Yeah, it's that time. Fall.
Every year, I hate it.
So many reasons; one, I have to close my pool. Not being a member of the polar bear club, I don't swim when it's cold. Brrrrr! I don't even like it when the day is cooler than 85 degrees. (I know you've heard me say this.) I'm a summer gal and I don't tolerate cold well. Maybe because my blood pressure is really low 90 over 60, with a low pulse). I think I'm half dead. My blood moves s o o s l o w l y. My feet, hands, nose, ears, and face are always cold. Plus, having had some broken bones and corrective surgeries (don't get me started on THAT sob story) the cold makes bones and joints hurt. So when it gets cold, I really have to bundle up. And skiing or playing with the kids? I look like the Michelin Man I'm so puffed from all the layers. The pool closed up is a visual smack in the face that soon I will be frozen all the time.
Next, I have to pack up my shorts, tanks, flipflops, and bathing suits. And then drag out the sweaters, long pants, gloves, hats, and thermal underwear (hey, you ever sit at Homecoming Weekend watching lousy football and our award winning, nationally ranked marching band in October or November? Baby it's freaking freezing!) And while I love fuzzy socks (oooh, nice!) I like walking around bare footed and wearing as little as legally, ethically, morally, practically, physically and parentall allowed. Fall says to me, "You'll be bundled up and you'll STILL be cold."
Naked trees. While the falling colored leaves are so pretty, once they're gone everything's gray and drab and dead-looking. The rain doesn't make a soothing patter on the leaves, calling to you to sit under a porch while it lulls you into a sense of peace, or daring you to run and splash indecently in rolling rivers in street gutters. All you see are bare, skinny branches waving with menace when the winds start to howl.
And that's another thing- the wind doesn't howl in the spring or summer, but it does in the fall and winter, when daylight dies quicker, leaving you to trudge through the eerie darkness, seeing eyes in the black of woods (even if it's only on the side of your driveway). The wind sends prickles of cold up your sleeves, in your nose, through your jeans (and yet another practical reason not to wear those STUPID jeans that cost you a fortune but are all chewed and ripped up. Duh.) A summer breeze of delight has turned cruel and insidious, lurking in bare woods, circling the house, waiting to attack.
The deathly silence. Where is the symphony of crickets? It's replaced by the hoot of a mournful owl, giving last rites to some poor creature. All sounds of life have been sequestered deep underground, or have flown away till the Earth changes its attitude and comes round again for spring. In fall, the imaginings of the mind make the heart pound in our ears like bombs, terror twisting up the volume of the blood screeching through our veins; was that a cracking branch? Is someone following me? Is there an ANIMAL or MONSTER waiting to pounce? Crickets would warn me...
The death of fireflies. There is no aspect of childhood summers I adore more than fields of dark shrouded trees and grass festooned with the twinkle of fireflies gaily playing a tag of life and love. In fall, they are gone, leaving an unbroken void. The loss of light is added to the loss of warmth, color and sound.
My favorite ice cream place closes down. Sure the grocery store has lots of flavors. But not even Ben & Jerry's, or the Cold Stone Creamery can compare with Polar Cub's mega huge waffle cone of black raspberry ice cream with chocolate cookie crumbs. It's not just the ice cream, it's the experience of sitting on a picnic table, trying to catch all the drips before they land on my bare legs; it's the little chats with my sons over everything and nothing, giggling, being silly, (laughing when kids wear more than they eat), and just enjoying the moment.
Then there are the things only summer can bring: Fourth of July fireworks, the balloon festival, Classic Car night in downtown Somerville, spontaneous barbecues with our neighbors the Burgermeisters (for real) and the Orlandos, late nights and too many beers in our pool bar with friends, and beaches, amusement parks, water slides... I could just go on.
And you want me to be glad to give all that up for ugly naked trees, shivering from the cold, scratchy wool (hey, I can't afford ALL cashmere), clumpy shoes, short days and long nights, and being forced to cloister in my home?
All that just for eating hot apple pie made from crisp apples, carving goofy faces on pumpkins, feeling cashmere against my skin, having a blush on my cheeks from the wind, and enjoying bonfires in the backyard while we make s'mores with friends?
Sorry. I miss summer.