unique challenges that Sandpoint residents face in the summer. Knowing what to look out for can help you avoid summer meltdown status.
They are out of school, on the streets, wreaking havoc, testing boundaries, trying to multiply, hurling their bodies into the road, leaving their skateboards at the bottom of every stairway in their path. No longer safely tucked away at school, they’ve been released and they are out to remind us just how lucky we are that there are people on this planet brave enough to contain and teach these kids nine months out of the year. Next time you hear a person complaining about teachers, specifically their “summer vacation time,” the appropriate response would be to hand them a melted popsicle and then ask them 25 questions in a row without listening to the response.
After surviving arctic temperatures for six months, our pale, delicate bodies have a difficult time dealing with exposure to the sun. People start complaining about the “heat” as soon as the temperature reaches 70 degrees. Case in point: I went to Super 1 a couple of weekends ago, and it was precisely 68 degrees outside, a sunny, beautiful day. The parking lot was full of sweaty, red-faced North Idahoans, loading their coolers with ice and wearing bathing suits and flip flops like they were unexpectedly deposited in the Sahara with minimal chances of survival.
Congratulations, you have somehow made it through a winter of driving on perilous roads in blizzard conditions. Maybe you even sidestepped a mudslide or a flood on the way … Your reward will be six months of road construction in the middle of tourist season, and oh yes, don’t forget they switched all the roads around. Also, the tourists expect you to give them directions, good ones, whenever they ask. These directions will have to be well thought out because every major road in Sandpoint is part of a detour or has a giant hole in it or a train stuck on the tracks.
You have been wrapped in furs and eating your feelings all winter. Ta-da! Now you must reveal that trainwreck of a figure you’ve been hiding all summer and participate in every kind of lake activity offered under the sun. You only have about six weeks, give or take, to fit it all in. The lake will be your only way to cool off, because air conditioning is a newfangled Californian concept, so most places, including your own home, won’t have it. There is a reason dudes are walking around everywhere with the sleeves cut off their t-shirts.
Remember your freshman year in college? Remember how there was a party to go to every night of the week? Remember how the fact that you had very little income was great for your liver? Well, guess what? Money and finals are not valid excuses for middle-aged adults. Sunshine is a reason to party in these part. Hope you didn’t take the winter off.
Bees, wasps, ticks, hornets: They aren’t nice any time of year, but now these winged pests are out in full force, biting and swarming as though their very species depends on it. They are out for blood, and they don’t care about leaving marks all over your skin the night before your wedding. If you might die from their bite, it doesn’t bother them. They roll deep, and they will descend on every bit of exposed skin they can. It isn’t really summer unless you experience a crispy sunburn sprinkled with itchy bug bites. Right?
Stay safe and hydrated,