During the summer, if I wasn't sleeping in my own bed I was more than likely sleeping in one of the two beds in my cousin Alan's bedroom. I spent many weeks at Uncle Ralph and Aunt Nell's house during the summer you see. They lived "wayyyyyyyyyyy off" in the country in Dawson County (Dawson County has now become another suburb having been swallowed by Atlanta's growth.) In those dark, country nights, there was a whole 'nother world of sounds and smells wafting in those open windows. Critters and crickets we didn't have at home had their own concert and I was mesmerized by life in what I thought then was the middle of nowhere. Even the stink of a cat dining on a fish head (from the catch we'd just cleaned) up on the porch wasn't a bad thing because well, it just smelled like summer. Alan and I would lie there on those nights and listen to the radio station out of Gainesville and argue about which song was the best. If the Braves were playing on the west coast, we'd sit and listen to a baseball game 'til the wee hours and it would inspire us to dig out his old baseball gloves when we got up in the morning and play some catch. Even some mysterious growling and wailing and gnashing of teeth out in those dark nights would be explained away at breakfast the next morning when Uncle Ralph bellowed - "Did y'all hear that damn dog get mixed up with another beaver down the hill? I'm gonna have to take him to get MORE stitches in his face!"
I fear we live in a really stuffy world these days. Every place we go is sealed up tight as a drum lest we get the least bit uncomfortable. I often find myself in a climate-controlled room still feeling like I need to go outside (even in the heat) just so I can feel air moving around. I really do miss open windows, especially on summer evenings. I reckon that's why my bride and I spend so much time on the patio at night, trying to literally and figuratively breathe. The sounds and smells of summer are now cleansing us of the adult crap endured during the day and giving us something to put our minds on rather than the next day's ration of the same. Just for kicks I Googled "open windows" and the very first and most popular link tells me that "open windows is a desktop environment for Sun Microsystems workstations." Well dang.