August 1st comes in these parts as the clock strikes midnight and I've declared August my least favorite month of the year. The primary catalyst for this declaration is the incredible weather that suffocates us and leaves us physically & mentally exhausted. Yes, I am primarily talking about the double H: heat & humidity. Beyond any doubt, August brings both our highest temperatures and humidity. Sometimes in August we get heat indexes well above 110 degrees. Now if it is not hot that's only because it's pouring rain. To date, the summer of 2016 has been somewhat tolerable because it's been wetter than usual. Of course that brings non-stop grass growing which = non-stop grass cutting.
August also begins that 6 week period within hurricane season when we really need to be on guard. Traditionally, our worst storms come between August 15 thru end of September; Katrina and Betsey come to my mind. Already, as we begin August, we are looking east at one tropical system that may make it's way all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
August in these parts also brings the incredibly stupid distinction of starting school back in force. I believe the schools in my neighborhoods begin on August 8th or 9th. Why? We let our kids out too early in May and they begin way too early in August. I don't like either of these decisions.
Now over the years I've tried to mellow and demonstrate some wisdom. I've also made peace with the fact that God made August too and rules over all of my days so I can't hate August. Let's figure out some good things about August. It is one month closer to the fall season and cooler weather. It is the start of some competitive football, if you can call pre-season NFL football competitive. But since we love the Saints and LSU football in these parts, we can point to the start of the season even in early August. This August we will have a huge distraction that I absolutely love: the summer Olympics. I can not wait to begin the viewing which begins next Friday! This is a good thing happening in August.
I do love some of the liturgical activities in August. Locally, we have the feast of our patron saint, Jane de Chantal and then we have the Solemnity of the Assumption. Incredibly, since it falls on a Monday this year, the Bishops tell us we do not have to celebrate the Assumption as a holy day of obligation.
Most years I always look forward to the start of another "semester" for our diaconate candidates in the Archdiocese. I have kind of backed off my active involvement in this process but I'm just as excited for our class of 2018 and will hold them in my prayers!
So yes, it will be hot, hopefully quiet though on the storms and hurricane front, and I'll have plenty of grass to cut. But I will try to remember all the positive points I just made and celebrate little victories along the way and hopefully, August passes fast. So here we go; welcome to August!