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Summer Might Suck, but Sangria Does Not.

Written by: Katrina Crites

There are 98 days until October 1st or as I like to think of it, 98 days until the end of the sweaty season. 

I grew up in central Kansas where the summers are quite hot, but there is very little humidity. After college I lived in Colorado for a year where there is even less humidity. While I've lived in the Kansas City metro area for almost 15 years, I've yet to adjust to the feeling that I need goggles to see through the water permanently suspended in the atmosphere.  The first summer here nearly killed me and each one thereafter has been just as miserable.  I suspect I'll never get used to it. 

The list of things I enjoy about summer is extremely short and listed here in no particular order: homemade sangria, our family's annual weeklong lake vacation, and that my husband and son get to go fishing every weekend. It makes them happy so it makes me happy.

I love and appreciate air conditioning, but I’d rather live in a climate where my survival and mental health didn’t depend on that whirring box of magic that sits just outside the house.

How fun is it to get in your car on a hot day? Super fun, especially if you're blessed with leather seats. Say goodbye to the flesh on the back of your legs after suffering first degree burns once you sit down in shorts or a skirt. Then relish in the pools of sweat you’re going to slip around in while you’re sitting there. 

Even if you don't have leather seats, you have a steering wheel and last I knew, there is no way to avoid touching that bad boy when you're ready to drive. It's like holding hands with the sun. It takes a solid five minutes or more to truly get the interior of the car cooled and that's with the back windows halfway down and the air conditioner set on turbo blast. By then you've made a mental note to call a Realtor, move to the Northern Canadian wilderness and look up how to hunt and field dress a wolverine for when you’re in a pinch for dinner ideas on the Canadian tundra. 

If you want to do any sort of yard work or outdoor exercise during the summer, you either have to wake up on Barcelona time or risk death by heat stroke in the summer sun.

The bugs are always hungry and most active before dawn, so say goodbye to whatever flesh you have left over after you’ve lost most of it sitting on your hot leather car seats.

If you choose the daylight option, you'd better have 911 on standby or be ready to explain to your neighbor why you're skinny dipping in their pool. 

Everyone loves that. 

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t also love that trickle of sweat running down the crack of your butt to remind you that Ma Nature is in charge and there's nothing you can do about it but smile hatefully. (Side note from Jenny: I affectionately call that 'swass'. There is also 'swits'. Ok, carry on.)

I'm naturally hot blooded. I keep the air conditioner set on "meat locker" and all the fans in the house are always on high. The lights are all off because it always seems cooler when you’re in the dark.  Plus it’s saving money off of my otherwise astronomical electric bill. 

Don't bother sitting close to me or snuggling up between May and September as I'll push your sweaty body away. I'm hot enough the way it is and unless you're bringing me cold sangria or a billion dollars, go away. 

I've preferred the cold months as long as I can remember and even welcomed the end of summer when I was a kid.  Crisp fall days, cold winter weekends spent by the fire with a mug of coffee full of Irish cream and a warm blanket. Sweatshirts and fuzzy vests and comfort food. Thanksgiving, Christmas and my son's birthday. Fat pants, which come in handy after all of those holidays and comfort food.  Perfect.

Maybe when I’m old I’ll actually appreciate and enjoy summer.  Maybe I’ll wander the streets in a cardigan, polyester slacks and orthopedic shoes when the temperature is above 90 degrees because there’s a chill in the air.  Until then, I’ll sit here with my fan pointed directly at my bare legs and count the days until October.

And as I’ve mentioned it above, I’d like to share my sangria recipe.  I hope you enjoy it during these last 98 days of heat. 

Katrina’s Sangria

One orange, sliced

One lemon, sliced

One lime, sliced

1.5 cups fresh pineapple chunks

1.5 cups cut strawberries

1 jar maraschino cherries with some of the juice reserved

1 cup orange vodka (or other flavor to your liking)

1 cup orange rum (or other flavor to your liking)

1 bottle of sweet red wine

1 bottle of white wine

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Dissolve the sugar in the cup of water, set aside.  

In a large jug, first put in the cut up fruit, then pour in the liquor and wine and as much of the reserved cherry juice as you’d like.  Pour in the dissolved sugar and water mixture and mix gently until well blended.  Refrigerate at least a few hours, but shoot for 24.  Cheers!

Katrina Crites is a mother of one weird prepubescent kid, wife to a husband whom she adores except when he chews on ice. She has a love/hate relationship with running, adores winter and once thought overalls and Doc Martens were acceptable to wear in public. She lives in Olathe with her family of weirdos and knows if she didn't have the ice chewer, she'd be a crazy cat lady.

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