Early Monday AM – I’m working Tues. thru Sat. this week, so Sunday after church (and my 2nd service work in the church nursery – 10 kids, ages 1 to 2), we headed down to Chicago to see my mother, who will be 96 years old on 7/12. Mom was at the concert in the park in Wilmette Sunday from 3 to 5:30 pm. This week they started the concert with free ice cream for everyone and then free water and lemonade during the concert, which was blues/jazz. We didn’t get to the park until 5:20 pm and by that time mom got tired and walked back to her condo. We stayed to drink some lemonade and listen to the last two tunes…a B.B. King classic and “Autumn Leaves”, but very well done. The crowd gave them a well-deserved standing “o” at the end. The park is right across the street from the house where actor Bill Murray grew up.
We then drove the four blocks back to my mother’s condo. Mom had snacks and wine ready (carrots, crackers and cheese and grapes) and we chatted. The trip down had taken the better part of 5 hours. We stopped in Pullman to get fresh strawberries, raspberries and cherries from “Farmer Ed”. We were held up by a bad accident on southbound 196 near S. Haven. We stopped for gas in Indiana (usually 50 cents cheaper than in Wilmette/Cook County) and we hit slow pockets twice in Indiana and twice going thru Chicago. Every time I come down here, I’m grateful that I live in G.R. and don’t have to drive daily on the Chicago expressways. If I did the weather down here…I’d either live as close to the station as possible and walk, or live next to a train station.
Daughter 1 came up from Chicago to join us and later my brother – who was playing a gig (with one of the ten bands he’s playing with this summer) in Lake Bluff, about 20 miles north of here. Tonight it was the “Class of ’68″ dustin’ off some solid gold in a benefit for the area food pantry. The party broke up around 10:30 pm and I’m updating the blog thru my phone. I was sorry to hear that the small restaurant/bar where I used to sit and get on WIFI late at night (they left their WIFI on 24/7 and told the world they could sit outside and use it all night for free) had closed down. We’ve had only enough rain to wet the pavement here so far, as most of the significant rain with the first wave has passed south of Chicago. Mom is doing as well as a nearly 96-year old can be expected to do, living on her own. She walks daily and reads a lot (she gets a lot of books at the library). She likes to read biographies…and right now she’s reading the biography of Ginger Rogers and Kitty Kelley’s book on The Royals. My mother sang and played piano for the U.S.O. during WWII – she started doing that nearly 73 years ago. There is a picture around here somewhere of her doing that and I’ll have to find it and get it on the blog – an interesting bit of history.
I’ve made a relatively quick glance at weather…we have a chance of a shower (slight chance thunderstorm) today (Mon.)…most of the day will be dry…a little better chance of a shower or t-shower on Tues. Wed. and Thu. will probably be dry – then we’ll have a chance of a shower or storm on Friday. Hopefully, most of those showers will move out by Saturday am (not a sure thing, but stay optimistic at this point). The GFS says dry for fireworks Saturday night in Michigan. Temperatures will remain a little cooler than average this week, with daytime temps. in the 70s. There was a sharp cut-off with the rain Friday night/Saturday…with 0.01″ at the G.R. airport and over an inch in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. We’ve had 6 consecutive days that have been cooler than average. June is now 1.3 deg. cooler than average.
Also: The Corvette turns 62 years old tomorrow. Heat in the West: 110 Phoenix, Las Vegas and way up at Boise ID, where it was the warmest day ever in June – 102 Helena MT, Salt Lake City, 105 Spokane WA…unseasonably cool high temps: 69 Cleveland, 62 Erie PA, 61 Buffalo and Hartford, 59 Boston, 57 Concord NH and Bangor ME. Here’s high temps. yesterday. More US deaths from lightning (13) to date than tornadoes (10). WE’RE #1 !! Leap second tomorrow…June 30 will be 24 hours and one second long! With my extra second, I’m going to go back and watch all of the highlights from the 2008 Detroit Lions. 2nd wettest June ever in Washington, D.C. Venus and Jupiter are the two “stars” in the evening sky looking west. Death Valley CA reached 124 deg. on Sat…highest temp. in the U.S. in 2015 so far.
Links: Here’s Grand Rapids radar and Northern Michigan radar, Milwaukee looping radar. Regional radar and the Updated GRR NWS Short Term Discussion. More links: Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar.Here’s College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s recent storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy (Apr. to Nov. only), the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agricultural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations). Here’s the Consumers Energy Power Outage Map