Welcome to the Solstice, the longest day of the year and the “official” beginning of the summer season.
In a culture dominated by calendar designations controlled by sales and promotions, most feel like summer has been upon us for a while. Memorial Day is often considered the “start of summer.” Whenever schools let out for “the summer” is another artificial designation.
When vacations start for some families signal the beginning of “the season.”
Baseball season used to mean summer had begun but the season of professional hardballers starts earlier in the year and extends much later. More games, more playoffs and more opportunities to make money drive the consideration.
Hot sticky weather in May and March may have felt like summer while it was still, officially, Spring. Then again, cool nights in June have confused those who consider temperatures an actual gauge of the season here in the mountains.
Today, however, is the real start of the Summer. It will be the longest period of daylight in our area. If the forecast by the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg is correct — and that is always a “big IF” — it will be a warm, partly cloudy day with highs reaching 80 by late afternoon and even warmer in other low lying areas.
A reasonable day for running necessary errands on two wheels, a Harley in my case, and enjoying what appears to be very little chance of rain, even though the sun arrives on its longest day with 96 humidity before settling down into the 40s and 50s for most of the time.
Enjoy the dry for the next couple of days because thunderstorms are expected for Friday and Saturday before partly cloudy again on Sunday.
We head into midweek and then the weekend with a movie in Warren Lineberry Park on Thursday night. An 80 percent chance of thunderstorms on Friday could hamper music on the street in Floyd Friday night and could also hurt the annual Rally for the Cure at the high school Friday afternoon. Forecasts, however, are just that — predictions that may or may not occur.
Perhaps it is ironic that Wednesday is the longest day of the year for Democrats who dumped a ton of money in a Georgia House of Representatives race that ended late Tuesday night with a handy 11,000 vote win by the Republican who won a seat the GOP has held for more than 35 years.
An even larger irony comes from the fact that winner Karen Handel is the first woman ever elected to Congress from Georgia. So much for the gender factor down South.
A lesson for the Democrats, who spent tens of millions of dollars in what became the most expensive race for a House seat and walked away from nothing to show for it. Sending Hollywood celebrities into Georgia did not sway the voters there. Lost in all the hoopla in Georgia Tuesday was another special election in South Carolina where Republicans held on their House seat as well.
This first day of Summer will be a long, hot one for political partisans in Washington — at least those who genuflect to the party of the jackass. Oops, I meant donkey.