Maryland Summertime Blues

Posted on June 19, 2008


The tide of purple clover has crested on Maryland hillsides, and is beginning to fade. The little white clover that thrives in mowed lawns will be with us through the dog days. The orange day lily arrived in mid-June. It will peak on July 4, and disappear before August.

We have experienced one June heatwave; fierce, tree-rending thunderstorms; hours and days without electric power; a 500-year flood on the Cedar River in the Upper Midwest; waking up to no water at all in Montgomery County, thanks to a ruptured giant water main; and Mike Miller’s announcement that he will not retire from the Maryland State Senate.

Who knows what misfortune may yet befall us? We’re not even into the serious part of hurricane season.

If we are lucky, we will remember the summer of 2008 as the summer that house prices hit bottom in Maryland. Maybe we will set the all-time record, this summer, for mortgage foreclosures. Like I said, that’s if we’re lucky. More likely, several more seasons will roll around before we hit the bottom and set the record.

Possibly we will achieve Peak Oil this summer, if Saudi Arabia cranks it up. Or maybe we will hit $150 a barrel and keep on going.

Maybe this will be the summer that a millionaire moves across the Potomac River, to Virginia, to escape Maryland’s crushing tax on the rich. For the first person who can document the flight of a millionaire, I will buy breakfast, lunch and dinner at a Hot Shoppes of your choice.

To celebrate the Summer Solstice, I’m going to the mountains of western Pennsylvania for the weekend. I’ll be back at work on Monday, and every other Monday this summer, as long as the supply of gasoline holds out. — Bernie Hayden

Posted in: Economy, Maryland, Nature, News