Monday, September 22, 2008

In Which I Grudgingly Admit That It Is Fall

I have this condition: when the weather is transitional, neither too hot nor too cool, and the seasons are changing, I will forget, momentarily, which season we're moving into. I'll think it's Spring instead of Fall. There's some basic habit of mind that comes with the weather changing, and it's like my brain has two settings: Full Seasonal Immersion, which I inhabit in Summer and Winter, and Monitor Conditions: New Season Approaching, for early Spring and Fall. I asked my mom about this, and she said she too forgets where we are seasonally. (Dad just looked at us like we were nuts.) It does not help that I have these "Encore" azaleas in my yard that bloom twice a year. Thanks, horticultural science, now I'm totally screwed up.

Coupled with this is the fact that I ALWAYS feel a twinge of regret at leaving one season behind. I feel this regret four times a year. It is kind of hilarious, but sad. I don't know if it's that I hate the sense of time passing, or that I always have things I want to accomplish in a certain chunk of the year, like "I'll do that this summer," and then summer goes by and whatever it is remains undone. And how could summer be over? It was just here. Our pool bag is still packed up and sitting on top of the dryer. We were at the pool, could it have been early last week? Maybe the week before.

Several things, though, have clued me in to the passing of summer. I turned off our air conditioner last week. I did that immediately after I opened our electricity bill for the previous month and saw that it was $227. So I switched off the AC thinking, "Well, we might have to sweat it out for a week or so." But we haven't--we went almost straight into it being a little too cool to have the windows open at night. I guess that means I should have turned off the AC sooner?

The kids and I spent the weekend up at the mountain house, and Matt stayed home to have some work time (or wild bachelor dissipation time--the can of Pringles I found next to the bathtub tells me everything I need to know about his activities while we were gone). Up there, the little tippy-tips of the maple trees were dark red and purple, and it got down into the fifties at night. I thought, "Harrumph, it's here alright." The kids played in the creek, and they felt ice cold when they got out. Of course, Hank had stripped down to nothing but his diaper. We were that family.

So okay, I'm going to get with the program. Don't get me wrong--once Fall is totally happening, I love it. I love pumpkins, I love the earlier darkness in the evening, I love my Uggs. But right now it feels hard to turn towards it. And in terms of housework, what do you guys do around your house to get ready or to change things over? One thing that comes to mind is that Laura's closet is loaded with her warm-weather clothes. I need to get her other things out of the extra closet and do a big rotation. And I need to see if last year's coat fits her, or if she's ready to move up into the next one I have. If I had a sewing machine, and a lot more time, I would love to make us a mother-daughter set of these beauties:

I might also need a time machine for that to work, but aren't they nice? I also sense that a major housecleaning is on the horizon. I would love to wash my windows from the outside too. I could stand on the ladder and use a sponge mop. Actually, that sounds scary--maybe spraying them with the hose would be good enough.

I hope you had a lovely weekend, and that wherever you are, you are making your peace with the season.


Lecia said...

Beautiful post. I'm the same way - how could summer be over? - and my kids are growing up before my very eyes, and it must mean I'm aging too - yet when it definitively is fall, I love it. I worked like a madwoman this past weekend getting some of those projects done that just didn't happen over the hot spots! I spent all day yesterday organizing the playroom closet and the garage, and throwing out most of what the kids brought home from school last year (sorry Abbott and Cal).
LOVE the Simplicity pattern - my mom used to make those sets for herself and my sister and me...I say do it! Lots of stores are selling matching sets and if I had a daughter I'd make it.

Amy said...

I relate to what you're saying! Except, I'm usually not sad to see winter go, as I find it getting dark by 5pm kinda depressing. I think for me, the sadness with seasonal change comes with the realization that time is passing so quickly. On the other hand, I LOVE the approach of spring and summer, getting out skirts and tank tops, buying the obligatory new pair of flip flops. Yesterday, the kids had their first popsicles of the season! ;) I'm a simple soul, I guess.

Very well expressed, as always.

Cassidy said...

Nice write up!

I too have some things I wanted to get done this summer. As far as getting ready for the changing of the season, I will have to put my hard top, on the jeep.

Lecia said...

PS - My kids' pool bag is also still packed in our laundry room and I'm debating as to whether to even bother to find a winter "home" for all of it or not.

Window washing: go somewhere like Home Depot. I bought some GREAT tools for doing windows that are fast and simple. (Our house is, in spots, floor to ceiling windows; with a four and six year old, and their friends, I end up washing a window or two every week!)

Becky said...

Thanks, guys. Lecia, good on you for working on your hot spots! Ours are threatening to catch fire again. I tackled the wall of paper the other week, but it didn't stay tackled.

And Amy, having to experience the seasons totally bass-ackwards in Australia must be extra tough! LOL. If I were there I seriously wouldn't know which way was up.

kate said...

One thing I'm about to do to prepare for the change in temp is have my down comforter and winter coat dry cleaned. I think this will a refreshing way to start the fall.