The August Flip.
Sometime, usually by the second week of August, New England has a weather shift signaling that colder air is coming to replace summer’s warmth and ease. Most people I’ve met greet this “flip” with joy. Tired as they are with the heat and humidity, with gleeful anticipation they welcome the feel of crisp, cooler air with its hints of sweaters and cider.
I am not one of those people. Chronically cold, summer is the only time I have with minimal shivering. Cold equals pain in aging bodies where arthritis has taken residence. I experience “the flip” with dread.
Flips can be fairly benign like the one just felt or they can come like the summer travel day from New Hampshire to Vermont I experienced a number of years ago when I was still tent camping. It was 98 degrees in North Conway mid-afternoon and my driver’s side window wouldn’t open so I drove to my Vermont destination in the swelter. I set up camp at the state park in Island Pond and finished just before a huge storm appeared on the horizon. The tent was under particularly large trees. I buttoned things up and drove, somewhat terrified, into town, parking in the lee of the IGA to ride out the onslaught. No trees there. It was a ferocious storm with strong winds and even some hail. By the time I returned to the campsite my usually tight as-a- drum tent had water inside on one end with just room enough to escape sleeping in a puddle. I climbed into my sleeping bag and got through the night waking to a 40 degree morning a bit wet and shivering. Now THAT was a flip.