Saturday, August 12, 2006

Vote for Summer

It's summer holidays here in the Netherlands. Usually when I would think of summer holidays my memories would be filled with things like bbq's, the smell of my softball glove, swimming in my friend Liz's pool, lemonade stands and then later in life memories of late nights sitting on the porch drinking vodka and lemonade, catching a Cardinals baseball game or hanging out at 6 Flags all day. Summers were always hot in Midwestest but we managed.

When we were kids I think we were just immune to the heat. We went through various ways to try to keep cool over the years. One summer, after begging, pleading and bribing, we got a slip-and- slide. If you're not familiar with the legand that is slip-and-slide, I will enlighten you. It's a long sheet of plastic, about 15 feet in length and about 4 feet wide. Ours was bright yellow. How it works is you get the plastic wet with your garden hose. After the plastic sheet is watered down you get a running start and hurl your body onto the plastic, through the water. It was the ultimate summer fun. Just a little hint for all you non-slip-and-sliders. Should you ever wish to purchase this toy and lay it in your front yard for hours of fun with the kids, please check the yard for stones, twigs and the occasional walnut. They are not fun to slide over and leave nice purple bruises on the thighs of those you love. (DAMN the walnut tree!)

Summer in Holland is bring on a whole slew of new memories for me. They're quite a bit different from summer at home. Memories of a Holland summer include me waiting for hours for the rain to stop so I can walk the dog but finally having to give in because he's standing in front of the door with his leash in his mouth and his hind legs crossed. So like a good mommy, I pull on my hooded jacket and schlep outside to let him do his business. When I get back in and get him towel dried the rain stops. Of course.

Another fond memory of summer holidays happened at work of all places. Let me tell you, there is nothing like walking into your office first thing in the morning and looking up to see the entire place has been invaded aliens who have left behind gigantic orange pods. Pods or no Pods, you make youself a cup of coffee. After your first cup-o-joe you realize that your ass is wet and these aren't really pods left by other life forms. The enormous orange creatures are giant tarps left by the insurance agents. They've taken the liberty to throw the tarps over the entire office to protect your desks from the rain that has been steadily dripping onto your chair all night long. (apparently THIS is their answer to all the insurance claims we've been having due to water ruining our equiptment) Yes, I work for an enormous company that makes enough money to feed the entire continent of Africa at least three meals a day (and 2 snacks!) for the entire year, yet we use rain tarps to protect our computers, printers and files. Sad but true. You do have to laugh every time you shut down your computer, push in your chair and unroll the tarp though.

Don't get me wrong. There is atually some good weather in Holland... and I plan to enjoy BOTH weeks of it this year!

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