Saturday evening, Memorial Day weekend.

Some will consider this to be the official start of summer because the local schools are out for the year (or will be within a very few days).

For others it is because this is the three-day weekend that gets most Americans heading for sun, water, beaches, and picnic areas.

Meteorologically summer starts June 1 – the same day as the hurricane season. The summer solstice this year (the most hours of daylight) is June 20.

I have four personal markers that vouch for summer’s arrival. The first is being able to hang the laundry on the line. This means waiting through the spring months when the rain clouds have no respect for the need to dry clothes. This year’s spring was dually dismal due to the demise of our dryer. (Now I remember why I bought a house in the first place – so I could house my personal laundromat).

Summer clothes hanging means no wind is necessary to blow the clothes dry. They bake instead. It is sad to look at the inside of some of our clothes to see what color they were before sun bleaching. Nothing, however, will ever replace the redolence of laundry from the line.

A second harbinger of summer would be the date I search for my shorts. This date is getting less reliable as I mature. I purchased a new winter coat two years ago which despite traveling to Pennsylvania with me this winter, has never been out of the bag and still sports the price tags. I haven’t been cold enough to break it out. My personal summer is becoming year round. At least two pairs of my shorts have made it onto the clothes line twice this year already.

The third indicator came this evening when I heard these loving words for the first time this year, “Do you want your Coke iced?”

“Yes! Yes! Oh, yes!”

Our refrigerator is not properly stocked if there isn’t coke chilling, but in summer we frost the mugs and add ice cubes so the cola is looking longingly at the unused winter coat across the room. Boy, was that Coke good tonight.

Finally, we put off the last sign of summer’s arrival as long as possible, but this year neither Husband nor myself wanted to wait another day to install “the window rattler.” The A/C is in. It was 91 degrees today and the nighttime low is predicted to be 72. Too much for our upstairs bedroom in our 1876-built house. It was time. Just in time.

I think I’ll curl up on my freshly laundered sheets, wearing a pair of shorts that have not seen the light of day since 2011, next to the air conditioner with a diet Coke and a book.

Life is good.