Posted by: Jim E | July 29, 2012

Finally, A Road Trip…And A Toast To Summertime…

It has been summer here in Little Rock…no big deal, you say?…well, it has been 100 degrees or just under for weeks it seems…today it will be what it was yesterday, 108 degrees…or there about…it really drops over the next few days though…98 and 99 and so on and so on…we are in the hottest weeks of the summer here in Little Rock…that would be July and most of August…but there really is no break from the heat and humidity until October…so only a three month wait for low 80’s…but the A/C will not be turned off until later in October…Summer is deadly down here…brutal is the word I use…

Do you know, there are people who live here that do not have A/C…it is beyond belief but that is true…I have talked to some who have grown up here in the mid-south, without A/C and they say it was all there was…so they just got used to it…and I do remember when Judie and I were growing up, in fact, the first years we were married, we didn’t have any A/C…and somehow we made it…but down here, life had to be shortened by the heat…I’m sure people died in droves because of the heat and humidity…in Minnesota, we turned our A/C off and on all summer depending on the weather…so it was on for a week and then off for a few days, on for a day or so, etc…but here, we have had the A/C on since sometime in May, and it is still on…and will be on for a couple of months more…I bet you understand that there are MANY A/C businesses around town…it’s hot, that’s all I can say…

A road trip…yup, a road trip…Jeremy decided he wanted to go to Owensville, Arkansas…its where we get certain foods from up north…they ship it in from Wisconsin and Chicago and other places north…there are many Yankees retired down here and miss some of the food they can’t get here…so on one the hot day we left for that little town south of us…now when I say little town in Arkansas, I mean, little…no stop light…heavens, no stop sign…just a building or two stretched out along the highway…but it is a beautiful drive…about an hour away…trees, trees and more trees…but the sun-dappled roads and the shade here and there…there are creeks and rivers, most of them are very low this year…we have not had much rain this summer…that is not unusual, last summer was dry too…then came the rain and it rained for 3 days…we had about 8 or 9 inches…filled the reservoirs clear to the top and overflowing…it can happen here…when it rains (as my Mom used to say) it rains…so we expect rain sometime in the next couple of months to make up for the shortage…hopefully it will come…but some trees are turning brown and grass that isn’t watered is already “toast”… 

But the trip to Owensville was great…we saw some results of forest fires and drought, but for the most part it was a great trip…so, hot or not, the trip was a success…ate lunch at the Owensville store and talked with the owner…and enjoyed our trip down…so summer is going by fast…but we are enjoying it, heat or no heat…

Our backyard, such as it is…small but very nice…we have our share of birds visiting for the summer…the bluebirds have had 4 different nesting times…the first 3 were successful…so we gave the world a few more bluebirds…but the 4th one was a “bust”…it happened last year too…it came at the beginning of the over 100 degree days…and it was just too much for the birds, eggs or something…they went unhatched and abandoned…so we will be satisfied with 3 batches fledged…even in our protected courtyard, we see how hard it is for nature to reproduce itself…predation is real…and nature is cruel…but it seems to survive year to year…and our hummingbirds are thriving…don’t know where they nest but they sure do drink from our feeders…I fill two feeders about once or twice a week…there is a flurry of birds right now and it will continue right through migration…they leave us for South America sometime in October…here’s a picture on one of our hummers outside Judie’s desk window…the feeder is hanging just below, as you can see the wire…we can go out on the porch and they are just flying and fighting for the nectar…he is sitting there protecting his feeder…if another bird comes the fight is on…it is something to watch…we enjoy it…Judie planted a butterfly flower this year…there may be an official name for it…but we call it a butterfly plant…but the hummers like the plant too…as well as butterflies…here’s one for your enjoyment…I believe a Swallowtail…they are plentiful here…we see them all over…so along with Monarchs and many other butterflies it makes for good viewing…

It seems like we have been without rain for months, it hasn’t been that long but with the heat, it seems so…but we have been blessed with just beautiful clouds and sunsets…it seems when it is so hot and dry the sunsets are so colorful…it’s hard to get a great view of sunsets because there are so many trees…but also on our west there is a mountain, one of the highest around here…a little over 1000 feet…that to a Rocky Mountain person is nothing of course…but it is called a mountain…Shinall Mountain is in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains…Pinnacle Mountain is just north of Shinall…Pinnacle is a little lower at 1,011 feet and Shinall is 1,056 feet…and on the top of Shinall Mountain is an “antenna farm”…most of the TV and radio stations, as well as the National Weather Service, NOAA Weather Radio are there…I love to look out at the mountain when we drive from the east…we can see it from the hills around West Little Rock…it’s “our mountain”, we tell our grandkids…and no doubt the mountains around us do effect the weather we get…it can be raining here and not the other side of “our mountain”…and visa versa…it happens all the time…but what a beautiful view…from our house…that picture is just to the west of our house…we see that from our porch…later in the summer when the sun moves that direction, it sets right over the mountain…beautiful sunsets…similar to these…but with the sun going behind the mountain…how about another one for good measure…I love these pictures that Judie took just last week…how beautiful is that…we don’t really deserve all that beauty do we…but God just blesses us with it anyway…

So summertime, it is a wonderful time isn’t it???…I just love it…we have to put up with days that are not perfect…too much or too little heat…too wet or not wet enough…but if we just sit back and relax and view what is just outside our door…and thank God for just being alive and seeing wonder as it comes to us…Oh, then I think life becomes worthwhile…really worthwhile…and since I have your word you will enjoy things right around you…how about one more picture of the “ring of clouds” that surrounded our house last week…Oh, we thought maybe we might get some rain but no rain…so we had to just enjoy what WAS around us…maybe not the rain we wanted but something beautiful and just a gift that was given to us…

How about two???…

Have a wonderful, wonderful week…full of wonder…and enjoy everything you see…it’s a gift, receive it…

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Responses

  1. Hi Jim, sounds like your having a great summer. It’s been hot here in Ohio too. Storm came through the beginning of July knocked our power out for three days. It was in the high 90’s so we went and bought a baby pool for the pups to help keep them cool.Getting ready to head for Florida my oldest is getting married Saturday on the beach. Can’t wait to get there and smell the salty ocean and feel the breeze upon my face. Take care and enjoy the rest of your summer.School starts back for me August 20th I am not ready for that. 🙂

    Saundra

    • Hi Saun…great to hear from you…we are still over 105 degrees, actual temperature here…yesterday was 111…more today…we have had weeks of this, and more to come…thankful for A/C…I still love your site and pictures…enjoy seeing your dogs grow and mature…hope you don’t forget to serve up some wedding pictures from Florida…seems like I have met your family…good to see you together…hope the rest of the summer goes well…I remember well when it got close to school starting…I loved my job, as I know you do, but it still facing the everyday “grind” after having the summer to “heal”…it seems like it takes more time to heal as the years go by…so good luck…and take each day “slowly”…enjoy the rest of the rest…Jim E

  2. Whoa! We could use some of your rain, Jim! Though 8/9 inches is a bit much!


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