It’s taken a while, but the cool weather of Fall has finally arrived where I live. And I’m not especially happy about it. I’ve been feeling a bit down all day, ever since waking up this morning and seeing that the temperature outside was only 56 degrees with no sunshine in sight. I know there are lots and lots of great things about Fall, and I appreciate most of them. It’s just that I’m not ready to let go of summer, and the weather today is forcing me to recognize that the summer of 2016 is well and truly over.
The days are already getting shorter, which means that it won’t be long before I’m waking up in darkness. I spent part of last evening digging out my sweaters and light-weight jackets since it’s already too cold to go outside without wearing one or the other. Despite my careful attention, many of my annual flowers are looking tired and withered, and it’s only a matter of time before there will be a frost which kills them altogether. Within weeks, I’ll actually have to turn on the heat and deal with the dry skin and static electricity it always generates despite our humidifier’s best efforts. I may be a Debby Downer, but honestly, I find all of this rather depressing.
But there’s no sense in fighting the inevitable and I certainly don’t want to spend the next few weeks wallowing in self-pity, so I have decided that I need to stop thinking quite so much about all the things I will miss about summer and focus instead on the things I really won’t miss at all. Sure, it’s hard to forget about the backyard cookouts, the pleasure of jumping into the refreshingly cool water of a swimming pool on a hot summer day, and the convenience of walking outside anytime without having to put on any extra clothing whatsoever. Not to mention the fresh fruit and tasty tomatoes. But I’m going to try.
From now on, I’ll bear in mind that the arrival of Fall means I won’t have to circle the parking lot of the grocery store in the futile search for a parking space in the shade so the inside of my car won’t feel like an oven when I’m done shopping. I can even buy ice cream without worrying about it melting before I reach home. I’m going to remember that the time is rapidly approaching when I won’t have to do any more yard work: no watering the potted plants, deadheading the flowers, trimming the bushes, cutting back the ivy, and fighting a no-win battle against the weeds.
And best of all, no outdoor bugs. I’m not sure if the cold weather kills them or, like bears, they simply hibernate all winter, but for whatever reason, they go away and I am grateful. No more bees buzzing around my ears when I walk out the back door (they love the crepe myrtles we were silly enough to plant right next to the back porch), no more carpenter bees drilling holes in the eaves and (finally) no more mosquitoes! If I were ever trying to argue that God does make mistakes, exhibit “A” would be mosquitoes. The world would have been just fine without the pesky little buggers.
This new attitude must be working, because I’m already feeling better. It’s time to break out the Fall decorations, stick a few pots of hardy mums and some pumpkins on the porch and hit the mall in search of a couple of new sweaters. And then I’m going to come home and bake a pumpkin pie.