Retreat from the Summer Heat - The Ribbon in My Journal

7 Ways to Retreat from the Summer Heat

Phyllis Lifestyle 17 Comments

Neal and I are always planning a trip away to escape from the summer heat of the South. In fact, we planned the most exciting trip to Montana this year only to find that when we arrived, it was 98 degrees with the heat index into the 100s. That is absolutely my luck to take the oppressive heat with me.

I work with people who love the hot, sunny, sweltering days of summer and despise cooler, more perfect weather. So I understand that there are people who do not share my sentiments for hot weather or the need to escape it. For the rest of us, we are always thinking about it! I will also confess that I throw a party when the first yellow leaf appears. I cherish that early reminder that autumn is drawing near.

One of the most beautiful trips we made several years ago was to Martha’s Vineyard. I was with Barbara Cockerham, the editor of Victoria Magazine, and we were working on a feature story on Martha’s Vineyard. In the morning we would take a stroll before breakfast and enjoy the roses on the white picket fences and the marvelous breeze coming off the ocean. I think of it often and wonder if it is a beautiful, cool summer in Maine.

The truth is I think the only place we have been in the summer to truly escape the heat is Alaska. Alaska is not only cool but also incredibly beautiful. The evergreen trees seem to cleanse the air. The constant ocean breeze air conditions the world perfectly.

At home we have to create our own escapes from the heat. Here are the things we do to really make us feel cooler:

  1. Eat ice cream often, especially homemade.
  2. Freeze fruits like grapes and bananas and enjoy a refreshing snack.
  3. Slice and share a refrigerated fresh watermelon.
  4. Serve Lemonade, as it refreshes us immensely (or limeade, which I love).
  5. Serve more cold salads with light dressings.
  6. Stuff homegrown tomatoes with chicken salad for a great entrée for a summer supper.
  7. And last by not least—keep plenty of iced tea in the refrigerator.

As we count down to autumn and enjoy the last few days of summer, I love watching the seasons turn. Everything changes—from the food we eat to the places we frequent. Each season has its advantages and is adored by many. I come to life in the cooler seasons, and as I bid summer farewell, I am grateful for the beautiful flowers in my garden, the incredible vegetables and fruits we have enjoyed, and the joy of watching my grandchildren play outside, fish, and swim.

What is your favorite season?

Celebrate July/August 2015 cover


Comments 17

  1. My Mother’s favorite season was Autumn.I grew up in Ohio and left for a career in New York as a singer at 19 years old. Whenever I came home for a visit, no matter what season,at some point my Mother would sit at the piano and I would join her to sing” Autumn Leaves.” ( her favorite song). We were both in awe every year as the leaves started changing into their vibrant,vivid,amazing colors. Whenever I feel the first Autumn chill or see the first changing leaf,I think of my mother and the love we shared of the spectacular reds, golds, yellows, and oranges of the season.

    And fall is shortly on it’s way! So soon I’ll see “the Autumn leaves, drift by my
    window. The Autumn Leaves of red and gold”……….

  2. Oh, Phyllis, I can so relate to your experience of planning a summer retreat in a cooler climate only to be met with a heat wave. I seem to spend much of my life trying to be cooler…cooler clothing, a shady spot, the brief relief from a passing cloud in the sky. I hibernate in air conditioning most of the summer and long for the first hint of fall and its blessed relief form the heat and humidity of life in southeast Texas. This past week I spied the blush of a pod on our Magnolia tree and thanked God for the first sign of Fall. It may not fully arrive until November, and as a native I can recall Christmases with the AC running to escape the humidity.
    As I gaze at those first few blushing pods from the sanctuary of my comfortable bedroom, I begin looking forwardstart working in the garden again, the aroma of wood smoke from the fire pit curling through the cooler air. I’m like a creature of the forest who awakens from a long winter’s sleep feeling frisky and ready for life to begin again. Bring it on!

