I don't know about anywhere else, but Michigan was pretty wet and cool from May to mid-June. That's late spring and early summer. At least it is normally around here. This year, it felt like we were about a month behind. Only now, as of June 26th, are we coming to a stretch of mid-80s temps. We usually have a good stretch on or near Memorial Day. This has been a wet and cool early summer and spring.
The rain hasn't been overwhelming in terms of volume. In fact, we're actually slightly below average in terms of the amount of rainfall we should have by now. Where we are really up there is the number of days it rained. I think we had measurable rainfall for 25 of 31 days in May. I haven't checked June, but I'd guess at least half.
I always like to look on the bright side of things. Although we prefer a warmer and drier start to summer, I figured there must be a few benefits. So, here's my best shot at finding the silver lining in the (many) clouds.
Lower Water Bill
Usually I turn the sprinkler system on and start running it in early to mid May. I manually turn it off when we get rain, but it still runs pretty regularly. This year, I didn't set it to run for the first time until this past weekend. That's over a month of saving on water bills. That probably saved around $50 or so.
Lower Electric Bill
As of the time I wrote this post, the only time I turned the A/C on has been to make sure it works. Which it does. Other than that we haven't had to run it at all. Our current billing cycle shows that we've used 23% less electricity than in the same time last year. That won't result in a 23% savings since they just raised rates about 8%, but it will still help save around $30.
I love when everything turns green. In Michigan, once the buds come out and the grass turns green, we usually get about two weeks of full greenery, where everything just pops. It's the time where I say that even the people who don't water their grass have a nice looking lawn.
This year, the buds came out late (because of all the rain and the cool) but we still got about 4-5 weeks of solid green. Now that the temps are picking up, things are starting to scale back. Still, those extra couple of weeks were nice.
Cool nights always make for better sleep. And the best type is when the windows are open and the night air comes in. Even keeping the house cool with the A/C doesn't give the same effect. I am not the only one that feels this way, right?
A Different Camping Experience
We went for a family camping trip when it was in the mid-to-upper 60's for highs every day. This typically is not how we roll. Camping for us usually involves the beach. While we did go for a quick beach, most of it was just the kids playing in the sand (though my daughter did brave a quick dip). Still, we had a fantastic time. We spent more time around our camper. Our family played some board games. We made more campfires and went for walks.
Things were so much fun that we actually stayed for an impromptu extra night.
Drawbacks to the Wet and Cool Early Summer
There have been a few drawbacks, of course.
- No beach. Even though we found ways to enjoy time away from the beach, it was still missed. We're hoping that our annual 4th of July trip holds good beach weather. So far the forecast is looking good. We're keeping our fingers crossed!
- Kids playing in the yard. Our kids have a playset in the corner of the yard. It's in the lowest point of the yard and it was a mud pit for weeks. For days and days they looked longingly out the window, unable to go play. Finally, they're back in business here, though!
- Mosquitoes. With moisture come mosquitoes. We've definitely seen more of the this year, and Facebook groups that discuss Michigan campgrounds are saying that they're really bad. It could mean lots of bug spray, and even having to wear long sleeves and jeans in spite of warmer weather. What makes it worse is that the mosquitoes have always been very attracted to me. Joy!
All in all, it's been a different spring and early summer. I guess that's the thing about nature. You can't expect the same thing every year.
Readers, how has your spring and early summer been? If it's been any different than normal, how have you and your family adapted?