I grew up in Kansas City, one of the hot summer night capitals of the world. On a typical August evening, the temperature could easily be well above 80 degrees at ten o'clock. And humid? Don't get me started. I used to wonder why summers in the bone-dry prairie, more than a thousand miles from the nearest ocean, were always so humid. No matter what the weatherman said about hot air currents pulling moist air up from the Gulf, it never made sense to me.
Even as a child, I wasn't a fan of hot, humid weather, but I do have fond memories of those years. We played outside barefoot and in shorts until bedtime. Lightning bugs were as thick as the bloodthirsty "skeeters". We didn't need jackets to watch fireworks on the 4th of July.
One of my favorite memories of summer as a child was making homemade peach ice cream with my mother. We made it the old-fashioned way--with a hand-crank freezer and plenty of elbow grease, taking turns when our arms gave out. It was hard work, but the reward was priceless. Nothing compares to the flavor of a tree-ripened peach. I haven't had one in years. I'm not sure you can even find them anymore unless you grow your own.
Almost twenty-five years ago, my husband and I moved with our daughter to Minnesota, and summer nights changed. The air was cooler and less humid--much better for sleeping, but we had to bundle up for the fireworks, and lightning bugs were few and far between.
Last April, we moved again, this time to the Central Coast of California, where summer is fog season near the ocean. Even sunny days begin and end with fog. Sometimes it's heavy and dense, but more often ghostly fingers caress the hilltops and float inland along the river. Nights here are cool year-round--perfect for someone suffering from hot flashes. I don't need air conditioning, and I'm never too hot. If I get nostalgic for hot summer nights, I can always hop on a plane and visit my family back in Kansas City.