Sizzling Summer Musings

Moss rose adorning a friend’s front steps.

It’s been too darn hot…

This past week saw long standing records fall. Every day we broke a temperature record for that particular day. Those records go back to the early 1900’s. Nothing prior to that was kept consistently.

We’re breaking another record here–lack of rainfall. In this small particle of the planet we haven’t had any measurable rain since the last week of May. Our trees are going dormant. The grass already has. The sustained high temps coupled with the drought conditions has our environment very stressed.

What I see from my office window–crunchy grass.

So are those who live here. We aren’t used to this weather and really don’t know how to cope with it. Even our Lake Michigan which normally will freeze a swimmer’s fanny this time of the year is currently a whopping 78 degrees.

That’s incredible.

The fisherman aren’t happy because the fish have taken off, probably to find cooler waters though I don’t know where. Those that are still hanging around are dying. Every nightly local newscast shows pictures of dead fish rising to the surface of inland lakes and rivers.

All last week Milwaukee which is about 40o miles from here held its major music fest: Summerfest. Last night’s news showed clips of areas totally empty of people during what usually are busy times. Vendors said they noticed far fewer crowds since the temps were so high and it was “too damn hot.”

We need these clouds to come closer, not rain out in the lake.

Fortunately late yesterday afternoon, a cold front arrived. Winds switched from the southwest to the northeast. That meant the temps dropped a few degrees but those few degrees made a difference.

My neighbors started sitting outside again. People showed up at Summerfest. The women golfers playing in the major golf tournament in Sheboygan–up the road 90 miles or so–weren’t sweating so badly when sportscasters interviewed them.

What a difference going from 106+ degrees to 85 degrees farenheit. Why I even turned off the AC and opened the windows!

I’m a Wisconsin gal, born and bred. We aren’t used to this kind of sustained heat. I really hate it. From what I gather listening to people talk, they agree. We want are usual summers back: the gentle rains (heck I’d even take the storms), the cool nights, the pleasant days, green grass, flowers blooming instead of drying up, well you get the image.

But Mother Nature does and Mother Nature does. But this summer suggests that climate change is going on despite what some experts data to explain “it ain’t so.”

Not looking good.

Often this past month as I look out my windows, now coated with a light layer of soil which is blowing off the drying up fields, I think about John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. When I see the clouds of dust blowing over my dried out lawn, or try wiping it off my front door step and my cloth turns muddy, I understand the fear and desperation of those farmers and their wives who lost so much at that time. I hope our drought doesn’t replicate that terrible time.

But I hear the concern in our farmers’ voices when they mention their crops already being lost. I sense it in my frustration in fighting the never ending dust. And I think, perhaps, I should pull out my copy of Grapes of Wrath and reread it. Then I won’t feel so sorry for myself because my perennials have all gone dormant, my grass is dried up and crunchy, and the leaves of our trees are already dropping because they are so stressed.

As a writer, I will use this experience in some way. I don’t know yet how, but I will use it.

Gorgeous, but not a drop…

I wish we would get a gentle rain and soon. Maybe what I need to do is to plan a picnic and invite 50 people. Then for sure it will rain–and probably be 110.

Have a good week. Be kind to the universe in a manner you find comfortable. Every little bit helps. Until next week…

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15 Comments on “Sizzling Summer Musings”

  1. Anne Parent Says:

    Although I’m a Southern girl, I’m finding these temperatures annoying. Today is the first day I can sit on my back patio and enjoy a friendly breeze. Hoping for some rain very soon!

  2. Funny how much we’re all longing for rain. I was near the lake yesterday when the heat broke and the cool breeze was wonderful. It’s nice to see your blog is back–such good photos.

  3. Anne,

    You may be from the south, but even a great southern gal doesn’t like sweating or melting or being cooped up in the house. Hope to got some writing done.

    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  4. Virginia,

    And isn’t it amazing how we now are grateful for 85 and a breeze? Just saying…

    I sure hope you were near the lake for a good reason and not because you were traveling to get somewhere.

    I’m glad to be back here also, though today I had one topic in mind which wasn’t what I wrote about. But my muse nudged me to record breaking and not my first topic. Sometimes, I listen and follow… 😉

  5. I had no idea the weather in Michigan was like that. I thought the 100’s were typical of a summer there! And to think the temp of the water is 78 degrees! And some say there’s no global warming. Right.
    Hope more clouds and some rain come soon, Casey.

  6. Patti,

    Thanks for your wishing for rain and clouds, but I live on the western shore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. Actually, I think the rain we need and often see out in the lake is landing in Michigan.

    As for temps we rarely see 100 degree temps and never several days in a row. If I lived in AZ I’d probably handle this better.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Edie Ramer Says:

    We were so happy for the breeze last night and this morning. But now I’m kicking myself for not turning the AC on sooner. It will take a while to cool off tonight. Until then, this heat is sucking away my energy. Tomorrow I’ll know better.

  8. Ah, Casey … it is the constant frustration of mankind that we cannot control the winds of change brought by mother nature … she will what she will and all we can do is endure and wait for better days.

    Indians tried to teach that no matter what the nature of a natural disaster, there is a plan greater than ourselves. These are good times to remember that philosophy 🙂 I pray you get a gentle rain soon !

  9. Edie,

    We made the same mistake. Not today. The air went on yesterday afternoon and at this rate will stay on–until who knows when? Energy quickly drains with each drop of sweat and today I have to begin another line edit for BTD.

    Try to stay cool.

  10. Florence,

    I’ve thought of native Americans who often did rain dances and wonder if that would help. Yes, there is a greater plan at work here, but my Type A controlling personality finds it difficult not to make it do what I want.

    Thanks for stopping by. Oh, are you in FL where they’ve been getting tons of rain?

  11. I love moss roses and plant some every year. Boy, those other pictures are sad. I think we’ve gotten a bit more rain up here in the Green Bay area, but our grass is starting to get pretty crunchy, too. I did take some really pretty pictures of my flowers today, thought of you as it I did it, and will be posting them on my blog in dedication to you very soon. My way of sharing my garden with you.

  12. Stacey,

    thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you have moss rose planted each year. I would help my Gram plant them every year but always some seed would survive on its own each year. I’d see these delicate lacy bits of green as we planted each spring–remnants of the previous year. I’ve got a few myself this year just about burned up. But I planted moss rose in memory of Gram every year but this one. So I’ll love seeing your photos and look forward to them.

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