Dog Days of Summer - by Jim Miller
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Dog Days bright and clear
Indicate a happy year.
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times our hopes are vain.
~The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Here on the harsh underbelly of the Southern Rolling Plains, we are leaving the wettest spring in recent memory and entering the Dog Days of summer which--according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac--begin tomorrow, July 3. We can be thankful to have weathered severe storm season relatively unscathed and look forward to a summer with milder than usual temperatures expected.
Mark Twain famously said, “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.” (Except he didn’t. Say it, that is. The redoubtable Twain “borrowed” the line from Charles Dudley Warner with whom Twain co-authored The Guilded Age.)
I suspect we humans talk about weather precisely because we cannot do anything about it. Nor can we seem to agree on what variety of weather is needed when. Simply stated, no one wants their parade rained on, and there is a parade of one kind or another every day!
With the Dog Days come the most American of American holidays, The Fourth of July, our National Independence Day. Except that isn’t, either. Not precisely.
You see, the attendees to the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia back in 1776 actually approved a resolution to form a more perfect union on July 2. A select committee just happened to have a hip-pocket draft of a declaration document ready at hand, but the Congress took two days to argue over final edits.
Col. John Nixon of Philadelphia had the honor of being the first to read a printed copy of the declaration in public. That was on July 8, and it wasn’t until August 2 that most of the members of Congress got down to signing the document. Thus, getting the paperwork done for birthing a nation took all the Dog Days of the summer of 1776!
By the way, the Fourth of July did not become a paid federal holiday until 1941.
Finally, these Dog Days mark prime, traditional vacation days. Even our own Chancel Choir takes a well-deserved hiatus for the month of July, and of course the Cardwells are chilling in New Mexico until Gary drags Karen, kicking and screaming, back to Texas.
As you are grilling, chilling, and road tripping, remember Park Place Christian Church is on YouTube every Sunday morning, and Givelify never closes. Enjoy a safe and sane July 4, and come home to us relaxed and refreshed.
by Jim Miller