Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time when "the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." The last word is also written as it sounds: frenzies.
Sound familiar? I believe we truly are in the Dog Days of Summer.
Actually, the term refers to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.

To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever, or even catastrophe.

I was born during this time, a Virgo, an August baby, and my mother told me many times how hot it was the day I was born, decades ago, in a house with no air conditioning (what was that, anyway?), no running water, and one light bulb in each room. You might say we were poor, but really we weren't. We just lived as everyone else did in the small North Texas farming community back then.

And so, I can identify with the Dog Days of Summer on a first-hand basis.

I have learned I can make this time work for me. The summer months have become a time of respite, a time to shift gears and work on a different level, a different playing field--or do nothing. During these hot days, my usual responsibilities have been dismissed for the summer, just as they were when I taught high schools students.

Since I live in retirement now, I have no job or anything professional I must do. All groups I belong to are suspended for the summer. In each one, I do hold a position, a post, or a volunteer spot of various sorts. My book club even suspends meetings once a month, giving us time to read some of the selected books for the coming year.

While you might think I'd be languishing like those people centuries ago when this quote was written, I have found a burst of energy I am directing to writing--more than usual.

A.  I finished a manuscript I've been fiddling with for over two years. Finally, The End came, I sent it to my publisher--Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery--, and very quickly had a gorgeous cover, the manuscript edited and re-edited, and now it's finally born and living on Amazon as well as a few other sites. At this moment, I'm waiting for a box of prints to be delivered to my doorstep.

Link at Amazon:

B.  Another summer project is writing a short story I hope Prairie Rose Publications will take for one of their new imprints: Sundown Press. Title of the anthology: Memories from Maple Street. I think this is a stroke of genius from the owners of PRP. I must have a submission ready before the deadline, and keep my fingers crossed they will like it.

C.  A project that's fun is sorting through a big box of old photos, looking for those I call Vintage, and scanning them. My husband scans them for me. Here's one example: Our wedding--December 1958. So far, the folder holds about 25 photos, and we're not finished yet.

The heat, the long days, the sameness of the weeks do not bother me during July and August. I'm happy to remain at home in my air conditioning, only going out when I wish, going only where I want. How much better could this be?
I can't say I like the name put to these long summer days, but I only pay attention to my own business. Oh, I'm not a hermit. I love to have coffee, and talk with friends, and hang around the library, and shop a little here, a little there.

September will arrive soon enough, and...Bang! all starts up once again.

This, too, I love. Newness, beginnings, reconnections.

Can't wait for September.

~~*~~How do you pass the time of The Dog Days of Summer?

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
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  1. We don't have any 'dog days' of summer here, Celia. In fact we're lucky if we get a full week of sunny warm weather! During the last few days we've had grey skies, and tonight it's raining. Sometimes we say, 'The only difference between summer and winter is that the rain is warmer in the summer!'

  2. Paula--I know! I've been there. This term was named for the area around the Mediterranean Sea hundreds of years ago. No one knew about The New World at that time. I don't mind them because I'm not an outdoors kind of person, so I just stay in and look out. The worst part is parking and upon return to the car, it will be burning hot. So, we shop, etc., in the mornings.
    I like the rainy kind of weather. In Texas we have, as it's said, four seasons...Hot, Hotter, Real Hot, etc. That is not true for we do have cold weather in December, January, and February. I do not like cold weather...and we call 60 degrees cold. Once I get cold, I just cannot warm up until Spring.
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  3. I remember the days without air conditioning. When I was single, my bed was next to the window, and I'd stick my head in there to try and get some air on me.

  4. Morgan--I grew up on the High Plains of Texas, near Lubbock and the Panhandle. The humidity year round is about 20%--very dry. That means 90 degrees will feel much cooler, and at night, we just opened a window a little in each room, and the breeze kept us cool at night. Unless, however, a sandstorm blew through. Then we'd wake up with sand covering everything..bed sheets, floors, windows, everything. But sure, we grew up with air conditioning, too. This was in the 40s and 50s and no one had air conditioning--unless you had a water cooler. We did get one of those by the time I was almost read to graduate.

  5. I knew you were a Virgo. LOL
    No one I knew had air conditioning. We were lucky to have high ceilings so the hot air rose and made things a little more comfortable. Upstairs in our bedrooms, it did get hot though. I recall how the humidity would make the sheets damp. That wasn't pleasant, but we managed just fine. I would lie very still and think cool thoughts.
    Interesting about how the term "dog days of summer" came about. Nice research there, Celia.
    Congratulations on your new release. I look forward to reading it. I have the 3rd bride story in your trilogy to read first.
    I always enjoy reading your blogs. The pictures were lovely. I'm doing the same as you, scanning family pictures to my computer. My dad made a zillion slides, so I have to have them made into prints first.
    All the very best to your corner.

