As I write this, it’s 95° and feels like 100°. With the wind, it’s as though someone dropped a mammoth blow dryer into my neighborhood and left it running on high. And I love it. That’s right, I love it. Although, I admit, I prefer the steamy weather we had last Saturday afternoon (after the rain). That sticky humidity, along with enough heat to put a nice haze in the air. That is what summer feels like to me. And as anyone who reads my posts here knows, the Iowa weather, be it winter, spring, summer or fall, is something I really started to miss in my last few years living in the San Francisco Bay Area. You know that I was more than a bit disappointed with how mild last winter was—I remain hopeful that we’ll get some nice cold temps and plenty of snow next winter. I did love the spring weather, but certainly could have let winter have a few more weeks before it arrived. And the lack of rain has been a little disheartening—as a homeowner with a lawn, I and my water bill would appreciate a break from playing Move the Sprinklers Around the Yard. There just haven’t been enough thunderstorms for my liking, either.
Now, this is a huge change from my attitude about Iowa weather before I left for California in 1997. I was not a fan before. Didn’t like winter, didn’t care for the summer heat and humidity. Couldn’t stand spring rain. And for several years after my departure, I very much enjoyed the relatively warm (though wet) winters, and the cool summers. But that got old after about a decade. Maybe it’s the weather here that reminds me of when I was younger, and maybe it’s a bit of nostalgia for days gone by. But being back here in it now has been truly wonderful. (Note: my wife Rachel does not share my love of the hot weather. The hottest summer we spent together prior to moving to Iowa was when we lived in Oakland, which by Iowa standards isn’t hot—we only had one window air conditioner in our house—but compared to San Francisco, is sweltering in the summer. I’m convinced that the summer heat was one of the big reasons we moved to a cool, foggy coastal town by the following summer.) This is our second summer here since returning in May 2011. If you’ve read Rachel’s post Same Siren, Different Day, you know that she was a little unnerved by the severe weather watches and warnings we got much more of last spring. For me, on the other hand, it was what I expected of spring. Just like what I expect of summer is hot and humid. It’s what makes Iowa Iowa. And what makes me so glad to be back in my home state.