Un-meltable Summer Memories

  It is impossible for me to remember any summer without the image of my beautiful, charismatic older sister. I’ve tried to writer her character a million times, though I’ll never be able to recreate that kind of lovely - I still try. 

My sister and I were both big readers. You never saw my sister without a large hardcover of Stephen King or Agatha Christie. Me, I preferred paperbacks of Christopher Pike, SE Hinton or Raymond Chandler. Call us eclectic. We’d certainly heard it before!
Summer in Wisconsin means about 8 weeks of heat and sunshine and water and melting ice cream. Then it’s back to the deep freeze and snowstorms and isolation on long, dark nights. So my sister and I always stretched summer to its finest! Which isn’t to say we were fancy. 
Afternoons often found us laying outside on towels in front of our kiddie wading pool. We were teenagers, but it was the best we could do without driving somewhere and neither of us had any money. We’d chat and read and eat cheesy chips or ice cream sandwiches. We’d tell stories - old ones, new ones, the ones we were reading or wanted to see. We also liked storytelling on TV. Specifically, a soap opera. Our babysitter raised us on that soap opera, so by the time I was 12 and my sister 16, we were heavily invested in those glamorous characters. 
One especially scorching summer day in our parents absence, my sister and I too hot to even eat or read on our towels - yet determined to stay outside for as long as possible - came up with a plan. 
“I’m moving a fan out here,” my sister said. 
“What?” I half-snorted. “We are outside.”
Sassy, my sister plugged an oscillating fan into an outdoor plug in. Instantly, we were cooler and feeling pretty darn smart. We got more lemonade. We could do this. The sun climbed higher. The air bent a bit more in the heat wave. 
“It’s almost 11,” I mentioned. 
“So?” asked my sister. 
“We’re going to miss our soap opera,” I reminded her. 
I saw it in my sister’s eye before it occurred to me: Bring the TV outside. 
Sure enough, my sister and I were watching our show and enjoying the sun and the fan. When Mom arrived home. She got out of her car and walked over, stopping to examine us for a good two minutes. It was hard to read her face. Was she mad? Or shockingly impressed by our creativity and problem solving?
“All right,” she finally scolded. Mostly. “Get this stuff inside.”
My sister and I hopped up to follow directions and go back to our books - in the shade. 
Happy Reading!


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