A rare day indeed

Friday, August 13, 2004

"And what is so rare as a day in June?" asked the poet. Southeast Missourians have a good answer: Any day in August when the thermometer barely tops 70 degrees and the humidity stays near the Gulf of Mexico where it belongs.

We're used to sweltering in August. We expect air conditioners to be running full blast. We consume icy beverages by the gallons in August. We wear the barest necessity of clothing during the eighth month of the year. We dream of September's moderating breezes. We decide -- finally -- in August that the little bit of snow and ice last winter wasn't so awful after all. We make peace, as the sun centers over the equator, with burning rays and parched lawns.

But not this year. First came the February-to-June spring. Then came the cold fronts rushing down in July -- in July! -- from somewhere near the Arctic Circle. And now that August is here, we are having to put aside our plans for dog days and find reasons -- yes, even excuses -- to go out in the midday sun and not give a second thought to mad dogs.

And then there's the rain. We should have stopped mowing our lawns weeks ago. But regular showers have kept our flowers beds and our soybean fields green and lush.

Enjoy it while you can. Next year will include another August -- probably a real Southeast Missouri scorcher.

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