Musing on our bummer summer

By Emmet Meara, Special to the News
Posted Sept. 11, 2009, at 5:03 p.m.

Well, that was that.

There were no lava flows and no locusts, sure. But it just might have been the worst summer ever. Now, the mornings are so cold, you start looking at the woodpile.

Better dig out the ski gloves, and winter hats for the duffel bag in the back of the car. I have seen three flights of geese headed south. Well, one was headed north but I think that gang had lost their GPS.

I think I turned on the air conditioner for a grand total of three days, after struggling to put the 100-pound monster in the window. Now I have to wrestle it back to its winter quarters in the barn. It was hardly worth it.

It’s not just me complaining. Try the National Weather Service.

June was the fifth-wettest month ever recorded in Maine with 8.36 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service in Gray. July was even worse. With 8.6 inches, it was the second-wettest month on record.

Vaughn Stinson, head of the Maine Tourism Association, said the industry is down about 15 percent from last year because of the weather.

He said the southern end of Maine did much better than the northern section. That’s because the southern part is closer to larger populated areas, he said.

“Weather is a factor for Maine more than anything else,” Stinson said.

Asked to forecast the impact on this tourism season, Stinson said, “When you’re weather-related as we are, and 2008 was the wettest year in Maine in 138 years and that was 2008, what do you think 2009 is going to be?”

Despite bad weather, Maine had a lot going for it this season, he said, hopefully. Fuel costs didn’t escalate as they did last season, and seafood such as lobster is selling at bargain prices, he said.

Big deal.

All “summer,” you had your pick of parking spaces at the Camden post office and your choice of tables at the Waterfront Restaurant. But you had to avoid Leonard the restaurateur at all costs. He had his tale of woe all prepared for anyone who straggled in to stare at the rain and fog.

The canoe (which tried to kill me this summer) and the kayaks are still strewn across the lawn, but they have seen Lake Megunticook for precious few days.

The expedition to Lincolnville and Hosmer Pond has been put off for another year. I will wait until snow falls on my “fleet” before I drag them inside.

This was going to be the year that I explored state parks, camping in the “wilderness” and paddling the state’s rivers and streams. Right. I have not even unpacked the magical York Box which contains my camping gear, or even fired up the new Coleman stove I got for Christmas. The closest I got to camping was setting up the tent in the backyard.

Sigh.

I am now in my annual Labor Day depression. I equate warmth and sunshine with life and, being Irish, I equate cold, ice, snow and winter winds with death, naturally.

The Red Sox were designed, I believe, to get you through October by hating the billion-dollar Yankees more than the weather. The “Sawx” are so bad this year that I have given up watching those late innings to save myself the pain.

They are going nowhere this year, even if they make the playoffs. Skiing used to be my official “cabin fever reliever,” but now that is simply too expensive and much too hard on my weary knees. Golf? Never happened.

For once, I owe the oil company nothing. But soon I will have to call for a $400 fill-up. Then I will call “short cord” Greco for two or three cords of survival wood.

Here we go again.

How come winter lasts five times longer than summer?

I’m bummed.

Send complaints and compliments to Emmet Meara at emmetmeara@msn.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/09/11/living/musing-on-our-bummer-summer/ printed on July 13, 2014