Have you had enough of the heat and humidity yet?
For what seemed like a late spring and cool start to summer — our irises never did get around to blooming this year — once it arrived, it arrived.
My favorite thing to do in the unbearable heat has always been swimming. I was raised without air conditioning and remain a staunch critic of anything more than a box fan.
I can get used to the heat, even at night. Besides, when you turn the air on you have to close the windows. And when you close the windows, good grief, how do you hear the peepers or the loons?
Still, my stance on summer climate control was challenged when I lived in Kansas, where thermometers would top 100 for weeks at a time and, aside from the community pool, there weren’t any swimming holes.
There was a local river, but dipping so much as a toe in the water was not advised. Too dirty and polluted, I was told.
Now, I never took the abundance of clean water for granted when I was growing up. I seized every opportunity to swim, boat and fish in local lakes and the St. Croix. But you could say I never truly missed these waters until I was in Kansas, working up a sweat just thinking about moving, with nowhere. to. cool. off.
I’ll admit I turned the air on every once in awhile. Even now I indulge in the luxury every now and then. More often, though, I swim. The St. Croix is still my all time favorite place to do so. And now I have the additional pleasure of deeply understanding how lucky I am — how lucky all of us are — to simply jump in.
In case you’re looking for a chance to get out on the water, the St. Croix River Association is hosting a bunch of events this summer. You can learn to paddle July 6, July 24 or August 3 at Lake of the Dalles in Wisconsin Interstate Park.
Paddle as you learn about the forests surrounding the Namekagon River at the July 13 Woodlands from the Water Paddle. Boat and learn about the river’s natural history July 19 with Emily Stone of the Cable Natural History Museum. Or look for otters, heron and other wildlife on a July 20 adventure into the Kettle River Slough.
The association has more events planned for August, and a handful of hikes I didn’t list here. For a complete list visit www.stcroixriverassociation.org/event.
Whatever your summer plans, enjoy. And as we always wrote in the yearbooks, stay cool!
I welcome your response to this editorial column: firstname.lastname@example.org.