We did it. We waded through last week’s waves of humidity and came out on the other side. Yes, it’s still warm and humid, but this is late July in Northwest Ohio, mile-high, breeze-stopping corn and all. I still had to wear a sweater this morning and was grateful for the need.

People did their best to keep cool through Monday morning. Those who could legally appear shirtless in public did so, aesthetics aside. The opposite sex cropped, rolled and meshed neck and hemlines as much as law allows. I attended an outdoor concert a week ago today and spent a lot of self-conscious time peeling my shirt and skirt out of my sweaty underwear. The band didn’t get an ovation because the crowd was too embarrassed to stand after an hour.

The pigs and donkeys were scarce during daylight hours. They swatted flies under the trees and rooflines. I sprayed one of the pig’s ears to protect her from the biting insects. She ran straight to her mud wallow and submerged her head. When she came up for air, I gave her another spritz. She shook her great head, mud and awful flew in a wide arc and I threw my clothes and myself in the wash.

Mercy sometimes comes with a price, eh?

There’s a catbird outside my window now, plucking summer fruits. Even that bird kept a low profile a few days ago by hugging the cool soil at the base of the shrub it sits in this morning. Now it stares cheekily back at me through the glass, smug in the fact that he/she is outside on this beautiful day.