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.


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.

Just Posted

Ponoka UFA celebrates grand opening

New farm and ranch supply store is larger, has new features

Four Maskwacis residents charged with 38 crimes Nov. 9

Maskwacis RCMP: four arrested following armed robbery, pursuit and home invasion

Ponoka Broncs fall to Wetaskiwin in final home match

Five graduating players honoured, recognized for their contributions

Almost Midnight Madness almost upon us

It’s the most magical night of the year — if you like… Continue reading

‘Pick a lane:’ Alberta premier fires back at Bloc Quebecois leader

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney reacts to comments by Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

PHOTOS: Ponoka Legion’s Remembrance Day ceremony

Guest speaker Ron Labrie recounts moving story of fallen Ponoka airman

Small group of Cherry fans protest his firing at Rogers HQ

One sign at the Toronto rally: ‘Rogers cancels Don, we cancel Rogers’

Ideas for Alberta independence would increase costs, Nenshi says

Province has formed panel to examine how to get what a ‘fairer deal’ from Confederation

UPDATED: Alexandra Lewis has been located

UPDATED: Alexandra Lewis has been located, safe and well. ORIGINAL STORY: Ponoka… Continue reading

Alberta harvest a ‘growing crisis’: MP Blaine Calkins

Alberta Conservative MP’s resolve to assist farmers struggling with harvest

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

Most Read