The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Star photos page to browse

By Jess Utz 

The hum of summer

Jess, shut up!


The heat came into the Coulee like someone opened the oven door to peek at the cookies and the furnace blast hit them at full force. And just like that, summer arrived … and so did everything that surrounds the sunny days of summer in the containment of the Coulee walls.

We hit the 90s on the gauge, and boats, snakes, mosquitoes, sprinklers and out-of-state plates arrived. Parking lots full, ice cream shop open and lasers flickering on the concrete blockage of the Columbia. Summer has arrived.

Very soon the students will be trading their backpacks and notebooks for sunglasses and beach towels as the lazy days of summer engulf us all and cars line the highway by “the rocks.” Big Bertha, Killer and Little Bertha will be climbed and conquered as they overcome the fear of the jump just like they overcame the fear of a Mr. Files English test. Yes, they both are dangerous, but the satisfaction of the ending is glorious in both. (Warning: Both can result in injury; one to your body, the other to your GPA.)

The honey bees will start their collection process and returning to their home boxes, while the wasps will battle the homeowner for a prime piece of their real estate. A war will be waged as the little wasp nests are knocked off their hanging perch before they become the large paper-ball types that house too many to mess with. In between the endless game of moving around a sprinkler to keep the green, the brave homeowner will knock, spray and remove the tiny homes, all the while protecting themselves from the swarm of little stingers with big ouches.

Also, the endless dance of the thermostat will be played in homes all around us, as one person wants the perfect temperature of 72 degrees and the other wants the chill felt at 68. Blankets in the house and little clothes out of it, the dance of summer continues until the line is drawn and the equality finds a nice place of 70; but this dance continues secretly until late August.

Watermelon, popsicles and sun tea become the food of choice for every evening barbecue. Under the smoke-filled aroma of chicken, burgers, steaks and footlong dogs, the wet summer sweat is backed off by the ice in a cool glass of sweet tea, the refreshing sliced red melon, and the instantaneous satisfaction of frozen juice on a stick. Every grill master, armed and ready with their spatula, apron, grill and recipe of choice, prepares the sensuous, mouth-watering, blue-ribbon-winning feast that will leave stains, smiles and full bellies.

Then there are the beaches. Oh, the coolness that comes from our water. Some will creep up on their desire. First a foot, then a knee, the hardest part sinking into their waistline, then up to their chest and the final procedure at last: the full-body cooldown. But there is another approach to this tradition. The full-body shock from head to toe, an all-at-once plunge into the only thing our body wants. The immediate full-scale attack of the dive and the cannonball of glory. This going deeper is the instant satisfaction that all want, but only the brave will achieve. Spring Canyon, Coulee Playland, Steamboat Rock, Crescent Bay or middle of the lake from a boat — it does not matter the location, only the results.

Oh yes, the hum of summer is upon us. Like a mosquito trying to get its fill of fresh, type-A, the tides of heat are here, and we embrace it and all its glory. So, Coulee Country, enjoy your fill of the best we have to offer and lap up the sun on your favorite towel, on your boat or in your lawn chair. It is summertime, and it is time to smile. Enjoy it, because in a few months your tan will be fading.

You might be interested in:

Reader Comments

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care
Rendered 10/15/2019 23:15