  3. My favourite time of year is definitely fall. Up in Ontario, Canada, we can feel the night time temperatures are getting colder. Great for sleeping! The days are getting shorter as well, but it is still very warm, in the 80 degree range.. I look forward to decorating for fall, and baking with my little granddaughter. Can’t wait for the leaves to start falling!

  4. My favorite time of the year is the fall…. The air became crisp and that little nip felt wonderful… I now live in Florida so the best or closest thing for me to do is treat our winters as though it were the fall…. Living in New York I would go out and buy my burnt orange mums and place them outside my front door…. It is just a magical time of the year and yes I do miss the turning of the leaves!

  5. Maine has warm days, but the mornings are amazingly comfortable and in the evening we often get a sea breeze that calls for a sweater. Summer is perfect. Autumn is perfect and spring is pretty darn good. Winter, however, will freeze your socks!

  6. Here in Michigan we have distinct seasons and although each has its appeal, I favor Fall. I love the chores of putting Summer “to bed”, getting out warm sweaters from their storage places, smelling bonfires, lugging logs in for the fireplace, making apple pies, soups and stews, raking leaves into big piles, battening down the house against the winds, snow and cold to come, snuggling under a warm comforter, celebrating Thanksgiving with family and anticipating Christmas. How much better can life be?

  7. I think that I appreciate all four seasons but my absolute favourite is autumn…the cooler weather, the crisp apples for apple pie, the cascading gold, brown and red leaves…and yes, sweaters!!! I love the quote about fall…”if I were a bird I would fly to the consecutive autumns all year long”

  8. But was there air conditioning in Montana? We were taking our two daughters on a Canadian tour one hot summer. I suggested they pack some sweatshirts for our time in Quebec. They were enjoying a heat wave and our lovely historic hotel had no air conditioning. We practically melted until we escaped to Maine. It has made for fun stories and many jokes about mammas packing advice. Nancy

  9. Living here in Wisconsin, we truly enjoy four seasons and as your other readers attest, I too feel we should embrace each season and the beauty it brings. That said, Winter can be long and, therefore, Spring is by far my most favorite season. The promise of new birth, song birds returning to nest and of course a bounty of tulips; need I say more. Have a lovely weekend – stay cool.

  10. I love something about all the seasons but I guess my favorite would be autumn. Glorius autumn with its warm days and cool nights give me a melancholy feeling that I love.
    Our current hot humid weather here in Madison, Wi. takes me back to that time growing up in central Iowa on a farm with no air conditioning. All the windows in our upstairs bedrooms were open wide and Mom would tie back the curtains or even flop them up over the curtain rods if they were thin enough and she would make sure they didn’t wrinkle too much. I’d lay at the foot of my bed hoping to catch some breeze during the night coming in the windows!
    We often made homemade ice cream – yes, the old fashioned kind you churned by hand – nothing better!!
    Living in Madison we have an abundance of lakes so one thing my husband and I try to do each summer is pack a meal and have a picnic at a spot on Lake Mendota. Being located under a tree it is perfect and at least for a while helps beat the heat.

  11. when we sold our home and moved to an apartment i made sure we had a beautiful view… its prairie land with a patche of trees and we watch each season unfold… from every room in the house… such fun… living in madison wisconsin gives us much beauty to see with each season… love it~~~ audrey bates

  12. I appreciate and look forward to the beginning of each new season’s offerings . As for my favorite … autumn’s beauty appeals most to all my senses .
    “Sweater weather” (as my Mom used to say) is the most beautiful time of the year !

  13. Great tips. Here in California, we have had a hot, hot summer. Living near the ocean as we do, no one has an air conditioner, but we are thinking of installing one. It seems as the years go by, the summer months get hotter, and more humid. I can’t wait for those gorgeous, cool days of autumn!

  14. I too hate the hot weather! and here in Georgia it’s been so hot and humid! Having grown up in England, my poor body does not react well to this at all, lol I usually hibernate until the fall!

    1. In the summer it’s called “estivating” – something I could happily get into! My cats have the right idea, staying stretched out for their naps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *