(note: ‘Hot Flashes’ back after a September break…)

My school essay; what I did this summer.
‘Hot Flashes’ column by Sue Langenberg.

I ran into an acquaintance the other day who asked me what I had been doing with myself this summer.
I would like to have said something about, “oh, finished a novel that I had been writing, painted the porch and became the oldest hag to have climbed Mount Everest just because it was there. Not to mention organized my entire house, cleaned and auto-detailed my car and knit three sweaters for the winter.
But I ‘fessed up and said, “nothing much.” Well, that’s not entirely true. For two months, it was too hot to think, so I didn’t. Somewhere in there I couldn’t have my coffee outside in the morning because of pesky bugs. I hoofed into the house a lot, mad. Then I became a feline birthing facility because there was a sign in front that said, “Give birth here, good benefits, lactating creature comforts.”
My first bat found a way in, but that’s another horror story. I’ll save that for Halloween.
“Well, then in September…” could read my next paragraph in the ‘What I did’ essay.
Oh, sure. The weather got better; I got worse. That’s about the time of the official “Garden Assault.” It began without fanfare in the spring when I put out my usual vegetables. Tomato and pepper babies, zukes and cukes are the usual fare. I should have known that when the seeds flew out of the ground in record time that I would be marked for assault in September.
The cukes burst onto the driveway shutting down one lane of traffic and climbed the fence to hang themselves. Gravity forced the hanging cukes to enlarge into oblivion while one still clogs the fence. I pickled, gave away and begged passersby to take home one or two. Every cucumber salad in print and online was the recipe of choice for some weeks in a row. Finally, it was time to take down the vines where I found another 25 or so hiding. The back porch now looks like a farmer’s market.
The zukes hid amongst the elephant-eared leaves until the size of your average ocean liner. Naturally, all my bread-baking friends were too far away and even admitted a car that couldn’t fit an ocean liner. An accidental yellow squash found a way to produce in a garden corner in much the same way that an accidental pregnancy reported to the feline facility.
So I stood around the kitchen for the entire month of September canning, steaming and slicing. That would be fine but the kitchen is not my favorite room in the house (sorry, Suzy Homemakers, not me). Added to that is the standing-in-one-place factor where knees swell to the size of Pennsylvania. Some people can stand for hours, some of us can’t without penalty.
I even had to purchase more Mason jars to accommodate all this stuff assaulting me. “What are you doing today?” from a friend would answer, “What else? Soak some cukes and can more sauce.”
This is all during the first time when the weather turns beautiful and proper exercisers should have been out and about basking in all things good.
The tomatoes, well they came in like gangbusters. Forty quarts of sauce later, and I gave up. I have over-BLTed myself into the next year.
Hey, this is all good news about an over-abundance of produce because there are many worse problems in life. But I still would rather have said that I finished a novel, painted the porch and climbed Mt. Everest just because it was there…

Book “Hot Flashes, 101 Reasons to Laugh at Life,” at amazon.com and kindle for $5.99!