Every summer I am always confronted with the same question. Why am I still living in Texas?
There were just two things that struck the Yankee right out of me that first summer we moved here- One, the unbearable heat, and two - seeing animals I've only ever seen in a public zoo eating grass in fenced backyards on my way to school everyday. Well, I got use to the farm animals - but two decades and kids later, I'm still singing the refrain from an adapted country western song - "why am I --- still living in Texas?"
The Texas heat is somewhat bitter-sweet to me. Sweet in that you can always count on sunshine to fall on your back - comfort and encourage you to finish writing that theology paper you need an A in. Bitter in that sometimes, the sunshine punches you in the face, making you feel like you can peel layers and layers of your skin off, and then some....
It's hot. And no matter how often I chant my disdain for the Texas heat, I still find myself outdoors, melting and enjoying the summers....
With toys scattered on the lawn, I can't help but join their quest to make the most out of the moment - albeit hotter than all the wood burning pizza ovens in Italy combined - we throw down an old bedsheet and indulge on nature's cooling weapons - watermelon!
Noah plunges his plastic fork into one and up comes a watermelon-"pop" which he quickly shows me with his one eye. [*Side note - Noah's eye is healing beautifully! Thank you for all your prayers and emails!!]
Our picnic turns into an obstacle course, as the kids find it hilarious to pass the box of blueberries up and down the slide to each other. They stop and take notice of the ants - unearthed by their barefeet, and then bring one to me. I slap Ava's hand and send the ant spiraling somewhere onto our food and then shout, "they're coming! hurry, hurry! they are going to bite you! Let's go inside!"
Shameful... I know. In one breath, they grab their blueberries and run upto the front doorstep and turn. Both had a disappointed look on their face - as if they were expecting to see armies of ants marching in rage, ready to strike, behind them in their shadows.
The so-called invasion on the other hand, was only threatening in my head. I wipe the sweat, the only deathly pandemic to this summer day - off of my brow and say, "Whew. That was close. We better go inside - where it's safe...."