Just An Observation: Contemplating the summer that never really was

From the wet and cold to the extreme heat, the past few months have been hard to figure

As the summer season (if you can call it that) comes to a quick conclusion I’ve come up with some points to examine further.

Weather

This year certainly has been really strange to figure out.

First off the mark is the rollercoaster ride, running through bouts of drought then around a corner into days of drenching rain then back up hill to extreme heat warnings and back to cold and wet conditions.

It was beginning to seem as if there wasn’t going to be a single day that was the same as the last.

For this region, the amount of moisture received for the three month period ending July 31 ranged between 240 and 300 millimetres. To put that in a long-term perspective, that amount is moderately higher than what the five-year precipitation average is for the area.

Though, when you compare it to the past couple of summers, it’s been a deluge of water that people weren’t used to.

I can still hear the complaints now.

“When is this rain ever going to stop,” “Everything is so wet and its cold,” “Someone check and see if the furnace will come on.”

On the other hand, anyone without air conditioning was also lamenting many of the days in between the showers.

Too often there was no breeze at all when the mercury rose into the 30s, leaving many sweltering and looking to cool off. Unfortunately for much of the time under the extreme heat, there was no place to do so unless you had a yard and a hose.

Holiday, what holiday?

Normally summer is a time to get out and enjoy either the lake, the beach, the campground, the mountains or something else.

However, there wasn’t a lot of enjoyment had between the many severe thunderstorms, hail damage and the nearly 25 confirmed tornado hits and sightings across the province.

Toss in the economic situation currently experienced by many Albertans and you have a recipe for people to stay close to home, hit anything that’s free and not too far while also choosing to be frugal on much of their other spending.

That said, there are still those out there that grab the pickup, hook up the 40-foot fifth wheel that can carry the all-terrain vehicles and head off to the vacation lakeside cabin they’ve owned for who-know-how-long for a couple weeks or try to rough it by turning each weekend into a long weekend.

Yet, even when it wasn’t wet or cold, those without a pre-booked space were met with huge line ups for parking or having to use their elbows to find enough room in the crowded parks and beaches.

For some, the hassle simply wasn’t worth even leaving the house, despite the lack of cool air conditioners.

Alas, with school just around the bend, maybe it will be warm enough to head out for a weekend before October.

Back to school

I’m not sure who likes the title of this portion less — kids or the parents.

As a kid, I was the kind that didn’t want to get up in the morning, lazily gathered some sort of food item before dressing and heading out the door to catch the bus and get some more sleep on the way to the dreaded institution of learning.

Kids today aren’t a lot different, though some actually are better at dealing with it than I ever was.

As a parent though, the older the kids get the easier it seems to be for us parents.

The kids can get dressed on their own, make their own breakfast and lunch, even walk on their own if the school is close enough.

For many kids though, it takes some prodding or even outright demands to be expressed to get them out the door.

However, that’s usually the least of the stress parents endure as school returns.

From the trips to various stores and the exhaustive list of supplies — with often strange and sometimes useless requests — to the need for new clothes and shoes and attempts to find just what everyone wants, the few weeks before and couple weeks after school begins is what a lot of parents can’t stand.

It used to be so much easier — a few pencils, maybe a pen, some paper, pair of binders and a bag to carry it.

Now it seems like they want you to buy out Staples and schools still fire off a bill for “extras” that some don’t even use.

No wonder parents and kids are stressed about school.

But that is…just an observation.

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