The Hissing of Summer Lawns

Jan Singer

This morning it started early—very early—like 4 AM early. First across the street- pop,pop,pop, phzzzzzz—tetetetete. One by one the sprinkler heads shoot out from the squares of green up and down the street. Not to be outdone birds chime in, joining the cacophony with tweets and whirrs and something that sounds like a cheese grater on steroids. Thud, thud, thud the papers land on the left and the right of us. A car backs up quickly and screeches away. That damn delivery driver! 

Summer mornings don’t start gently in our neighborhood. They explode with sound and fury. Not for the faint of heart or sleep. Most pre-dawns when the windows are wide open, I manage to just roll over and fall back into la-la land. But when the thermometer creeps into the low 80s and the humidity is about the same, I can’t help myself. All the windows are closed shut. The AC gets turned on and then we wait for the cool dryness to bring relief.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with air conditioning. As a Maine native, there’s something that doesn’t sit quite right with me if I can’t feel a breeze waft through the curtains on a summer evening. Summers were so fleeting that no matter how hot or cold the night my childhood bedroom windows were always up.

And then, of course, there was the flinty nature of New Englanders—my family included. Why would you run the electric all summer when it’s the only time you don’t need it?  Indeed!  We might have had it, but we barely used it.

Since then I’ve lived in a host of cities that required sealed windows in the summer. Eventually, I got used to it. But when we settled back in New England both my husband and I delighted in the open window policy.  So for now, it’s great to hear the hissing of summer lawns.

And we’ll enjoy it as long as we can or until the inside temps and the outside humidity match!