Tuesday, June 24, 2008
This is a photograph taken out our front window at 10:00 last night. It was clear as a bell and I didn't even think about using my bike coming home. I haven't had to use my bike light coming home at that hour for a while. It stayed light for quite a while after that. And then the Sun was up again at 5:19, which means that it was light out earlier than that. I'm glad I wasn't awake to see it.
Last Friday, Fred mentioned that it was the longest day of the year. Days are much longer here than they are in NYC, and certainly Texas. When I was growing up in Texas, my father always told us to be home at "dark-thirty." That meant thirty minutes after it got dark. That probably meant 9:30 or so. Of course if we were late, he would step out the front door and whistle really loudly. He has a loud, beautifully perfected whistle that you can hear from quite a ways off. But we never strayed far. We were in a good neighborhood. So when we heard the whistle, we stood up and headed home. (This implies that we were probably sitting. I'm sure we were - in three separate locations.)
I don't suppose children here are told to be in at dark-thirty. That would put get them in close to midnight during these long days of summer. It always amazes me how long they days are here during the summer - and how short they are during the winter. I still remember how amazed I was when I first moved to NYC and it was dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.
A few years ago, Fred ordered hotel curtains for the bedroom, which means there's a virtual wall between the morning sun and us. It's nice. I know people who don't have them and that morning sun is rough. It's also nice to be able to ride home after a movie in the summer while it's light and comfortable enough to be out. People are generally still out and about in the Center. You can see people in the photo still riding around.
Amsterdam is such a beautiful city in the summer. It seems like almost every city would be beautiful in the summer, but they're not. Two summers ago when we were in Tucson, Arizona (in June, I think), we walked out of our hotel at night and we were suffocated by the heat. It was dark and it was hot as blazes - as they say. And during the day it was much worse.
As long as these days are, they're no record breakers. Farther North they have even longer days. I can't imagine. This is drastic enough for me, and these big swings in day length help me remember how far away I am from where I came from. I like that.