When friends who live in Arizona, California or Florida ask me, “Why in the world does anyone live in the Midwest?” I answer with one word: June.

They rant about the winters of blizzards, slush and ice we endure; the tornadoes and flash-flooding when we finally get the much-needed rain.

I come back with, “At least we usually receive a warning about the tornado approaching or heavy rains. Can you say the same about earthquakes in California?”

Take a drive out in the country in June; see the tall corn growing, smell the new-mown hay, see the green fields of soybeans. At night, see the moon hanging without any visible means of support in the sky, lighting up the countryside. See the brilliant sunsets with colors no artist can duplicate. See the sunrise over Lake Michigan in the early morning. Or in Chicago the skyline and the lakefront are two of the most beautiful sights of any large city.

I continue the explanation with my out-of-town friends with, “The warmth and friendliness of Midwesterners is another reason.”

Just don’t ask me the above question when we are in the throes of winter. I might say, “Beats me why we put up with this each winter.”

Every now and then we are blessed with a very light winter.

Then suddenly, it’s June again.