Thursday, June 20, 2013

Signs of Summertime

PCB Sunset
PANAMA CITY BEACH — On assignment a few days ago, I was complaining to myself that the AC in the car I had borrowed for the day couldn’t keep up with the heat, and it was only the middle of June. Then, as I exited the car and the humidity slapped me in the face, my sunglasses fogged up.

“It must be summertime,” I thought, apologizing to the AC for underestimating its power.

Temps have already climbed into the 90s regularly this month, and seemingly so has the water in the community swimming pool in my neighborhood; it’s more like climbing into a hot tub rather than a blue hole spring like it felt a month ago.

Yes, Friday is the first official day of summer, but locals don’t really need a calendar to tell us the season has arrived. You know how you can tell it’s summer in Panama City and along Panama City Beach? Here are the clues some Facebook friends pointed out:

Traffic! — Melissa

Afternoon thunderstorms with lightning popping all over the place. — Julie

Fresh red, swollen tramp stamps on the little girls, stopping for gas on their way home to Alabama. — Denise

Local weather report the same every day: Hot, humid, chance of thunderstorms. — Helen

When I can put my babies to bed before dark. — Renee

Humidity! — Don

Fleas. — Ali

A sudden influx of abandoned children at Pier Park ordering “fraps.” — Jason

The winter sandals have been discarded, and nearly everyone is sporting NEW flip-flops or sandals. Yay. — Lynn

Dog flies. — Curtis

Crickets! — Pat

Young ladies dressing like Daisy Duke. — David

Not getting stuck behind a school bus on my morning or afternoon Walmart runs. — Donna

Out of town relatives start coming in waves. — Alisa

I’m heading to the farmers’ markets and making blueberry jam, banana bread, peach sangria and all sorts of goodies! — Marissa

All the school kids are out and about. — Aaron

Mosquitoes. — Kristin

The pier rats show up. These are mostly boys, as young as 8 or 9 years old. Their folks drop them off each morning with some serious fishing gear and, hopefully, a sandwich or two. By 12 these kids are some of the best fishermen on the gulf. I always bring a few extra sodas and sandwiches for the pier rats. If you share your cut-up watermelon, expect it to taste like bait. — Denise

How about you break a sweat walking out the door at 6 a.m.? — Tracy

Beach time. — Ray

All the little white lizards are gathering at night on the back porch! — Bonnie

Jameson is back in town. — Jameson

You take the pool cover off, and invite friends and family for a barbecue. — Michael

The preponderance of beach and sunset photos on Facebook. — Lou

The no-see-ums are out in force. — Wayne

Waiting for a table at any restaurant for dinner. — Randy

The out-of-state tags. — Brandon

Unfortunately, yellow flies. — Dolores

The June grass seaweed and bikinis. — Keith

(I guess the lesson here is that we have to take the bad with the good, eh, Keith?)

Peace.

(This is my Undercurrents column for PanamaCity.com and The News Herald for this week.)
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