As I write this, the thermometer is hovering around 90 degrees. My close friend, Donna, is visiting from Tucson, Ariz., where the temperature is currently in the triple digits — 115 to be exact.

We tried to see the Prado exhibit at the Clark Art Institute with Donna's sisters, but it isn't open on Mondays until next month — which I would have known if I had called or looked on the Internet. (Yet another blonde moment on my part!) We did visit the Williams College Museum of Art and while I didn't understand some of the exhibits, it was fun to explore.

I'm lucky to have had Donna in my life since the summer between high school and college when we met while working as dietary aides at the former North Adams Regional Hospital. We were inseparable during college and shared an apartment during our grad school days. We have one of those bonds that extend beyond time and distance. We don't talk or text frequently and I have yet to travel to Tucson, although, I've promised to go very soon. And when we do talk or get together, we seem to pick up where we last left off. She has always been there and had my back covered.

So, in between comments on how hot it was, and how the humidity made it seem much warmer than 90 degrees felt in arid Tucson, and how much our knees hurt, we caught up on each other's lives — never losing a beat or running out of things to talk about.


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She returned home yesterday, and I already miss her I told her more than once I wished we lived closer to each other.

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There are staples that help me through these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. Don't get me wrong, I love this type of weather. But there are times you need something cold to drink or eat. On really hot days, I stay away from alcoholic drinks, which I find only make me hotter. Early on summer mornings, I put a jug of sun tea on the pool deck and let it steep for several hours. I then load a large glass with ice and a wedge of lemon and pour the tea over it, adding more ice if needed. Pure heaven! I also love freezing red grapes and eating them still frozen. After a few, I'm much cooler.

But when it gets really hot, nothing beats a tall frosty glass of lemonade — homemade or store-bought. And on a really hot day, nothing beats this frozen lemonade pie!

Lemonade Pie

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled

1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

1 (6 fluid ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, keep frozen

1 ready-made graham cracker crust, chilled

Combine the condensed milk and the lemonade concentrate until well blended. Gently fold in the container of Cool Whip. Spoon mixture into chilled pie crust and place in freezer for several hours or overnight.