Fish Are Jumpin and th' Cotton is High

Emily's favorite season is Spring. Me, I like the summer. One of the first mix CDs I ever made when I first got a computer with a CD burner was called "Sweaty Ass Crack Blues," and though the title is, I'll admit, somewhat unappealing, the CD remains one of my favorite mixes, full of goofy fun and nice, lazy summery music.

Above all, my love of the summertime is probably a holdover from my miserable school daze. Not being in school, spending the whole day drinking Dr. Pepper, eating junk food and playing "Police Quest" delightfully lazy. Getting to go to the comic book store on Wednesday, as soon as the new comics were in, instead of waiting for the weekend like I had to do during the school year was a big plus, too. Epic, days-long Dungeons & Dragons sesssions with my friends, hours and hours at the pool, trips to Denver for the heady delights of WaterWorld and Elitch's (back in the days when it was fucking Elitch's, man, not Six Flags Elitch Gardens). It's hard to believe now how much I complained about it at the time - how bad can life be when the most pressing concern you've got is making sure the lawn gets mowed sometime this week?

Sadly, I can't be such a lollygagger these days. Still, I love summer. The pleasures of summertime are often a little more adult in nature now - cold beer and good cigars among them. Best of all, I'd say, is the food. The Olathe sweet corn is starting to arrive at the grocery store and the farmer's markets - and it's the best corn you'll ever have, if you have it. The Rocky Ford cantaloupe will be arriving soon, and it's quite fine, too. We're getting peaches and cherries from Pallisade - the best peaches you'll find outside of Georgia and the finest cherries to be had outside the Pacific Northwest. Our own tomatoes, peppers and herbs are growing like mad - if you come visit in the late summer or early fall, you're likely to be repasted with home-grown salsa and pasta sauce. You, lucky reader, just might be getting a jar or two for Xmas, whether you come to visit or not.

Once or twice a week I fire up my little tabletop grill - though I'm still learning the mysterious ways of charcoal, having learned the art of grilling with my Dad's fancy gas model. Still, there's no better way to cook wild salmon, one of the other culinary delights available in the summer months. And if you can't grill burgers (even if they are just turkey burgers thanks to Emily's aversion to red meat), what's the point, really?

Yeah, the weather's hot. Sometimes too hot. We were hitting triple digits here in Denver last week, and it was just brutal. But I'll take too hot over too cold every day of the week and twice on Sunday. 100's are rare around here - a typical summer day is about 90 degrees, which is just perfect when the humidity is low, as it almost always is.

I like all the seasons. I don't get grim-faced and moody like my Dad does just because of a light snow flurry. I like the cycle of the year. But when you're in the midst of the summer, everything just feels right. The livin', as they say, is easy.