5 Things I Hate About Summer

I lived for 9 years in Jerusalem. It’s hot in Israel and temperatures, during a bad chamseen, could hit 110 or more. A chamseen is a sand-filled wind that blows up from the Sahara. It’s more humid than normal hot Israeli air and the air is full of sand, so the air is both superheated, humid, and gritty. The word means “fifty” because supposedly the chamseen comes and stays for 50 days.

My home in Baka, Jerusalem

A chamseen leaves a ton of dirt behind it. Piles of Sahara sand blew 5,000 miles to make a mess of my home. When it was “normal” summer and not chamseen, it was just plain hot. Very few places other than hotels and some businesses had air conditioning because when you came into the shade from the sun, the temperature would drop 30 or 40 degrees and there was almost always a breeze at night

There was no autumn. One day it was summer and you were sitting outside looking at the solid deep blue sky. Suddenly, you saw a line of clouds marching across the sky and every woman raced home to take in the dry laundry. I don’t think I ever saw a man run to take in laundry. After that, it would rain a lot and occasionally but rarely, snow.

I missed Autumn and winter. But spring was lovely. By February, the almond trees would bloom in the hills and by May you could feel summer settling in. But through June, there were still some days that were cool and comfortable.

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When I came back here in August 1987, I had completely forgotten what summer in New England is like. The heat and the humidity. The feeling when you open a door, that you are diving into hot soup. Even if you don’t have breathing problems, no one can breathe in that dense, wet, hot air. In the spring, that hot wet air is also full of pollen, so I feel like I need an oxygen cylinder.

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Even though i complain about winter, over all, it beats out summer. Especially THIS summer. Even with slippery sidewalks and wondering how we are going to manage to plow that driveway again. Even if we have to shovel the roof before it collapses. I would love Autumn all year round, though. The cool and nippy parts of autumn, maybe two weeks of serious winter and snow, then a long soft spring which goes directly into autumn

What do I like about summer? Not having to plow the driveway. No need for oil deliveries. Also, I can usually breathe.

Categories: Autumn, Blackstone Valley, climate, Gallery, Jerusalem, New England, Photography, Weather

Tags: , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Is it the humidity that makes breathing easier, Marilyn? My son is a brittle asthmatic and he suffers so much during our very dry winters. There pictures are stunning and I love autumn colours.


    • No. It’s the humidity that makes breathing harder. Very high humidity is literally like breathing soup. The air is wet. It also makes you feel hotter because you don’t sweat. Any humidity up to about 60% is okay and 40-50% is perfect. When you get to 80 or 90%, there IS not air. It’s just liquid. You can solve the super dry household heat by getting a humidifier. Even a small one will work and they aren’t expensive. We use one in the winter. When the humidity drops down to nearly zero, a humidifier for a few hours helps. If you have a wood stove, just sit a kettle (or even a pot) of water on it and it will do the same job.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely description of your summers abroad. I had no idea of this sand laden wind.

    Like you, I wish it could be autumn all year round. Although I love flowers, I don’t like spring all that much since it can get quite warm.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All those vagaries of weather make for beautiful scenery, however..

    Liked by 1 person

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