I have long subscribed to the theory that August is the crappiest month of them all. I hate summer, hate hot weather, hate the hockey off-season… and I bought into the anti-August popular sentiment from other haters. For years, when thinking of everything I loathe about summertime, I’ve attributed all of it to August. It is the month that has been synonymous for me with my dreaded day-camp misery from childhood, with the unrelenting boredom of there being no good sports on TV, with the even-worse-than-day-camp misery of swim team back when we were kids, and with — ::shudder:: — shorts weather. But lately I’ve realized something about August, something truly shocking…
It’s really not that bad.
See, August is the month when this happens:
Sure, this picture was taken in July, but it was also just the tip of the iceberg. That tomato haul is NOTHING compared to what happens in August. And furthermore, it’s not often that you see that many tomatoes in July. So there.
In August, we get garden awesomeness, and our farm share starts to pay off. It’s the time when every day after work we have to head out into the garden with big bowls to hold all the delicious tomato, sweet pepper, and basil harvests. It’s the time when we have to start allotting time at the farm to pick green beans, and when the big-money crops show up in the stand. We’re talking 15 or 20 pounds of tomatoes a week! Watermelons! Big, leafy bunches of herbs! Potatoes! Hot peppers! You know, the stuff that makes us want to subscribe to the CSA in the first place. The stuff that is so delicious and so abundant that we get to spend evenings and weekends chopping and processing and milling and blanching to freeze the bounteous bounty for the winter.
Also, August is when we take vacation. Pookie’s birthday falls on Labor Day weekend, so the week leading up to it is always “birthday blow-out vacation!!!” time for us. What’s not to love in a month that promises a birthday cake- and present-filled week?
August also brings with it the hilarious awesomeness of preseason football. Sure it’s not real football, and it carries with it a whiff of “having to do sports at day camp” hot-and-sunny misery, but it is football, which means it also carries a whiff of “watching sports on TV on a cool November day”. And the end of August features the U.S. Open, which is always our yardstick of having survived the desert of Baseball Season.
There is always one night during the U.S. Open that is chillier than anyone expects it to be, and when you watch on TV everyone looks all cold and autumnal and thrilled to be watching sports under the bright lights in decidedly NON-summery weather. We had the honor of being there that night in 2007. Neither match we saw was very memorable, but the evening was perfect.
The more I think about it, the more I’m realizing that August has a lot going for it. No, the real shitty summer month is July. That bastard has been pretending to be awesome all this time, while letting me think August was the villain. And I won’t stand up for it anymore! July is hotter than August, normally doesn’t have any vacation for me, has overpriced and over-crowded travel if I did want to go on vacation, and doesn’t have anything interesting coming out of the garden. Seriously. All the delicious early-season stuff is done growing in July, and none of the delicious hot-weather stuff is ready to be harvested. July’s got a holiday weekend, but since it’s so early in the month it might as well really belong to June. And here’s the most damning indictment of July — when August ends, it’s September and summer is over; when July ends, it’s just August.
Henceforth, I refuse to hate August! I will now steer all my summer-fueled crankiness toward the true Worst Month Of The Year That Isn’t March — July.
Also, to make August more appealing, perhaps it’s time to rename the seasons. Last year Pookie and I decided that the last two weeks of August are really not all that summery, and should be considered their own sub-season called “Back To School”. Perhaps the first two weeks of August, then, could be “Pre-Back To School”, and we can all just wash our hands of Summer on July 31?
[Posted by Schnookie]