Living in Texas during the summer means teaching your kids the importance of shade and how it relates to maintaining the layer of skin on the bottom of your feet. Popsicles, ice cream and just plain ice – basically anything frozen – becomes a major food group.

Everyone goes from complaining about the rain and cold to complaining about the heat. I mean, if you don’t complain about the weather, are you even a Texan?

Summer means hauling out everyone’s favorite seasonal décor: citronella candles. No, Aunt Carol from Jersey, it’s not that we are particularly partial to the scent of slightly putrified fruit. It’s just that these candles absolutely make or break a nice evening outside and determine whether it’s crashed by the West Nile virus.

All outdoor activity is best completed by 9 a.m. By 9:05 a.m., it’s already 100 degrees, so you might as well kiss that mid-morning stroller jog goodbye, Janet – unless you’re slathered in SPF 50 and equipped with several liters of water. Long gone are the days of mid-morning jogs and afternoon park outings.

This is the season of planning well-intentioned trips to the zoo and then being filled with immediate, searing regret. Parents of children with extremely light complexions know an extra layer of pain here. My little boy’s cheeks start flushing if he stands too close to his night light. So, summertime? We have to travel with an arsenal of battery-operated fans and a cooler filled with just ice packs and nothing else. Swimming means outfitting him in a full-on scuba suit with a coating of sunscreen both underneath and on top.

But we wouldn’t trade these Texas summers for the world. Because there’s no way we are living anywhere with a winter climate that dips below 50 degrees. Ain’t nobody got the time for that.


Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and other of three.

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