August & Mad Dogs & Englishmen

Quote for the Week

On this blistering hot day, I'm reminded of what Lord Byron wrote: "The English winter - ending in July, / To recommence in August."

The English romantic poet never experienced August in Texas. Summer here bears more resemblance to what Violette Leduc wrote in Mad in Pursuit: "I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer."

I'm inside the burning cathedral of summer, surrounded by brown prairie grass and dried up wildflowers. Even the deer don't come out in the daytime to graze any more. They wait for the coolness of evening.

A famous Indian proverb is appropriate at this point. "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun."

Here in Texas, if we must venture out into the noonday sun, those of us who are native born in the South, and possess common sense, don hats and sunglasses and make sure we drink lots of water or ice tea - that's ice tea, not iced tea.

In the south, we drink lots of ice tea, and as soon as possible we head for a shady porch with an old fashioned swing or take shelter inside air conditioned rooms.

Takeaway Truth

The hot days - and nights - of August are best spent inside with a good book.

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