Tuesday, June 01, 2004

It's hard to get wistful about the greater Chandler area, but I know one day, that may change.

But summer is newly arrived like a ferocious housecat. You want to love it, but, let's face it... it's kind of mean. And it smells bad.

Austin summers are great. There's so much to do that it can actually be paralyzing. The Paramount has the classic movies showing with the shorts beforehand. The snow-cone stand is open on South Lamar. Barton Springs is open and taunting you (sure I'm refreshing, but you KNOW you can't stay in for more than 30 minutes, sissy...). People are out Bar-B-Qing, the 4th of July offers fireworks and live music. Baby A's is never that far away for a drink. Or really any place on Barton Springs.

Hot as hell, but it's a good place to be for a few months.

Of course, we used to have a squirrel infested back yard where I could toss some tennis balls for Mel while I was grilling out. The back stoop was ideal for sitting and watching grackels while enjoying a beer or two. And we had the front porch where you could sit and watch the neighbors go by while Mel threatened them from behind the chainlink fence. We had a horseshoe set we put in the front yard, and we'd chuck them around a bit, occasionally playing with the neighbor kids until they decided to become thugs when they hit middle-school.

Occasionally, I even mowed the yard. Good neighbor Ry, Jason would call me, as I was out there whacking away at weeds. Don't ge tme started on the sticky grass and burrs in the yard.

We had good neighbors. Todd the mysterious Catholic guy on our right. And the ever-changing cast on our left. The ever changing cast (starring Henry and Carol) invited us over for Bar B Q and their son's 13th birthday party. I mean, how cool is that? And we had flamingos in the yard, and the pinwheel sunflowers and the weird silver ball Jamie always hated. Our landlord was this great lady who LOVED Jamie. She even dropped our rent when Jamie asked nicely.

Sure, we had no hot water, and the AC barely pumped out from the window units, and the house occasionally threatened to burst into flames, but it was a fun place to live when we didn't fear for our lives.

And it got SO HOT in the summertime that we would just lie on the bed in front of the AC unit, wishing it were winter.

But, man, I loved that house.

In the summertime, folks would swing by, and you'd sit in the house for a while, but there was ALWAYS something else to go do, you know? We didn't go to swimming holes too much anymore by the time I left (that one sunburn in '98 really turned me off of swimming too much), but it was a possibility. And we could always walk to David's Food Store and get some soda and gum.

Summertime, man. Hurray for summer.

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