Looking back, July and August this year were notable for the weather. Walking around the Bastille Days festival downtown at 9 PM with the temperature in the mid-90's and high humidity was quite an experience. Creole cuisine and music seemed to fit right in, even though we are quite a bit north for that to usually be true. Stepping out into daytime searing heat was more reminicent of a sauna with floodlights than our usual "cooler by the lake" of Milwaukee's East Side in mid-July.

After the worst of the heat had passed there was still a scorched look. Many hostas, usually quite lush, had the exposed leaves burnt to brown as though they had been singed with a torch. There were reports that so many people had died from the heat the the coroner's office ran out of cold storage for them -- no respite even for the dead.

The heat broke with thunder storms, followed by more of the same. One stalled at the edge of Lake Michigan. The west wind battled the lake breeze and while they contended we were deluged.

Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes had an essay about how people deal with weather. Some suffer and complain while others experience it and make the best of it enjoying it if possible. I guess we just had quite a dose of that. The heat and humidity was enveloping -- a clear signal that if you wanted to survive it was necessary to drop habits and adapt. There is nothing like a good thunderstorm to get your attention too.

I like to live places where there are reminders that people don't control everything. In Salt Lake City there was the Wasatch mountains visible from my front windows. In Absecon, NJ there was the Atlantic Ocean. Here in Milwaukee there is Lake Michigan. I only have to walk a few blocks to see that there is something bigger than us.

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