It feels cool before dawn here this morning after an overnight low in the mid-50s, a considerable relief after the heat and humidity of the last few days. But heat has been the least of Iowa's problems.
The southern two tiers of counties lucked out this time as major storms skimmed our northern borders, but elsewhere tornadoes, high winds, severe thunderstorms, hail --- and extensive flooding --- caused a good deal of damage.
Two lives were lost. David L. Fry, 57, of Cedar Rapids, was killed Monday in Fairfax when high winds destroyed a commerical structure occupied by a Honeywell affiliate; and 17-year-old Logan Blake, also of Cedar Rapids, drowned Monday evening after being swept into a storm drain there.
The forecast here now looks good through July 4th, then the possibility of rain returns.
Chariton's big July 4th weekend celebration begins with opening ceremonies at 5 p.m. Thursday, and I'm scheduled to lead a walking tour of the town square historic district at 5:30 p.m.
Here's the complete schedule. Note the parade at 1 p.m. Friday and fireworks in Northwest Park at 10 p.m. Activities continue all day Saturday and conclude at 10 a.m. Sunday with an ecumenical church service, on the square if dry; in Johnson Auditorium, if it's not.
I doubt if any from St. Andrew's will make it up to the square Sunday morning, since we'll be getting ready for Fred Steinbach's ordination as a priest during a service led by Bishop Alan Scarfe, of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, at 2 p.m. Sunday at the church.
Those who know Fred may remember that he was ordained a transitional deacon last December; ordination as a priest will conclude the years of formal study he's invested in his second career after retirement from the first --- as an educator.
Preparations for the ordination have been a little like a small family getting ready for a big wedding, but there still are many Steinbachs around and they, along with other friends of the parish, are being very helpful.
I'll be banging my head against walls today trying to get the service booklet (top) corrected, finished and to the printer.
On Monday, the Iowa Museum Association's Small Museum Group will convene for a day-long session at the museum. It's always fun to get together with representatives of central Iowa's smaller museums, similar to our own. Thanks to LCHS board member Charlotte Asell for working with Marilyn to coordinate this event.
Then on Tuesday, the historical society will host our annual ice cream social --- commencing at 5:30 p.m. All the buildings, as well as the gardens, will be open for tours from 5:30 until 7 p.m. and free ice cream will be served in the Pioneer Barn from 6 until 7.
At 7 p.m., members of the Chariton Valley Players will present an old-fashioned melodrama in the barn-patio area. Admission is free and all are welcome, so come on out.
I'm not quite sure how July managed to kick off quite like this --- one event after another. But I'm sure we'll all make it through.