Having lived in Northern Illinois for over 25 years (the first few against my will), I have experienced the cyclical nature of our weather patterns. They did not really become very important to me until I became a homeowner, when I became responsible for mowing grass, snow removal, etc.
From 1995 to 2006, our summers were typically hot, really hot (for Northern Illinois, anyway). I could always count on a nice looking lawn until Father's Day, at which point my lawn would burn up and I'd have to run the mower maybe twice a month to keep everything level. In 2005, I had the lawn at our latest house aerated in early June, at which the ground dried up, and the holes stayed in the yard the rest of the summer.
The next year, I mowed all summer. In 2007, we began a cycle of monsoon rains during the last week in August, making the river rise and creating mild concerns about suddenly having riverfront property. Last year, we had plenty of rain (which pleased the farmers) but cooler temperatures (which annoyed the farmers). And now it looks like another summer of rain.
This morning, we enjoyed a huge thunderstorm during 8 o'clock Mass. Father Tim's homily was punctuated by claps of thunder, including one that happened at the end, sort of a divine exclamation mark on a nice sermon. Rain pounded the roof of the church, and I was not surprised to find several streets flooded on the drive home. Retention areas have filled up, creating dangerous swimming holes for any of the unsupervised. We'll see if Darwin was right.