Summer’s here!

By: 
Patrick Fisher, The New Prague Times
As of today (Thursday) it is officially summer! Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and some people are happy that it’s finally a time of sun and warmth. After the cold, snowy end to winter, which continued into spring, I realize several people are enjoying the warm weather we had lately. Of course besides the warm weather and sun, there have been other things that also come with summer — lots of rain and severe weather.
Just last weekend we had temperatures in the 90s and high humidity, which made having an air conditioner very appreciated. Even an air conditioner that pulls out most of the humidity and provides some cooler temperatures is appreciated. I can understand, or at least empathize, with those who don’t have air conditioning. I use a window air conditioner and more than 15 years ago there were two summers where I didn’t have access to one. At those times it was open the windows, turn on the fans, wear short pants and a light short sleeve shirt and drink lots of liquids. Considering I had other places to go for air conditioning, (work, coffee shops, restaurants, the library) my discomfort was slight compared to others. It still made me appreciate the things I have.
Of course, there can be too much of a good thing. These days, if I know I’m going to a mall, big store or a movie theater I bring along a light jacket. While it’s nice to get out of the heat, for me those places can get too cold after a while.
 
A certain climber of buildings
Yes, it’s been a week since it happened, but who would have thought a raccoon climbing a building would garner so much attention? The little furry animal that reached the top of a St. Paul skyscraper was given the label #mprraccoon and became a social media star with most cheering it on. There were a few detractors with those calling it a rabid rodent or hoping it would fall. It turns out it didn’t have rabies and it was captured in a live trap and released at an undisclosed location. Others complained that people were paying attention to the raccoon while there were real issues. As one friend on Facebook basically said, we can have both. During the time the raccoon was climbing and after reaching the top there was some art drawn by people, which has ranged from the real to the whimsical to the slightly political. If you’re rolling your eyes or sighing at that last part, I can understand. We don’t have to turn everything into politics.
As for if there are there big issues we need to pay attention to? Yes, but we also need the occasional story to help lift our spirits. And if it’s a story about a raccoon able to reach the top of a building, well, lite stories that help us don’t always have to be serious or about people. Sometimes they can be moments that others might find funny and absurd and others might find inspiring and wonderful.

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