… (snapping fingers), the unofficial end of Summer has arrived. Does it seem like we just heralded the gateway to Summer on Memorial Day weekend, or are you just done with Summer?
MOST people around the world griped about the Summer of 2022, (Yours Truly included), even though, in the depths of Winter ‘21-‘22, while bundling up to head outside, I swore I would not utter a single complaint, even if I sizzled like bacon on the griddle some mornings when I left for my walk. Of course those affirmations were made long before it was non-stop heat and humidity. Here in Southeast Michigan it felt like the Dog Days of Summer, that 40-day period stretching from July 3rd to August 11th, long before those Dog Days arrived.
Summer was one hot mess!
We experienced our first of 15 days of 90+-degree F (32 C) days on June 21st. We were forewarned …
… but then it was like it was the celebration of the year. Ugh.
There were a plethora of storms and a new weather vocabulary word for me: “gustnado” which I learned is not a new weather term or a made-up word which sounds like some some type of heavy-duty toilet bowl cleaner. Instead, a gustnado is a surface vortex created from a downburst that develops from a thunderstorm.
Oh – okay, now something else to worry about along with its cousins the derechos and tornados. The severe weather that parts of Michigan experienced a week ago today lasted only a few minutes, but packed a punch. It was attributed to a gustnado, which knocked out power to 300,000 homes and businesses and 3,300 power lines fell. The lines were the first order of business for our energy provider DTE to tackle, then the power issues. A few coolish days post-storm made it somewhat bearable for those folks, then the temps and humidity ramped up again by week’s end.
Sometimes in Summer ’22 we had all day rain/storms – good for parched lawns anyway.
In lamenting over the weather, I heard a factoid about our nation’s weather that bears sharing: the number of extreme heat days have tripled since the 80s and this extreme weather is expected to continue.
What the heck happened to those pleasant Summer days the entire season when I was growing up? We never had more than a fan in the house, then added a window air conditioner in the den/TV room in the late ’60s, followed by central air conditioning in 1975. My mom used to talk about the Summer Heat Wave of July 1936 when temps across North America soared to 105 F to 110 F daily (40 C to 43 C), only dipping down to the mid-90s at night, for 23 days. Mom said they had one small table fan and the family would gather around it, but on workday evenings, all the neighborhood men took a pillow and blanket to Toronto’s Sunnyside Park to ensure they got a good night’s sleep as they all worked in manufacturing jobs, in large plants, with not so much as a fan to cool the workers off. The refreshing breezes off Lake Ontario ensured a somewhat restful night’s sleep. My mom and my grandmother slept on the front porch to catch a breeze.
In retrospect, though we have enjoyed a few stellar weather weekends, the nicest days often occurred on weekdays. At times it was as if Mother Nature decided to penalize us for those weekday respites from the heat and humidity, by giving us crummy days on the weekends. What’s up with that anyway? Many times the morning meteorologist quipped “folks, this is a good day to play hooky from work or school if you can do so.” He’d follow that statement up with “folks, the weekend weather won’t be terrible, but be prepared for splash-and-dash showers and keep an eye to the sky.”
Suffice it to say Summer wore out its welcome with me!
So what else was bugging you in this topsy-turvy Summer of 2022?
Many of us simply stayed put and did not bug out due to inflation, high gas prices and/or erratic weather which may have tabled those plans until 2023. Meanwhile we just sucked it up, dealt with “air you could wear” and heat so intense that the a meme suggested you could bake lasagna in your mailbox.
Now, as the sun sleeps in longer and Poplar leaves litter the path at Council Point, we begin a slow transition to what we hope will be a fantastic Fall (fingers crossed).
My grocery store is in Autumn mode with mums and pepper plants gracing the entrance to the store. They also had ornamental pepper plants which made me think of my mom as we always had one in the kitchen once Fall arrived. Inside the store, while it is too early for humungous orange gourds, it IS time for pumpkin and spice and everything nice … even PSC. So what is PSC you ask? Would Special K® Pumpkin Spice Crunch call your name when you walked by the cereal aisle?
So did you fulfill any of the Summer Bucket List of Items you dreamed about in those coldest and crummiest days of Winter, not to mention that Spring laced with icy precip?
Or did gas prices and inflation table those dreams until 2023? With the advent of Labor Day comes a wee chill in the area, a different angle of the sun and the sun is sleeping in later. Maybe you’ll get ‘er done now.
While we all might welcome cardigan weather, will you miss the butterflies, bees and blooms? Some of the butterflies have already departed saying “we’re outta here” and off they go, winging their way to warm climes on sadly tattered wings.
The hummingbirds are similarly Googling flight plans to take them South and fueling up at every nectar station they can find. The bees are sipping natural nectar, embracing the beautiful blooms as much as we humans do.
Flowers like these at the Tribute Garden at Fair Lane, the home of Clara and Henry Ford, bloomed profusely thanks to those bees …
… but beautiful flowers aside, Autumn, with its crisp air, great smells and colorful foliage beckons me like a magnet.
Plusses and minuses.
I think the ever-present heat and humidity kept the chalk artists inside. I found this gem on the Bishop Park Boardwalk one morning, a message that brought a …
… to my face on a wicked hot day.
Since there was no abundance of chalk art, I was forced to create my own as you see near the end of this post.
I had to really bulk up the miles in August, now there are less minutes to get those miles walked these days. So, by Labor Day, the weekend that commemorates the 11th anniversary of my walking regimen, yes, I know the drill. Walk, walk, walk … then walk some more. Pardon the appearance of my walking shoes. I had to walk on someone’s lawn as there had been a water main break and I sunk down into mud. I do have new shoes waiting in the wings, just too lazy to stop, dig ’em out and lace them. I need to get them broken in before dew-slickened leaves and black ice arrive.
However, the month of August I designated as errands month. A couple of doctor’s appointments, but mostly, like my squirrel pals who are stashing peanuts and black walnuts in hidey holes for Winter, I similarly was out buying pantry items then scratching my head where to put everything. Instant clutter, but no running around in ice and snow either, so that’s a great trade-off. Then the car had a minor blip, a leak, which made me reluctant to go anywhere this holiday weekend. So I took a slew of photos Friday and Saturday to fill some upcoming posts with some squirrel, duck and rabbit frivolity at my favorite nature nook, Council Point Park. Thus, I made no long trips to parks from August 1st and through Labor Day. Focus, focus, focus … now I’m free and can go on long treks through the cooler September and October months and enjoy the Fall foliage. Maybe now I can look at all the photos I’ve taken on big treks in the month of July – they are still on the camera card.
Goals … yep, I’ve made a few in 2022.
As to walking, my mini goal was to reach 999 of my 1,256 miles (2,022 km) by Labor Day and happily it was mission accomplished. My second goal was to reach 9,999 miles on my 2009 Buick LaCrosse by year end. Well, we are still gettin’ there in that regard as I tootle along. This photo was taken a few weeks ago:
That was a personal goal in response to fellow bloggers Ruth and JP kidding me about reaching 9,999 car miles by year end, when a photo of my odometer back in January, (which I intended to show how cold it was in the car by the Detroit River), also showed my low mileage.
So these are my stats as of September 4, 2022 and I’m about par with my 2021 walking stats. I hope to make it … I have 119 days left to fulfill both goals.
Have a safe Labor Day.