Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer is Heating Up!

Picture by: Greg Mankiss

Heating up is an understatement. Summer in Arkansas is HOT and humid! Makes us all look forward to those crisp, fall days...Julie & I just had a discussion on how the Eastern Seaboard is having a heat wave and the media is all atwitter. If California or the Western U.S. has a heat wave that too is a newsworthy event. We have many days of over 100° temps in Arkansas and it is very rarely newsworthy. Well, maybe if we have 15 or 20 days of 100° temps in a row...just maybe. I think the reason is that we are always hot in July & August so no one pays much attention to us. If you live in Arkansas, then you know that it will be HOT and it will be HUMID. My great-grandmother called those hot days "the dog days of summer".

This gets me to wondering why the old-timers called those hot, humid days in late July and August "dog days". Off to "Google" I went to see what I could find on this subject. The "dog days of summer" are the hottest, most sultry days of the year. Well, that certainly qualifies our days in Arkansas to be labeled as such!
The "dog days" usually occur between early July and early September. I found it interesting that "dog days" may be used to define a period that is very hot or stagnant or that is marked by a dull lack of progress. These are the days of the year when rainfall is at its lowest. I can definitely understand the lack of progress! It’s hard to move when you almost have a heatstroke from very little effort and you’re drenched from the humidity.

It is curious to note that the name was derived from an ancient belief that Sirius, also known as the Dog Star, was responsible for the hot weather. Once upon a time “dog days” were thought to be an evil time – “when the seas boiled – wine turned sour and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies” according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium, 1813.

To me “dog days” means hot & tired – so hot that it is almost impossible to catch your breath or move your feet. It’s when you pray that your air-conditioner doesn’t fail; you feel sorry for anyone that has to work outside; the grass has all turned brown and crunchy; any outdoor activity involves laying in a pool of water and drinking tall glasses of cold refreshments. Just simply too hot to do anything but lie around in the shade or better yet under the a/c while waiting on fall to arrive.
We are “smack dab” in the middle of the Dog Days, so while I’m waiting for them to pass - I’m dreaming of cool, crisp fall air!

Note: For those of you that have never heard the phrase “smack dab” – it’s another of my great-granny’s sayings - it means right there – directly, squarely.

If you are experiencing the Dog Days of summer you may want to try some of our etailers handcrafted bath & body products for your refreshing bath! Or maybe a handpoured candle that reminds you of fall or winter. It's worth a try!