Dear Summer: I think we need some time apart. Love, Doug

I still love my Summer. Really, I do. But I’d be lying if I said everything between the two of us is hunky-dory at the moment.

I’m finding Summer increasingly tiresome, and though I’m ashamed to admit it, I’m having a difficult time hiding my true feelings.

While I still get a kick out of her blue skies, green grass and colorful and fragrant flowers and shrubs, I’m finding that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean to imply that I’m considering anything rash, such as leaving Summer for her cousin Winter. Yes, Winter and I have dated occasionally, but it will never be anything serious, at least not on my end.

While Winter can have a certain beauty about her, if you look at her in just the right light, inside she’s cold as ice. And besides having a frozen heart, Winter is high maintenance. She isn’t happy unless I’m wearing four layers of clothing under a heavy coat. She starts to pout if my nose isn’t running down my face and my teeth aren’t chattering.

Nope, she’s definitely not long-term relationship material.

And besides, I still love Summer. Really, I do. Sometimes I just wish she’d be a little less needy and hungry for attention.

“Yes, dear, I can tell it’s 93 outside today. Six days in a row is very impressive. What’s that? Yes, 75 percent humidity is a nice touch. You’re so talented and beautiful.

“What? No dear, I have NOT been dreaming about your cousin Autumn. So I accidentally said her name in my sleep, what’s the big deal? You’re still my sunshine.”

My never-ending, soul-searing, clothes-drenching, skin-sizzling, energy-sapping sunshine.

“Speaking of Autumn, I need to send her a text — I can’t tell you, it would spoil the surprise — and I seem to have lost her number. Do you have it my love?”

If I were half a man I would discuss my feelings with Summer face to face. But I just can’t do it. Every morning when I leave the house in a short-sleeved shirt and walk past the explosion of color in the flower pots on the front porch, I’m hooked for another day.

So I’ve decided to take the time-honored coward’s way out and write her a Dear Summer letter.

Dear Summer,

I love you. Really I do. In fact I hope we’ll be together for the rest of my life. But sweetie, right now I could use a little break. Not a long break. I just need some time away from you to get my thoughts together … and rest my sweat glands … and heal my sunburn … and dry out my underwear.

I know you’re probably asking yourself “What did I do wrong?” Nothing. You have done such a great job this year that it’s almost mind-boggling. In fact, if my mind weren’t half-melted, I’m sure it would be completely boggled.

While I still love your sunny disposition, I need a change of pace, and no, by change of pace I don’t mean a fling with Winter.

If only for a week or two I want to be able to go outdoors just for the fun of it. Right now I can’t do that with you around. You’ve been so good at being you that my trips outside have been limited to driving to work and back and that weekly near-death experience I like to call mowing the lawn.

I don’t mean to sound snippy, but must you take that annoying humidity everywhere you go?

Believe me, Summer, this is only temporary. You know deep down you’re the one I want to take care of me in my old age. You know I can’t stand that ugly Winter for more than five minutes. And Spring is so flighty and immature.

Don’t worry your sunny little self, dear. I’ll be back before you can break the record for consecutive 90-degree days.

Where will I go? I’m not sure. But I definitely will not go to Autumn’s place, so don’t look for me there. Please. DO. NOT. LOOK. FOR. ME. THERE.

See you soon my love,


P.S. I couldn’t find my jacket. If you see it, can you drop it by Aut … Never mind, I’ll be fine without it.

Doug Showalter can be reached at 379-5625 or