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Oh look! A shiny thing: Heat, humidity and the great outdoors

To me, outside is where we keep all the bugs, spiders and dirt.

blue sky sun ray
A photography of a blue sky with sun rays
Markus Gann/magann - stock.adobe.com
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It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

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OK, it’s also the heat that’s keeping me from going outdoors lately, but let’s be honest, I’m not exactly an outside cat anyway. I love the outdoors and I think it should be preserved and cared for, but I want that done mostly for other people who enjoy it more than I do.

I want to look at the outdoors from indoors, with a nice big pane of glass between them.

To me, outside is where we keep all the bugs, spiders and dirt, and when I go out there I seem to spend most of my time flailing at mosquitos, hoping the shade will take the edge off the heat of the sun (it doesn’t) and trying to remember whether it’s tick season.

I wasn’t always so fussy.

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I have fond memories of spending time at my grandparents’ cabin in Cross Lake as a child, feeling the sandy soil on the bottoms of my feet and marveling at how different it was from the rich black earth of southwest Minnesota. I used to catch frogs, pet them a little bit and then let them leap back into the water, where they’d swim away beneath the dock or hide behind the rocks.

I hated ticks then, too, but I didn’t think about them much, and while I had a couple

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encounters with leeches, my mom and her siblings made short work of them. Salt was involved, but I can’t remember if it worked or not.

There were much scarier things up at the cabin, like the bears we’d occasionally spot, or the far-more-common skunks that would waddle across the road with alarming frequency. Whole herds of deer would lurk in the meadows along the roads, and you never knew when they might pop out at you and hurl themselves at your car.

Everyone knew that the abandoned cottage with its roof falling in was a witch’s house, and there weren’t enough tetanus shots in the world to save you if you tried to get close enough to look through its windows, given all the debris around it. Plus, the witch could come back.

You never know, with witches.

The last day at the cabin was always a cleaning day, and in order to get out of having to do any work myself, I would take my younger cousins for a walk to get them out of the grown-ups’ way.

We would walk along the road to a narrow bridge that passed over a narrow spot between two lakes, and enjoy the sunshine. Sometimes we’d toss rocks into the lake and enjoy the “plunk” sound they made. Sometimes we’d find a cool rock and bring it back with us, or pick a few wildflowers for our moms. If a car came, we’d head onto the shoulder of the road, but very few ever did.

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Eventually, we’d walk back to the cabin, pack up and our parents would drive us home.

I never worried about ticks, and the heat and humidity didn’t bother me as much then either. Maybe I just need to find some kids to walk with.

Opinion by Kari Lucin
A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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