Teacher Tuesday: Cool Coolness

It is a rare thing indeed to sit outside on a west-facing porch on an early August evening in Texas without breaking a sweat.  I can’t believe I just enjoyed having Lucy the cat walk across my lap while I enjoyed a bowl of Goldenbrook Farms Praline Pecan ice cream outdoors in August!
But it happens.  No matter what the media feeds us about global warming, climate change, and extreme weather, I know from living the past 54 1/2 years in East Texas (Gasp!  Am I really that old?) that unseasonable weather is normal at times!  Especially in Texas.
One only has to consult past temperature and storm records to realize this.  Our local television weather report even includes record temperatures and rainfall as part of its daily almanac information.
For example, the temperature extreme records for Texas were set back in the 30’s!  It reached 120 degrees in Seymour (west of Wichita Falls) on August 12, 1936.  The low temperature was set in 1933 on February 8 in Seminole (West Texas) at -23!
The poor folks in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin sweated through temperatures of 114 on July 13, 1936!  That was before air conditioning, and people that far north don’t usually have a/c anyway!
(Check it out yourself at
And this was eighty years ago before climate change was the big headline.  
Young people talk about how it never gets really cold here.  I beg to differ.  I remember standing out by the road in a strong north wind wrapped up in mittens and a padded, hooded coat with a fur-lined hood shivering while waiting for the bus.  I remember walking the 100 yards or so from the bus to the band hall on school mornings with the wind cutting right through me.  I remember going to our county fair in September and freezing.
And very recently, our area experienced one of the hottest summers on record.  In 2011, Dallas broke its record with 70 consecutive days of 100-plus temperatures.  In fact, in 2011 Texas was the hottest state on record.
So, why the hubbub, Bub? (corny?)  I believe all the news coverage about global warming or climate change is due to several things, and yes, this is my opinion, but it is my blog, after all (haters need not respond).
First, since news has gone from one or two newscasts per day to 24-hour coverage, news programs have to say something, and when global warming became news because of a certain political figure, they grabbed it and ran with it.  
It then became a political ploy to gain power, opening the way for more regulation, more taxation, and more restrictions.  Let’s face it, climate crisis is big bucks for those who benefit from regulations and restrictions, because it means more tax revenue and people being forced to buy “greener” products and services.  Did anybody ask you if you wanted to change from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs?  Me, either.  But we all have had to go out and buy the new light bulbs, haven’t we?
 And don’t get caught dumping motor oil on the ground like we all used to do. It will cost you in hefty fines!  Take it somewhere where you will likely have to pay to have it disposed of properly.
Okay, off my soapbox now.  I think I’m going to go out and enjoy some more of this cool August weather.  What an unexpected blessing!

RANDOM FRIDAY ON SATURDAY: Glorious Rainy Day. . .

Today I got to actually live a dream:  a Colorado-like summer day in the middle of a Texas August!  And I wasn’t dreaming!  Clouds began to build early in the day, and it became overcast and surprisingly cool, so I grabbed a magazine and decided to get some use out of the front porch swing.  Lucy the cat, in a much better mood in 80 degree temps than in 95+, joined me on the swing and batted at a weather-worn toy I had placed on one arm rest last summer.

My sister made me this sign for Christmas.  Cute, huh?

We sat there, Lucy purring contentedly, I relaxing while flipping through a couple of magazines I had saved for such an occasion.  I really thought it would be later in September before I could do so.  Trying to enjoy a late afternoon or early evening swing on my front porch on a typical August day is more like sitting in a sauna where someone released a bushel of mosquitoes and flies.  Not a pleasant prospect for someone who would have melted in a hoop skirt and corset back in the days BAC (before air conditioning).  Those antebellum Southern women must have been made of something else.  I guess they would have enjoyed air conditioning, too, if they’d had the chance.  How spoiled we would seem to them!  There are many things I am nostalgic for, but hot summer days without the miracles of electricity and a/c are NOT among them!

Little Lucy enjoying the unusually cool afternoon.
Yes, the swing needs painting and the window needs shutters. . .we’re getting to it!

Sit down and swing, Mommy!

My ride sits out in the rain while my daughter’s ride is repaired
by my husband (always something) in the carport.  It needed a bath anyway.

I’m sure it will be back to the steamy dog days of summer soon, but at least today was a lovely respite from the relentless heat.  The green grass of spring has given way to crunchy straw and dirt.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see that even the porch posts have bent from past summer heat.  It ain’t for sissies!  Meanwhile, we will wait eagerly for the cooler temps of fall. . .

Ap ril