If I'd have written this summer, I would've told you about listening to my neighbor to the north argue with his latest selection from a bevy of women about why his whites should be washed in hot water and not cold. I wonder why they are being washed, too.

I would have told you that here, in the Upper Midwest of the U.S., our harsh winters leave such a strong impression of open windows when the weather is human that nobody ever forgets that everyone can hear them when speaking loudly on their deck. But the winter here is summer's greatest illusion.

Writing now, I feel like telling you what a perfectly wonderful Spring we've just had, and how I'm really, really ready to enjoy the summer now. I mean, I am there. I am so there, with the sandals and the shorts, and believing I can subsist more on vegetables, and how salad might be a good lunch. I'm there with the open car windows, and the clean livingroom windows, okay dirty livingroom windows, but see who cares about dirty windows in the summer. Nothing matters, everything is beautiful.

I'm convinced, the harsh winters have me smoking and drinking on our deck in the summer. And the summers have me feeling like it's a good thing that the winter is harsh, otherwise I might just be smoking and drinking all year instead of just when my face isn't likely to blow away with the wind chill or my backside iced to a wrought iron chair.

I wonder if anybody saw me.