90 - 2
92 - 1
94 - 7
95 - 2
96 - 3
97 - 2
98 - 1
99 - 1
100 - 4
101 - 3
102 - 3
104 - 1
Seven of the last eight days in June had highs of 100 degrees or more.
In July (so far), here are our official highs:98 - 1
99 - 3
100 - 7
101 - 2
102 - 2
103 - 2
104 - 2
105 - 1
107 - 1
These are the official temperatures at the airport but we're west of there and frequently have highs 2 - 4 degrees higher. We have highs in the 100's forecast for the next ten days. Unless we get lucky or a Hurricane hits Texas, we're not looking for measurable rain until mid September.
Compared to the humid east, we're in heaven. Back in Virginia, it was so humid that I hated to leave the house when the temperature approached 90 degrees. It was sticky, wet, nasty and hideous to breathe that swamp air. Here? We are deliciously cool inside our single level brick house, big overhangs, no south facing windows, few west facing windows, and low humidity.
Even with this heat, our electric bill, here, is less than it was to cool our three story home back in Virginia. Back east, most of our cooled air went to the basement but here, it pools throughout the living areas. Mr. Wonderful nearly freezes under the ceiling fans in our bedroom and I sometimes find sleeveless blouses are too chilly.
I regularly go outside during the heat of the day to read on the front porch, enjoying listening to the cicadas sing.
The girls don't want to go outside in the heat of the day because they just aren't dressed for this heat, humidity or no. We've altered our morning ritual of sitting on the west facing patio for our morning coffee because at that time of day, the house bricks have absorbed so much heat from the previous evening that the radiant heat feels like an oven. Instead, we take lawn chairs to the back yard by the honeysuckle where the energy from the rising sun is blocked by the thicket next door.
Sane people give up gardening this time of year but I planted a number of wildflowers in the front bed as well as some zinnias in the planter alongside our independent minded moss roses.
As hot as it has been, I've still managed to finally finish the wedding quilt top for my younger daughter and her husband. Here are a few photos.
The completed top:
the one who lost her young son to brain cancer in 2009) celebrated his life on the second anniversary of his death. As she did on the first anniversary, she invited friends and family out to the ball park Caleb loved so well (it has been named in his honor). I headed that way Thursday afternoon to celebrate with her.
On my way to the celebration, I drove to Fort Cobb lake, a reservoir which is about an hour or so west of my house. I'd never been there and wanted to see what I've been missing. I drove the backroads, all of which were in good repair. The drive took me through rolling farmland and about thirty minutes west of here, you can see a large wind farm with its big wind mills churning. Near Binger (the home of Johnny Bench), the land turned steeply hilly with terrific views towards the northeast. The little town was a typical old style burg and I wondered, as I always do in such places, what it was about that little place that would inspire someone to go on to become famous. I wondered if Johnny walked down that little downtown street, and mused that it might not have looked much different in his day than it does in mine.
Annual rainfall drops off sharply in western Oklahoma as compared to the rest of the state. The farm lands in that area have large irrigation systems set up, unlike further east, including the Oklahoma City area. Accordingly, the crops were looking fairly robust as compared to further east where they rely on Mother Nature to send water - and she hasn't, recently. When I finally left the state highways for the smaller farm roads working my way to the Reservoir, the houses went from well tended farms to smaller lots with what amounted to shacks on them. That far out, a lot of people with a high tolerance for trash in their yard and few neighbors to complain, are apt to "let things go."
Fort Cobb turned out to be a typical west Oklahoma reservoir with reddish water, a dam, twisty scrub Oaks, dragonflies, loud buzzing insects, water fowl, boats and multigenerational families cooling off in the wading areas.
Although my car outdoor temperature read 109 degrees, it was comfortable near the lake with the breeze flowing off. The park looked to be well maintained for the most part, although I was surprised the trees weren't being more closely pruned. It could be that they were saving money, or it could be that they were deliberately being left in their wild state. The campgrounds were dusty, the camp pits often filled with broken beer bottles and remnants of campers that had been there, before. Overall, it was quite clean with lots of bathrooms and nice cabins for people don't want to camp out. They also had a fee area that looked very nice but I didn't drive in to take a closer look since I only had a few minutes. I stopped at several places along the shore to take pictures.
I saw an enormous Blue Heron wading in the shallows but by the time I'd stopped the car and had my camera out, it flew away. The water was very low, although not as low as I would have expected, given the severe drought. I saw a native American couple who looked to be in their thirties on the shoreline. The woman wore white shorts and had long, beautiful hair past her hip. I admit I was taken aback to see her wade out into the red water up to her shoulders in those white shorts with her hair floating out behind her, but I could certainly understand wanting to get cooled off. I saw a large family out romping in the waves with grandma, a bunch of kids and a medium sized dog who was having as much fun as any of them. I stopped to chat with Grandpa, who had taken a break to grab a cold one and he said they were all having a great time. Made me smile to watch them for a few minutes.
Just before I left, I happened upon a doe with three spotted fawns.
One of the fawns, in particular showed little fear and was as interested in me as I was in him.
I arrived at the celebration of Caleb's life just as it was getting started. The family provided home made ice cream, hotdogs, cookies, chips, a water slide and ballgames for anyone who wanted to participate. It is such a lovely, upbeat tradition, adding happy memories to the horrible ones associated with his death. Some of Caleb's school chums, now long, lanky and entering their teens, attended. There were many hugs, grins and laughter. I saw no tears, just some sad eyes behind sweet smiles when I expressed my condolences. Caleb's brothers were there, as well as many cousins, including tots who have arrived since Caleb passed. I am blessed to know people that emotionally healthy and well grounded.
Summer time. All these things are what summer means to me.