Friday, June 13, 2008

Driving With The Windows Down

Summer is almost here. The Twinkle Bells (Amanda's pet name for Fireflies) are putting on a show for us every night. The LawnChair Theater is showing movies every Friday and Saturday night starting at dusk. Summer traditions in the Fork are once again in full swing. The unofficial announcement of summer? Driving with your windows down.

Last summer was our first full summer spent in our house in the Hallow. Well, in the entire south for that matter, so we weren't well versed in the subtle changes of the seasons. Sure the leaves greened up, the weeds got tall and the chiggers started biting, but there is more than just that. As I would drive from my rural setting into "town" I would notice that on my country road and those cars & trucks heading away from town, everyone had their driver's side window down. I just figured that A: the weather was finally above 50 degrees and boy didn't that warm air feel nice; or B: thank goodness it's warm enough that I can leave my window down so I can spit and chew properly. But then the weather heated up. It got nice and hot and humid. Yet these country boys (and brave gals) would drive around with their window rolled down. Surely all these cars had air conditioning. Right? Why would anyone want to drive with their windows down?

Then it started happening. As I traversed the country roads two to 4 times a day taking oldest son to football practice, I would begin to recognize the cars and trucks of my neighbors. We would both wave to each other as we approached and passed. My wave consisted of taking my hand off the steering wheel and opening my hand, or waving it furiously if it was someone I knew better. Their wave consisted of an arm extended high in the air, right out their open car window. Soon in order to feel more part of the culture, if I saw a car approaching that I recognized and knew I'd have to wave, I'd push the button to lower my window, give a shout out wave and then button that window right back up. Oh but wait, there's someone else that I know, working in their yard. Window down, arm out, window up. Here comes another car. Window down, arm out, window up. Repeat. Maybe 6 times before I hit town. It began to make sense to me now. Window down meant you expect to wave. A lot. At least until you hit town. The peeps in town don't wave quite as much as they do in the country. I only need to remember to roll the window back up when I get into town. See, I have the idea in my mind that I could go toe to toe with Fergie, well at least Pink, and so I usually turn up the radio quite loud and prove my point. Another reason why those in town leave their car windows up I'm sure.

And so the lesson is now learned. If the weather is 65* (for locals, 72* for former So. CA girls), when I get in my car it's seat belt on, A/C cranked up, hair in pony tail and window down. All the way to town. And then all the way home.

On a final note, as my friend Sydney learned (also a So. CA transplant) you don't need to do the window down thing at night, or you'll risk a bat flying into your hair and consequently into the back of your Extera. Thanks for passing on that nugget of wisdome Sydney!