Friday, September 9, 2011


I was down in southwest lower Michigan over the Labor Day weekend. One evening was one of those warm, humid evenings. The air was heavy and still. The crickets and cicadas were singing. Had it been any cooler it would have been slightly chilly, any warmer would have been unpleasantly hot and muggy. That combination of atmosphere and sounds made a pleasant ambience/context/setting/milieu (thank you, thesaurus, but I’ll not use mise-en-scène).

We don’t get that many warm evenings up here, so when I did have that sensation of a warm evening, it was nostalgic. Not so much that my favorite weather is warm and humid, just that I do have pleasant memories of such nights when I lived elsewhere. (It’s not all nostalgia, though. I also have memories from those places of nights too hot to sleep comfortably, with air conditioning making it tolerable but uncomfortable in other ways.)

Up here, our nights tend to be cool, or ‘good sleeping weather’ as the TV weather person likes to call it. In talking about this summer’s weather to a fellow resident recently, I mentioned that ‘there was that one week this summer that we didn’t sleep with a blanket.’ His response was ‘yes, it has been warm this summer.’ I forgot to insert the word ONLY or JUST in my statement to make the point that one week without a blanket in the summer is not very many warm nights. But it’s all relative. I hear back from students for which a rare cool evening where they now live brings back fond memories of chilly nights in the UP.

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