Carnes: (Wet) dog days of anti-winter

This summer, so far, has been making me think about the mid-80s.

Not temperature mind you, but years, especially 1986, when “Top Gun” and Kate Bush ruled their respective charts and the U.S. was in a proxy war of sorts with Russia, fighting on someone else’s land.

Pretty much the same way things have been the last few months.

But it’s the weather of late that has me reminiscing more than anything else, as this has been the wettest, coolest and most pleasant summer around here in decades.

Most Happy Valley summers since the new millennium began have been extra hot, extra dry, and the last few have been filled with enough smoke that if it were a particular weed burning we’d be spending entire months on the couch eating Cheetos and watching “Family Guy” marathons.

Support Local Journalism

But 2022 has been different, so far (please don’t let this column be published on Day 1 of a 100-day smoke-filled dry spell).

After breaking down last summer when someone (read: my bride) declared we (she) would not spend another miserable night with all windows closed to keep out the smoke and a few fans to blow around the hot air already inside — we purchased a portable AC unit. Not the standard window kind, as those are just butt ugly from the outside, but a simple little unit that could be rolled into a closet during the winter.

Timing was everything, as the very next day the Sylvan Fire began.

But not this year.

This summer we have all been fortunate enough to witness those big thunderclouds collecting almost every afternoon, with at least some portion of the valley having a quick shower or total deluge for a few blissful minutes.

The rain, the thunder, even the sounds of lightning have been wonderful. In fact, we have all three while I’m writing this on Friday afternoon.

And the colors too, as this has been the greenest start to August since a Clinton was president and a shady real estate developer with a side hustle in self-help books in New York was attempting to run for president as a member of the Reform Party.

Thank Allah that never panned out, right?

Anyway, most of this summer we’ve kept our windows open all day and all night, only turning on the AC twice.

And I love seeing the town of Vail’s new commitment to the e-delivery system, as whatever they can do to cut back on the sizzling, foul-smelling, obnoxious sounds of big truck deliveries in the middle of town is a step forward.

A small forward-thinking step, sure, but a step nonetheless. Besides, what’s the value of hindsight if you can’t plan for it ahead of time?

No matter one’s thoughts on climate change (global warming, atmospheric anomalies, New World Order electric vehicle conspiracy, Alex Jones said so, whatever …), science continues to prove our planet is warming, with weather extremes occurring with increased frequency around the globe.

While the causes will continue to be up to debate, especially on a political level, we can at least be happy with the respite this summer has provided.

Here’s to hoping it continues.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

Support Local Journalism