Saturday, August 1, 2009

It cannot possibly be August 1st


But it is. Where does the time go?

Even old Mother Earth is confused. This past week the temperature reached 103 degrees Fahrenheit in Seattle but only 78 here in Atlanta. Global warming? Global cooling? Global climate change? Are we ushering in a new ice age? Are we all going to be burned to a crisp? I wish the experts would make up their minds. In the meantime, I plan to sit here in the shade with a nice glass of iced tea.

I spent the summers of my youth in Texas, where many consecutive days above 100 degrees were (was?) the norm. Hot and dry and brown they were, too, because the grass had been dead since June.

August was originally named Sextilis in Latin, because it was the sixth month in the ancient Roman calendar, which started in March about 735 BC. It became the eighth month either (a) when January and February were added to the beginning of the year by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC or (b) when January and February were moved from the end to the beginning of the year about 450 BC. August was renamed in honor of Augustus Caesar in 8 BC because several of the most significant events in his rise to power fell in this month. August had 29 days in the Roman Republican calendar, but Augustus took two days from February and gave them to August when Sextilis was renamed in his honor. And just so you know, July was originally called Quintilis in Latin, since it was the fifth month in the ancient Roman calendar, before January became the first month of the calendar year. It was renamed for Julius Caesar, who was born in that month. And that, kiddies, is why our ninth through twelfth months (September, October, November, and December) are based on the Latin words for seven, eight, nine, and ten, respectively.

My Dad used to sing a little song in German: Ach, du lieber Augustine, Julgustine, Augustine, Ach, du lieber Augustine, something something something.

He also would say something in what he said was Czech that supposedly meant “Nice girl, give me a kiss.” It sounded to me like Hesky hokey damey, hubiscu.

I’m hallucinating. The August heat must have gotten to me. All the way from Seattle.

7 comments:

Pat - Arkansas said...

Current Little Rock temperature (12:45P) is 73 degrees, and it's raining... again! Although it was sunny on Friday, on Thursday, we received over 2" of rain. I had to move some of my potted (as of yet not in the ground) plants under the porch to avoid over-saturation of the liquid sunshine.

Wish I could send some of this to Seattle. I think our climate roles have been reversed, only temporarily, I trust.

Deb said...

I, too, am amazed at what seems to be the coasts have somehow gotten all discombobulated! I'm enjoying the mild summer in Atlanta myself!

Sam said...

It's been a very pleasant summer in central Ohio. I do not like the heat and humidity that we usually get, and this year we've been flirting with a lot of record low highs (high temperature for the day being very low). Great golf weather!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

It's been mild here.

I enjoyed the reminder of the origin of monthly names.

And I too am astonished that it's August.

Rosezilla said...

Hallucinations Can Be Fun! It's in the 90s here, as usual; incredibly humid, as usual; rain storms every day, as usual. Yep, it's August in Florida!

Katherine said...

August in New Zealand is early, early spring. A few camelias, and daffs out, and people like to find a spot in the sun at lunchtime. We're still eating mandarins off the tree but the frosts have hit the hybiscus and the banana. Instead of lighting the fire, we are just turning the heater on in the lounge after 5 pm.

rhymeswithplague said...

Thanks to everyone who commented. You represent Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, and -- ta-DAH! -- New Zealand!