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Why summer feels so good; how to make the most of it

By John Toth

The Bulletin


If April showers bring May flowers, then what do May showers bring?


We found that out this spring - destruction. But they also bring something else - the closing few weeks of spring, which is followed by summer.


Finally, my favorite time of the year, even in Texas.


“But, John, this will be the hottest summer on record. They are predicting more hurricanes to make landfall than ever before,” you might remind me of the negative aspects of the long, hot Texas summer.


I don’t care. Every summer has been the hottest on the record. The climate is changing. And, many weather experts have received a lot of publicity for predicting a doomsday hurricane season.


My question is: If they couldn’t accurately predict how devastating the storms would be in Houston a few weeks ago, how can they accurately predict months ahead of time how many storms will form this Hurricane Season, how many will make landfall in the United States, and how strong they will be?


Summer storms should not be ignored, of course, and everyone should be prepared and have an evacuation plan. But in my opinion, predicting how bad Hurricane Season will be is just a guessing game.


It does not dampen my enthusiasm for summer, which has one thing going for it over every other season - warmth.


A friend promised during one of the biggest freezes in Texas that if we get through this cold spell, he’ll never complain about the heat in the summer. Of course, he did.


I didn’t, because heat has one thing going for it that cold doesn’t. It’s warm. O.K., hot. I’ll take it. I hate the cold.


I grew up in areas where there are four seasons - the real four, not the Texas Gulf Coast types. It’s warm in the summer, cold in the fall, even colder in the winter and cold again in the spring.


Cold from my perspective. Others might argue that it’s not really cold in the spring and fall, but comfortable - like getting free air conditioning. That’s all well, provided we are comparing seasons to air conditioning, which many people keep at 72 or lower.


My thermostat is set at 78. I know - you think that is suffocating heat. When I go to someone’s house where I know the temperature will be in the lower 70s, I take a sweater with me.


I have asked several servers in restaurants if it would be possible to turn the A/C down a little because I was about to turn into an ice cube. I came to enjoy a meal, not to get blown out by the A/C.


When I enter a cruise ship cabin, the first thing I do is turn the A/C all the way into the red area. You’d think that this would turn the A/C off, but it does not. It just makes it less cold in the cabin.


If you have seen some of our cruise videos on YouTube’s Wandering with John and Sharon, you may have noticed that I wear a warm-up hoodie on the ship at nights when I video shows and parties.


That’s because they deep freeze theaters and public areas on the ship. They have to accommodate passengers in general and cannot please everybody. And, many, if not most passengers, like cold A/C. I like warm A/C -  around 78 degrees warm.


On a warm summer day, I like to feel the hot wind blowing against my sun block-covered face. It feels wonderful, like summer.


Summer represents vacation (even if you have to work), relaxation (at home or away), longer days and much more.


Don’t just take my word for it. Here is what the summer experts have to say about summer - yes, I found some summer experts.


- The sun can energize you and help regulate sleep.


- You can enjoy picnics, barbecues, swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding and more.


- There’s a wider variety of fruits and vegetables available during the summer months, and we crave lighter fare that tends to be healthy.


- Camping can reduce stress levels, improve your mood, give you a better night’s sleep and leave you feeling rested and inspired.


- Being outdoors can improve your mood, improve focus, help you get exercise, boost your energy, keep you away from the screen, bring you closer together and provide new experiences.


Enjoy summer, dear readers. It is a magical time of the year (without any major storms, of course). I like to refer to it as the endless summer that soothes the mind and spirit.


We are very fortunate along the Texas Gulf Coast, though. After summer ends, we start almost summer, a little winter, and almost summer again, before summer comes again.

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