When I think of summer I may look back in the future and think of this incredibly hot summer in Wyoming. For now though I still think of being a teenager in New Mexico.
My family moved from Montana to New Mexico right when I turned 14. I spent the last few weeks of my 8th grade year at school in Alamogordo. I met Eric then, more on that another day, but I made a few lady friends as well. My parent's plan had been for me to make a few friends so I could hang out with them over the summer.
So, that summer the hanging out began. That was the first year that I recall inviting friends over to "hang out" instead of to "play". My family lived a few blocks from the park where the cool kids would gather. Most days my friend Camille would come over and we'd hide out in my room until we thought others might be at the park.
We would venture out into the unholy heat, our hands on our hips to ensure that we didn't have sweaty underarms when we arrived, ahh the worries of a teenage girl. Usually we'd "hang out" at the park until we could stand the oppressive heat no longer. Retreating to the cool air conditioning of my house, we'd wait for the sun to set.
That is when summer in NM really becomes something to enjoy. The smell of mesquite would fill the air, the kids would all come out and play. It was as though the desert just came to life at night. Birds would sing, Latin music would play from passing car stereos, and you could just sense that everyone was climbing out of whatever hiding place they'd found for themselves.
The sunset was spectacular, all gold and pink and full of awe inspiring beauty. Different than the kind of beauty I'd known in Montana.
Then there were the stars. The sky at night in NM is phenomenal. The town I lived in had low lights because there was a nearby observatory. The result was less light pollution, so you could see the sky as it really was, spectacular.
So, that is what I think of when I think of summer--New Mexico and avoiding pit stains on my t-shirts.
What do you think of when you think of summer?