  6. Sarah--aren't we lucky to be Virgos? Okay, I don't know exactly why, but I like it.
    Growing up in West Texas was better because of the low humidity all the time. I don't recall ever being hot at night except when we drove to visit our grandparents who live close to Fort Worth. There? High humidity during the summer because it was a lower elevation than the High Plains.
    We never had photos on slides, but yes, I can see that would be a bigger problem. But we and Daddy had a video camera so my sisters and I ended up with shoes boxes filled with little reels of films. Together, we put together one bigger reel for the one projector we had remaining...which belonged to me. Those were fun to watch.
    Our daughter had a cd made of quite a few photos many years ago. But whatever we used at the time, became outdated and unusable.
    The best thing to do is scan and add to a computer file. Surely that would work for decades!
    Have a good day-and thanks so much for visiting.

  7. Congratulations on the new release. I hope it does well. My own dogs will attest to the dog days of summer. As of the last few weeks, the doggie door isn't getting much of a workout. they like it much better inside.

  8. Celia, I'm probably going to disappoint you. I'm a Pieces, a watery March baby. Thing is, I am drawn to those who are Virgo. I like their organization, mannered, and structured ways. I feel calm and peaceful around Virgo personalities. They are my kindred spirits--even though I'm a Pieces way over there on the other side of the Zodiac.
    I wish we had owned a video camera. How wonderful it would be to watch those films now. I use a special flash drive for all my pictures. Those pictures are so precious to me, I want a good back up plan.

  9. I do not function in the heat so being in the Northwoods of Wisconsin helps me get through August. We have a week or so of heat, but it's the humidity I am having to get used to. I usually complain a lot, but that obviously doesn't help. Other than that, I continue on as usual.

    Enjoy your shipment of books and all your summer projects. Sounds like you are doing quite a bit. :)

  10. JD--yes, often animals know better than humans. I'd watch them. If they think it's too hot to go out, well I would stay in for sure.
    And thanks for the congrats on the new release. It's a special story to me.

  11. Back in historical times, Dog Days was a terrible time to be just inland from the Georgia coast. The reason? Mosquitoes/flies and the diseases they carry. At one point there was even a quarantine station in the area for sea-going ships coming to buy our timber. We didn't want their yellow fever, and summer was yellow fever season. A little later on, folks around here worried about other diseases until we got worried about mosquitoes carry West Nile Fever. You get the wrong kind of bug bite down here in the summer and you'll wish you were a dog! Great post, as always, Celia!
    Maggie who also writes as Rigel Carson

  12. Sarah--I don't think I know any other Pieces. All the other, friends, etc. but no Pieces. So, I looked it up. You're a treasure, for the most part, being sweet and kind and helpful. The only thin negative was something like "a Pieces might overindulge..." I don't know, but I thought, good. Sometimes we all need to overindulge.

  13. Paisley--the Northwoods sound good for you. In fact, they sound good, period! I'd like to see the Northwoods and where you live. I've never been in that exact area.
    Humidity? That's the downer, for sure.
    Thanks for visiting!

  14. Maggie--Mosquitos and flies--I do hate both. We don't have either, except on a rare occasion a fly will appear. Jim and I become sort of excited..did you see that? It was a common house fly! Where did it come from? We do not know.
    Once in a great while, we'll see big flies we call horse flies that hang around cattle. Our housing area backs up to The Freeman Ranch, a huge ranch that now belongs to the University for research. So, on a rare occasion, we do see...and flies.
    Take care...don't get a disease?
    Thanks for visiting.

  15. Celia, as always, your post made me think. You must have been an EXCELLENT teacher!

    Love your cover for Beyond the Blue Mountains! I've always loved trains. That tagline is wonderful, too!

    I can't wait to see your story--and you know we have another Memories From Maple Street call open, too--for the Christmas edition "THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER" (childhood). I hope you'll submit to both of these. I love this type of writing.

    We have a pool, but it is too dang hot to even go swimming right now! Like you, I look at these "dog days" as a good time to finish up projects and get everything kind of organized for the coming fall.

    Great post!

    1. Hey! I thought you might be hibernating, but I see you're using this hot devilish weather to work inside. I'll send the ms for California Road Trip--or maybe I'll rename it--soon, since the deadline is August 1. I wish I had an exciting Christmas Story..but ours were pretty mundane. Thanks for stopping by--I know you must be snowed under (wrong use of word, but...)

    2. Yep, send it along, Celia! I'll be anxious to see it--you know I love your stories. Can't wait!

  16. Even in New England we called it "Dog Days" and I usually associated "dog days" closer to the end of the August when it was really hot and dripping with humidity. Dog Days were hot. Period. Growing up I always had a lot of energy despite the heat.

    Dog Days here in California mean something different to me. Usually September is the hottest month of the year. When it's hot, the heat sucks my energy from me and I don't even want to cook so we usually go out to eat or get take out. After working all day, I have no desire to prepare dinner. The local water park, Hurricane Harbor is only 5 mins from us so if I have time after work, I'll take the boys so we can cool off.

    Needless to say, I don't get things done that need to be done if it's a "dog day." I hate neglecting stuff but I have no choice in the matter. lol!!

    Sounds like you've got some fun projects coming up Celia.

  17. Steph--I understand perfectly. Maybe the reason more people cook out on the barbecue grill during these horrid days is because they don't want to cook, either. Listen, I don't want to cook at all, anymore! I thank God everyday for not only modern medicine, but for modern air conditioning! Thanks for your take on this--I enjoyed reading it.