In one way I love this time of year: it gets people talking. Like Xmas-time or just after September 11, folks find themselves in the same circumstance -- we're suddenly all equal in our suffering or joy, and the sense of community comes back in small public exchanges in a way that we seem to forget otherwise. Standing outside today in the 102-degree heat, I had three (albeit short) conversations in the time it took to walk from my car into my office (~ 30 ft). It is positively beastly outside. Lordy.
And for some, it's just positively beastly. Period.