flipflops (aka thongs), swimsuits, towels, sunscreen.
Oh to be a kid again. It really is remarkable we didn’t roast ourselves silly for as much as we fought off or forgot about sunscreen. But those early days when we lived in Eugene and somehow were deemed mature/responsible enough to trot off to the community pool in our cheap summer sandals and overly-patterned bright-colored knit homemade swimsuits with a makeshift terry wrap or robe.
It wasn’t long before I traded in the play-wear for work-wear and headed off on my bike early in the morning in shorts and tennis shoes and a tank top–no hat or sunglasses to protect my eyes–to hoe weeds all day long. Sometimes with a zip-up hoodie tied around my waste as if it were remotely possible it was going to be cold. (I say that now because was 97 degrees here today–just cooled down to 88 at 9:38pm–and I’m wondering how long I will have to stay up in order for it to be cool enough outside I can throw open my windows and let in a little cooler night air so I can sleep and cool down my house sufficiently it will take its sweet time getting too hot again tomorrow. I feel I have always been and forever will be too hot.) And yet as I recall June in Oregon isn’t always hot and it’s likely I was cold in the overcast and drizzle more than once while hoeing. Rain days in Oregon were, apparently, like snow days in Utah. A figment of someone’s imagination.
When we traveled to Randolph for branding season, long-sleeved cotton shirts and long pants were a must–despite the heat–but the most familiar accessory was a can of OFF! I still associate the scent of DEET with dry sagebrush and dusty red dirt.
And now my summer gear is generally business casual as I find myself going to work while most everyone around me enjoys summer break. Birks. Forget the sole-less flip-flops of yesterday. Birkenstocks forever.
[Day 125 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]