I always think of August as the tired month. The sun is mostly too hot and it shines so long. Unless we went to a beach (rarely) there wasn’t much relief. Like everything – we learned to tough it out. I am amazed now when I hear children complain about the weather. To us, it is just that – the weather. Complaining never makes it better. Complaining is never encouraged by mom and dad.
I would often put my bathing suit on and ride my horse through the sloughs just to be splashed with water. I was never bold enough to go swimming in the sloughs. My memories of the two older brothers and how they were covered with ‘the itch’ – itchy bumps from the insects biting them – nesting in the grasses and reeds surrounding the sloughs – kept me from doing the same. It looked painful and they would yell and complain when mom patiently put calamine lotion on their bites.
And when it rained, if it did in August it is so much fun. Again donning our bathing suits we would run out in the rain and splash and play in the puddles. We aren’t reprimanded for getting filthy dirty. We are just washed off. I still ride my horse almost every day. Sometimes I feel tired and my horse is covered in sweat. So I stop by a tree and fall asleep beneath the welcomed shade. It is truly lazy, hazy days of summer. Because we have a radio – we can listen to that song and understand exactly what it means.
My birthday is in August. But we don’t celebrate birthdays with gifts. Mom makes us a special birthday cake – it is filled with nickles, dimes and pennies. And one button. If you get the button it means you will be a bachelor or spinster forever. I am very disappointed to know – that isn’t true. It was just another fairy-tale. But there is laughter and playing. And that day – it’s usually possible my siblings don’t fight with me. It is still my special day.
By the time August rolls around, I am getting bored. Mom and dad tease me because I am always ‘boring’. I spend more times now drawing and writing. I write stories every bit as exciting as Zane Grey. There is always a bad guy intent on destroying what the hard-working ranchers and farmers are trying to build. There is always a need for a nice, strong hero to defend them. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to go out and create the scenario so instead I write about it. It is nearly as exciting. I get boring again – so I go outside and sitting in the shade I painstakingly make my horse stand so I can draw each part perfectly. I am glad he humors me. But like writing, it never reaches perfection to my satisfaction. But I always know – one day…
And there is an anticipation that soon I will again see my school-friends again, every day during the week.