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Summer Swelter

Is it hot enough for you?

That seems like a really silly question … I think it is too hot for all of us. And even yet, as we swelter through a late summer heat wave, I think better to be able to find some air conditioning and drink plenty of water than be deluged with Hurricane Harvey and suffer through its aftermath. Plenty of Texans would gladly trade places with us so I guess we have nothing to complain about.

It has been heartwarming to see the response to Texas, though, with donations and assistance pouring in from around the country. Good to know we can still can pull together when it matters.

My mind is literally a jumble of thoughts, with everything happening so fast this past couple of weeks; the hurricane, the changing of the calendar to yet another month as 2017 zips by, the continued threat that is North Korea, horrible air quality due to heat and wildfires, the impending start of the NFL regular season. It’s a mix of the serious, the trivial and the how important is it to the big picture? kind of thoughts.

And I almost forgot; it was a holiday weekend.

Labor Day … the ‘unofficial’ end of summer. The long weekend probably saw many of you getting out of town for one final fling, a summer trip to camp and hike, take in an amusement park, maybe hit the ocean (along with 50,000 of your closest Central Valley friends looking for a reprieve from the heat) or just hide out in the a/c and not worry about work for a few days.

Holidays, which seem to fall conveniently on a Monday through most of the year – Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter excepted – always mean our deadlines for the paper change as well, with everything due a bit sooner. That’s because the office itself is closed on Monday for the holiday but rest assured your news staff remains on the job, writing like crazy on Monday because all three of our papers will go to press on Tuesday and they have to be ready to go early. Normally, Riverbank prints on Monday night, Escalon and Oakdale on Tuesday nights, with all hitting the newsstands on Wednesdays. On Monday holiday weeks, all three go to press on Tuesdays so we have to have them done sooner to account for one more paper having to be printed. Not that you care, but now you know.

So Monday holidays for news people, at least in our office, are not really holidays. The office is just quieter and pretty empty.

It has been a little over a month since I have been back from vacation but I still keep checking the weather info for Richmondville, where my parents live. My sister is visiting now; we sort of tag teamed visiting all our upstate NY family and friends this summer. So while we were at 111 degrees the other day, their high for the day was 64. Their HIGH temperature for a late August day was cooler than our overnight LOW. Something is just not right. Maybe it was the eclipse. Just throwing that out there as a possibility, not basing it on scientific fact.

They did have a warmer winter last year than normal with below average snowfall, while their summer has been cooler than normal with a fair amount of rain. I am envious, watching the forecast for clouds, rain and high temperatures barely reaching the mid-70s for them this week. We should drop down into the upper 90s. That would probably feel nice and cool, after what we’ve seen lately.

For now, the best advice I can offer is to stay hydrated and don’t overdo it. September is bound to bring us cooler weather, somewhere along the line. Right?



Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.