Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodbye Summer. Sniff...

Today is officially the last day of summer, and I think I’m living in the State of Denial rather than the State of Ohio. It’s just too hard to let go sometimes. I sort of feel like the wailing kid clutching at Mother Nature’s skirts and begging her not to leave. Because you KNOW what happens next – she sends Ol’ Man Winter to take her place. And Ol’ Man Winter is a big meanie.

The problem is Mother Nature is a tease. She lures us with sunshine and warm temperatures through much of September. Some days are even downright sweltering and we think summer is never going to end. Sure, we’ll occasionally experience a chilly evening now and again and we get a glimpse into the future when leaves will begin changing color and dropping to the ground in big, crunchy piles. But we aren’t thinking snowflakes yet, for crying out loud!

The first day of fall, however, is always an eye-opener. At least it is for me. Even if we still have a day or two in the upper 70s after the start of fall, I start thinking about warm boots and cuddly sweaters and colorful fuzzy mittens. At this point, it’s all about the fashion and not about the dirty slush and the snow shoveling and the temperatures so frosty that runny eyes and noses are a daily annoyance. And it’s certainly not about the sore throats and body aches and fevers that the winter ‘flu season brings.

So we arm ourselves with annual ‘flu shots and we check out the state of our snow shovels. We “winterize” our cars, which I think means changing the oil, but I’m not sure. Mostly because I think you are required to go to a smaller number of oil…or maybe it’s a larger number and…well…clearly, I don’t know what it means to winterize the car. This is why I have a husband. I don’t have to think about winterizing the car anymore. (To the chagrin of Jiffy Lubes everywhere who probably took me for a fortune every fall when I was a single woman.)

Ahem. Sorry about that little rant. I don’t enjoy car maintenance – as you can probably tell. (And, Vince? I’m also sorry about that husband comment. I didn’t mean it. You know how flustered I get when talking about car maintenance!)

Anyway, I tend to think that we have no real “Fall” season. We go from shorts and flip flop weather – to snow boots and bulky coats. Oh, sure, we may have about a day and a half of crisp fall weather that evokes memories of fun times as a kid jumping in big piles of those crunchy leaves or devising clever Halloween costumes and mapping out the best route to net the biggest haul of cavity-inducing candy.

But for the most part, we go from summer to snowstorms. At least in my opinion.

It’s always a clear indication that colder weather is approaching when I start thinking that a bowl of vegetable soup sounds good. Or when I think I might actually cook something. In the actual oven.

On the other hand, you can’t walk into the grocery store expecting to find any decent fresh fruit without paying a small fortune. Have a hankering for corn on the cob? Good luck. You either have to head for the canned vegetable aisle or the frozen foods section.

I’ll bet people living in Florida never go through this sort of thing. Of course, they have hurricanes to contend with. I, for one, never have to worry about hammering wood over my windows to protect them, or racing to the grocery store to clear out the shelves of things like bottled water and batteries and Spam. (What? They don’t buy up mass quantities of Spam before a hurricane? Well, gee. Then maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to move to Florida…)

Dealing with the changing of the seasons is always a love-hate sort of thing with me. I actually do enjoy the change of the seasons, but I think I’d prefer if the spring and summer lasted eleven months and the fall and winter season lasted a month. Or maybe a little less. A month might be too long.

Sadly, the good Lord didn’t select me to be in charge of his seasons. But it’s probably for the best. I mean, how would Jiffy Lubes all across the Midwest survive without forcing us to change the oil in our cars to the “winter” version?

So, okay, I’ll deal with fall. And then I’ll struggle along with winter. But that doesn’t mean I have to like Ol’ Man Winter.

The big meanie.

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