I’ve got the August Blues
We are only halfway through August and this Coot is already ready to throw in the towel. August starts out in the negative, if for no other reason than being the hottest month of the year in these parts. Hot, in the idyllic sierra foothills means 100 degrees or better. It stresses the plants;It dampens the spirits; and it makes everyone long for cooler days when it is pleasant to be outdoors;
In addition September brings a change of pace, the end of Summer, the start of school and an invigorated commitment to stop playing around and getting serious about earning some more income. All the more reason to want the doldrums of August to end.
Nevertheless wishing never makes anything happen. There are two more weeks of August to endure and nothing to make the wait more pleasant. When I was a kid in the mid west, August was equally unpleasant but at least August was the last month of Summer vacation. Knowing that school was waiting along with the month of September made August all the sweeter. Heat and humidity were minor inconveniences while we enjoyed the last weeks of vacation freedom. Here in California the kids are already back in school. Now, the education system imprisons student for 10 months a year even while teachers complain that budget cuts have shortened the school year. Don’t they teach arithmetic anymore?
It is hard to understand and sympathize with an institution that takes an obscene portion of the state taxes, delivers such unimpressive results, whines incessant and now steals summer vacation from kids. I don’t understand how they get away with it. It’s not like the good old days when I was in school or even the good old days when our kids were in school. There has to more to growing up than going to school.
So here we are with the school year traffic congestion in the middle of August only partially made up for by the absence of kids playing in the street. Summer time blues.
Another August downer is the lack of flowers and the drying up of the cottonwood trees lining the parkway. I don’t have any good words for cottonwoods or any explanation for why they were chosen as street trees in our community. The only virtue they posses is that they are native to the area. They do have a decent shape and they are happy enough in this climate but they have a serious flaw. They turn brown in August making them damn ugly. Right now those cottonwood leaves are drying up and turning brown. Then don’t even have the decency to fall off the tree so they can be swept away. They just hang there, brown and ugly until November of so, a dismal reminder of August even after the weather finally turns pleasant..
So here I sit with two agonizing weeks of August remaining before the refreshment of September. I spend my time trying to keep the patio plants from heatstroke and struggling to maintain my sanity and enthusiasm It is a challenge and a trial. That is my opinion about August. I challenge you to find something good to say.