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.