Well, the storm blew through here, just seconds after I published yesterday’s post. I shut off the computer and pulled its plug. It was the fourth storm with severe potential in two days, and I am sure I was not alone in the camp of weary weather worriers.
But Saturday night’s volatile weather, unlike the other three recent storms in Southeast Michigan, targeted my neck of the woods. While I was preparing the post about the moon landing, I was back-and-forth to Twitter checking the weather service, and local meteorologists’ posts regarding the progress of the impending storm, as well as reviewing a flurry of warnings by Nixle, the service that alerts residents to impending community disasters, weather-related or otherwise. I heard the whoosh of the wind, the slow, long rumbles of thunder and the rhythmic pitter patter of rain on the patio roof, but no hail yet, thankfully. I switched the radio on to monitor whether conditions were in fact still ripe for a tornado, a prediction that had been mentioned earlier in the day. There was a seemingly endless list of traffic issues due to quick ponding on the roads, but nothing like the 60-vehicle accident last week, when sheets of rain caused drivers to hydroplane into one another. I snapped the A/C off, as well as the radio, so I could hear any emergency sirens.
Mother Nature sure has a bee in her bonnet this season – that’s for sure. Even Garfield the Cat tweeted out the above cartoon about the #2019heatwave.
Summer – I hate this “new norm” and want the Summer of yesteryear back!
Within minutes after turning the A/C off, it began to feel a bit stifling, so I switched on the fan. I heard no emergency alert sirens, just the endless drone of the metal blades whirring around and redistributing the hot air. I felt a bit sleepy and started to zone out. My mind began to drift to yesteryear – Summer, with its seemingly endless, fun-in-the-sun days, spent playing with friends, and evenings outside collecting fireflies with a jam jar with tiny holes in the tin lid – how they lit up the night!
Back in the day, we soaked in our wading pools, or giggled when we ran through the sprinkler to cool off. We didn’t sit in the house like a potted plant, stationed in front of a fan just because it was too hot to be outside. Not at all – we were outside soaking up the sun, our arms and legs turning golden brown; we were towheads by the end of the season, with hair bleached from so many hours in the sun. Our lips were puckered after chugging down a glass of lemonade, or purple from sucking on a grape Popsicle.
We caught grasshoppers with our bare hands, then felt them tickling our hands and they left “tobacco stains” on our fingers and palms when we released them. We’d study fuzzy caterpillars as they inched up trees or bricks warmed by the sun. Even the orb-weaver spiders fascinated us, while we’d watch them spinning their ornate webs between each cedar bush. With wide-eyed wonderment we’d see them lure their prey into those sticky filaments. Summer was not just fun, but a learning experience as well!
No wonder we were tuckered out at night, as we were either riding our trikes or bikes, or walking to the end of Sandmere Place, where we ran and played in the meadow for hours on end. We would pick handfuls of sweet pink clover and pull the petals out and suck on the ends … it tasted like honey and looked like this.
We’d lay on our backs, gazing at the shapes of the clouds and guessing if they reminded us of animals or whatnot, while enjoying our clover break. Clover didn’t give us cavities or make us too full for supper.
It was never too hot to enjoy our Summer break from school – we were young and carefree. Summer seemed to hold so much allure back then.
Those honey bunnies love their clover too.
I watched some bunnies at Council Point Park recently. Now that the ducks and geese have left this venue and Harry the Heron can’t land on the flooded cement landing, critter pickin’s for photo ops are slim. (I’ve saved some squirrel photos though in case you need a “squirrel fix” and I’ll be sharing them soon.) My squirrels, when they are not up in their nests, are on the ground or lower tree branches wilted and not their usual perky selves these days. The birds are up in their nests. So by default, the bunnies are the only furry friends left to enjoy right now.
While the bunnies are more chipper than the squirrels, they don’t interact with you and cannot be lured over with a peanut. I’ve even bought baby carrots for them in the past, and, if you put some on the perimeter path, it really doesn’t interest them at all. They want to munch on grass, unless you startle them and they’ll bound off, their powderpuff tail flashing at you. The bunnies will find grass somewhere else with no humans looming over them.
The Park bunnies are brave these days, because the clover is plentiful at the Park, as you see below. This is just ordinary white clover, but there is plenty of pink clover too, though I’ll pass on that treat now – we never worried about pesticides back when we were kids.
Come to think of it, I don’t think we worried about anything to tell you the truth.
I saw this interesting chalk art the other day and I’m going to use it to segue from bunnies to ice cream.
Today is National Ice Cream Day.
Growing up I wasn’t allowed to eat candy except at holidays, but I guess frozen confections like Popsicles or creamy treats like ice cream weren’t in that category, because they seemed to be plentiful in the good ol’ Summertime. Last year I waxed nostalgic about splitting and eating grape Popsicles in the wading pool with my best friend Linda Crosby.
So, when I popped onto Twitter earlier today, I was surprised to see that there is a movement underway to bring back “Popsicle Twins” as they were known to us.
When I was a kid, if our family went into town, we’d stop at a little store that sold ice cream and old-fashioned candy. While waiting for our ice cream cones, I would wander around peering through the big glass jars that contained all types of candy. I always stopped at the jars of black licorice Scotty dogs or black licorice pipes. That black licorice wasn’t sweet because it was pure licorice, made with licorice root and anise, so it was brown inside and a little bitter. I think the bigger draw, more than that bitter-tasting licorice, was the fact that it made your tongue black. So, the licorice treats I was allowed to have occasionally, but the gumballs and sticky, gooey caramels and peanut butter kisses were strictly verboten.
When we got our ice cream cones they were a double scoop, but not like you’re used to today – they were side-by-side ice cream scoops. I searched around for a photo of one of those old, very cool-looking, double-cone ice cream cones and sure enough I found one image on Pinterest. The shop sold Sealtest brand ice cream and I’d get a scoop each of strawberry and chocolate – my parents never strayed from vanilla.
The brutal reality.
It was nice going back a little and remembering how fun Summer used to be. In 2018 and 2019 Summer has lost its luster in my opinion – in fact it has become a bit of a drag. I’m feeling fortunate, however, because this morning upon reviewing our City’s crime and local news Facebook site, I was amazed to see that the high winds took down several trees and many power lines just a few blocks away – they are on a different grid than me. Meijer, my spot to walk in this oppressive heat, similarly lost power so I skipped a walk today. Almost 400,00 homes or businesses are without power right now and some won’t have restoration until late Tuesday.
One last reflection on the past, if you’ll indulge me. Even though the wicked storms and volatile weather which took down power lines and left us in the dark with no juice, were few and far between, back then, our neighbors banded together to make things more comfortable for one another. We all know how neighbors want to borrow a cup of sugar for a recipe, but our neighbors across the street, upon losing their power, once asked if they could hook up an extension cord to our garage power outlet to get some “juice” to run a fan. We indulged them. My next-door neighbor brought over coffee and bacon and eggs made on their gas grill when we both had a power outage … her son, who lived in nearby Wyandotte at the time, took all our frozen food to their home, as he was a hunter and had a chest freezer in the garage. They even accommodated some of our refrigerated food, thus angst relieved over food spoilage. We lived like that for an entire week one time in the heat of the Summer.
But it still does not rival what is happening these days.