There’s that summer weather


There it is – there’s that summer weather.

It landed on the region like a warm thud this past week. We have all – well, most of us – been waiting for it since last year. And let’s face it, we never really had much of a spring this year.

Living in the Midwest can be a study of weather frustration. Wake up in the morning, and it is clear skies with no rain in the forecast. Two hours later severe thunderstorms are popping up all around you.

I often wonder if forecasters even have windows.

Spring was cold and wet and lasted forever this year. I didn’t even mow my lawn until May 8. May 8! I don’t think my first mow of the year has ever come that late.

But we went from heat to air conditioning in a day or two. From 50s to lows 60s and then bam! Almost 90 degrees.

I am not complaining, of course, I love the warm weather. And it came just in time, as me and two buddies hopped on our motorcycles early on May 13 and hit the road for Arizona. We are riding out to visit my family and make some memories. We even rented a house with a pool for a few days in Arizona – I can’t wait for that.

So yes, you will have to probably deal with another motorcycle trip column. Brace yourselves.

In the meantime, here are a few random thoughts:

* After going through the graduation photos of every high school senior in the county, I can safely say that teens today are as weird and goofy as they were back in my day. Some are perfectly put together and aiming toward a bright future. Others? Not so much. But hey, be proud of them for now, because they might be crushingly disappointing later.

* I miss being able to buy hot, fresh tamales in the parking lot of the grocery store from some random person pulling an ice chest full of them. Laugh at California all you want, but the parking lot food there is second to none.

* The current crop of politicians has confirmed to me that people need to have experience in government before they run for office. Just being mad about something is not enough. Just wanting to get exposure for your conspiratorial beliefs while being loud and obnoxious is no reason to garner a single vote. There are some freshmen in Congress who are national embarrassments and should never have been elected to anything, much less Congress. Start with a local school board or city council and learn how to govern. If you hate government and are not focused on helping all people, don’t run. Stay home and complain.

* As bad as the weather has been here, at least we don’t live in Duluth, Minn., where my daughter lives. Sure, it hit the low 70s last week, but before that they barely made it out of the 30s. I just couldn’t live there, although in the summer it is a lovely place to visit.

* A friendly reminder that when you mow your grass, don’t shoot it out into the street. That is illegal in the state and potentially very dangerous for motorcycles. I see people blowing grass all over the roads in Ogle County. Please, be mindful of others.

* There is some incredible television on right now. “Better Call Saul,” the “Breaking Bad” spinoff, is simply fantastic. The new “Bosch” spinoff is also out now and continues the great quality of the original show. And has anyone seen “Outer Range” on Amazon? A great mashup of western and sci-fi. TV has never been better.

* Finally, a special thank you to reader Loraine Untz, who again this year sent me a very sweet birthday card. Thank you for reading and thank you for the card.

Brad Jennings is the editor of the Ogle County Life.

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