The Ottumwa Courier

July 9, 2012

The heat is on our minds

The Road Less Traveled

JEFF HUTTON
Courier editor

OTTUMWA — I admit we’ve had our fair share of weather-related stories lately, but quite honestly, it was the main topic of conversation this past week.

Whether it was in the newsroom or by the frozen food aisle at the grocery store, nearly everyone who wanted to chat with me would ask about the heat.

Heck, even when I went to check on a friend’s two dogs to let them outside at lunchtime and after work, their barks indicating they too were interested in staying inside.

“Look,” said one of the dogs, “I don’t need to go outside ... I’ll just use the ‘puppy pad.’ I’m good, really.”

Despite all the complaining and grousing, I am trying to avoid getting caught up in all this weather-related drama.

We’re Iowans ... we’ve seen it all before — hot spells, cold spells, floods, tornadoes, hail storms. Nothing should really surprise us.

And yet I still hear stories from veteran Ottumwans about the winter of 1936 and the floods of 1947. And don’t forget the twisters that ravaged Delta and Wright in 1984.

Maybe it’s just our nature that our memories are long when it comes to the weather from years gone by ... that somehow because we “survived” the heat wave of 2012, that we can handle anything.

And yet, if this winter is cold and blustery, our short-term memory loss will kick in and we’ll forget our July heat wave and instead focus on the snow and ice ...