by Almanac Artist, Scott Westgard
Fall leads the way, winter slows us down.
Spring’s on display, but summer wears the crown.
Say the word summer and what comes to mind? Gardens, mowing, t-shirts, sandals, barbeques, bike rides, sunsets, icy drinks, swimming, parades, hammocks, baseball, the lake? Take your pick, or maybe you have your own favorite words that define the season.
By the time summer finally arrives in the upper Midwest, there is a feeling that we’ve earned it. There is also an urgency to make hay while the sun shines, to put some color back in your skin, and to bury the last memories of cold weather.
So why then do I now find myself sitting in the library on a hot summer day? The answer is simple. Outside it’s 90 degrees in the shade with humidity matching that of New Orleans…but inside the library, it’s 74 degrees and dry. I look out the window at the Historical Society grounds and feel sympathy for the moisture-starved flowers. True, there is a breeze blowing, but it’s equivalent to having large hair dryers, with 30-mile-an-hour gusts, blowing at you from all directions. Still, I wouldn’t trade 10 average temperature days in January for one like this.
There are some years when you literally feel like you’ve spent the entire time indoors. 1995 comes to mind. Having spent the customary 4 months of winter holed up next to the furnace, the following summer was one of the hottest ever. The worst of the heat waves occurred between July 10th and the 17th, when the average daytime temperatures never got below 89 degrees. It peaked on July 13th with a high temperature reading of 106 degrees— the warmest ever recorded since they began keeping records at Midway in 1928. There were over 700 heat-related deaths reported during this period. That year, it seemed the only difference between winter and summer were the temperature readings, otherwise both seasons forced us indoors with a view from the same window.
Who knows what summer will bring us this year, and furthermore, who cares?! I’m going to store up enough good memories from this one so I’ll have something to remember and look forward to come January.
Jim & Mindy Elgas
P.S. Once again, we are offering our Crypto-Nitions™ and Cartoon Caption contests. Win gift certificates from local businesses. You can either mail in your answers and captions or click on header, “Contests”. Good Luck!
The Writers Page - Stories written for the Almanac of Arlington Heights by various area writers.
15 Seconds of Fame Page
Black and white video clips of people you may know!
AHA! - Local book!
Click for info.
What happens when 6 Arlington Heights folks meet at their local library and try their hand at writing? This Book! Enjoy a variety of unique short stories and poems written by six published authors and budding new talents.
For our visitors who would like periodic updates on current special offers sent to them -