Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I believe I took the front windows off right around Memorial Day. I put them on, I think, the day after I took this photo, June 10th, but took them off again and haven't put them back on. If the top wasn't splitting along some seams, I'd have the top down.

It's dry, so very dry here. It's not quite the tinderbox that Colorado, Utah and New Mexico are but there was a report that fires and grills were going to be banned in forest preserves beginning this weekend. There will be no grilling for that family picnic for which you reserved your space back in February, on the first day you could reserve a space. It's just too dry. There is also talk that fireworks shows are in danger of being cancelled. The only "safe" place would be over the lake and I don't think the city of Chicago is doing fireworks at the end of Taste of Chicago anymore. I know that got axed last year in a budget cutting move. Navy Pier always does fireworks on July 4th, again off barges on the lake, so that may be the one place to see rocket's red glare.

It's to be 90 today and 104 tomorrow. I've had the windows open and the AC off the past 2 days. It was lovely this morning and had this been a weekend, I would have kept the windows open until around noon, when the heat begins to build. It will make the AC work less if it's cool inside. I closed up the house, checked to make sure the AC was set for 80 and came to the office where it was 68 in my section. I had to run my portable heater for a bit. The rest of the office is nice. My office is a refrigerator.

Weather people are likening this to the drought of 1988. In August of that year, we had something like 15 straight days of 100+ temperatures. I had a garden back then and I remember water rationing and trying to get the garden adequately watered on the days we could. Our ancient AC unit gave out on day number 10. The service man who came after the heat broke said the freon just gave out. We bought a window fan for the north window and set up other fans to suck the hot air through the house. We covered all the west and south windows to reflect the sun.

Funny how you get dependent upon the cooling ability of central air conditioning. I didn't have that growing up on the farm. I remember nights spent splayed across the bed wishing for any kind of breeze and moving every 10 minutes when your body heat had made the spot you were lying in warm. I can hear the buzzing of the insects from those hot summer afternoons spent lounging in the living room or on the front porch. I also remember Kool-Aid pops and Dad standing on the porch looking at the garden. "This hot weather is good for my tomatoes," he'd say. I remember walking to the corn fields after lunch and sitting under the canopy of stalks, the ground and air in the rows about 10 degrees cooler. You could hear the corn growing and the smell, oh the smell of the earth is a smell I love.

I also love the smell of the earth and the air after a heavy rain born of the clash between hot and cold. The ground almost sizzles when the first line of water hits. I remember a few times being in town and watching the steam rise off pavement and sidewalk after a summer rain during a heat wave. The smell of water and earth is intoxicating.

I'm watering my deck flowers but not the yard. I think watering a lawn is silly and a waste of water. It will return to green once the rains come. If it doesn't, reseed. Put in something that goes dormant in these hot Midwest summers, something that you don't have to water. I should wash the Jeep this weekend. That ALWAYS brings rain, right?

Beverage:  Raspberry Earl tea


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