Friday, September 3, 2010

Almost Autumn

The other morning when I let Caesar, the Pomeranian, out at 4:00 a.m., there was a crisp portent of on-coming fall in the air. After all the heat-drenched, humidity-heavy mornings that preceded it, I stepped out the door to delight in letting the cool surround me.

My friend, Brenda, has always hated autumn. She calls it the dying season, when all the plants begin to turn brown and shed their leaves or wither away.  Being a more positive person, I don't consider it dying as much as resting. They've worked overtime producing fruits and vegetables and flowers and seeds and now its vacation time. See ya' next April.

And the trees at least wave us good bye with a celebratory burst of color - champagnes and bronzes and golds and coppers and crimsons. And the garden invites us to stock up on last harvest tomatoes and squash and potatoes until the laid-off workers are recalled and the assembly line starts up again next spring.

For a while, the house will be unnaturally quiet after the air conditioner signs off for the year but before the furnace clocks in. The silence is the sound of....savings. Sometimes it seems as if, instead of electricity or gas, the a.c. and furnace are fueled by stacks of dollar bills.

It used to be at this time of year, you had to think a lot about your car. Had you better get a new battery so it will start when the temperatures drop? Is it time to take it down to have antifreeze added? What about buying snow tires? Cars are more reliable and user friendly now.  I'm old enough to remember that dreaded "rrrh...rrrh....rrrh" sound of a low battery but I haven't heard it in years. And whatever they put in the car now must be year-around stuff. And I use the same radial tires even in snow season. Can't remember the last time I had a flat tire either.

I love sitting on my front porch to read but I abandoned it during deep summer when the air was breathless and the heat sat on you like it contained actual weight.  I'll begin to venture back out now that's it's more comfortable.

My energy level rises in direct proportion to the falling temperatures. When it's 90+ and sultry, I have the metabolism of a slug, dragging myself along heavily, like every inch is a milestone. By contrast, when the heat-index drops, I feel as light as a butterfly. I start to think of long-delayed projects needing to be done. Straighten my books so all the volumes by the same authors are together. Sort my clothes and take the things I never wear to The Lighthouse Mission. Clean the cupboards and the closets.

I'm a Leo so I'm supposed to be a sun person but I'm not. I'm beaten down by an overbearing sun. Maybe I have some other sign rising or something. My birth month, August, is actually my least favorite month (with February a close second). August has almost nothing to recommend itself, not one single holiday. (Even February has Valentine's Day, which if it isn't a day off work is at least a lovable day).

So I say, "bring it on, Mother Nature, I'm ready to rock on into fall!"