Monday, August 28, 2006

The Seasons are a changin'

Candace here, mourning the imminent end of summer--and it's not even my favorite season. Oh, I love it for the flowers. And sun-ripened, sun-warmed tomatoes fresh off the vine for tomato and mayo sandwiches and quick pasta dishes. And the basil from my garden for pesto any time I want it. I love the long, lovely summer days, too, when it's light until 9:30 and you can sit out on the deck in the lingering twilight (next to a Citronella candle) with a glass of wine and watch the Blue Heron in the pond out back, fishing for his dinner. BUT... You can keep the heat and the humidity (and the frizzy hair--which is honey blond now, BTW, no orange roots!) and the 'skeeters, which are inordinately fond of my blood and leave my husband completely alone.

By the end of August, I've had all the heat and bugs I can take, thank you very much! By the end of August I am starting to look longingly at the sweaters and long skirts in the catalogs that come to my house by the dozens. I begin browsing through my cookbooks, wondering how soon it will be cool enough for beef stew and shepherd's pie and all those other hearty stick-to-the-ribs kinds of dishes that are just too heavy to make and eat in the summer. I begin thinking about sorting through my holiday decorations to see which are good for another year and which need to be replaced.

Fall is my favoritie season. When I was a kid, it signaled the beginning of school (Yes, I was a geek who loved school. Want to make something of it?). It meant new, unused pencils and fresh, new notebooks. It meant Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas weren't far off. It still signals the beginning of the year to me (much more so than January 1st which is just another day in winter). I love the crunch and crispness of Fall. I love the promise of snow in the air. I love sitting out on the deck, all bundled up, roasting marshmellows in the firepit (and no 'skeeters!).

I love everything about Fall except... in another four weeks it will be time to put my garden to bed for the winter. I'll have to cut back my herbs to hang for drying and make one last big batch of pesto to freeze in hopes it will last through the winter (it never does). In six weeks, we'll have had our first hard frost and all my flowers will have died. It will be time to empty and clean all my planters and store them until next Spring. For a few weeks after that, my deck and patio will look empty and barren and a little sad.

And then it will snow, covering everything in a fresh, gleaming blanket of white..and winter will be my favorite season for awhile.

So, what's your favorite season? And why?


Betina Krahn said...

I'm with you, Candace. FALL. Maybe because I was born in the fall, but also because I love the shush of dry leaves underfoot and the colors and the air of plenty and abundance. All fat pumpkins and tart cider and colored corn for hanging on the door. And, at the risk of being booed, I love going to college football games in the open air! Pompom mums and wool jackets and marching bands. . . oooo and marshmallows over a crackling fire and stolen kisses with someone whose nose is cold and lips are warm.

Top that, SPRING people!

Helen Brenna said...

Yeah, well you live in Florida, Betina! And Candace, I can't remember where you're hanging your hats these days, but I do know that Minnesota's 20 below wind chills, 18 inch snowstorms, cold cars and icy road conditions give springtime an appeal none of the other seasons can match for me.

Although I do love the change of every season, spring is probably my favorite. Being able to crack open my windows for the first time in months and wake up to that cool, sweet, fresh smell in the air. I believe I've said enough!

Candace said...

I'm in Indiana these days, Helen. Our winters aren't nearly as long and cold as Minnesota's I admit...but I still like Fall best. At least, when it's August and I've had enough of 90 degree days and 80% humidity. Ask me around, say...mid-February when the pristine white snow has turned to gray slush and the sky has been overcast for two weeks, and I might allow as to how Spring has a lot going for it.

anne frasier said...

i would agree that it depends on where a person lives. i would normally say fall is my favorite time of the year. HALLOWEEN!!! but it's a very sad time of the year too, because in know winter is coming. i hate winter. so i would have to say summer is my favorite.

my big plan is to take some time this winter and figure out where i want to move. i hope to sell my house next spring and get out of this cold place. i might consider coming back to MN in the summer. i love summers here.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Hubby and I have often talked about moving to the perfect climate, but we haven't figured out where that would be. New Mexico--Santa Fe or Taos--come closest so far. But we have no family there, so that's a drawback.

I hate humidity. Far worse than cold in my book. There are probably as many bad summer days for me as bad winter days. When we're tucked inside with a fire and a good movie, who cares what the temp is outside? I love having 4 distinct seasons. Nothing prettier than a fresh snowfall. Don't like ice or slush, but phooey on humidity.

I have a photographic memory of a particular autumn Saturday when I was a sophomore in hs in Massachusetts. I was walking through woods--shushing through the leaves--dressed in my brand new orange and black drill team uniform--pleated skirt and sweater--hurrying along because I could hear the band warming up the spectators. I told myself that I would remember this perfect moment for the rest of my life, and my mind took a picture. I can put myself back anytime I want. I was everything I wanted to be right then. (My next photographic memory is the day JFK was killed, and come to think of it, that must have been just a few weeks later. Wow. Quite a contrast.)

Man, I do love Fall! Like Candace, I loved going back to school when I was a kid. Then came Halloween. Then my birthday. Then Thanksgiving. When I was in college, there was Mountain Day. My wedding in October--my daughter's at the end of September. Now that I think about it...

Without winter, you can't really have fall or spring. I know what year-round summer is like--lived on Guam as a kid. Hawaii is one of our favorite places to visit. It's paradise!

Guess I'll wait a while to take up permanent residence in Paradise. I do love the change of seasons.

Susan Kay Law said...

I'm a fall girl, too, for all the reasons you mentioned. I loved going back to school, I love cooking, I love the way the air smells, and Minnesota is just so darned gorgeous when the colors turn.

And my love of fall is uncomplicated, because I actually really like winter. (It's heat/humidity I can't stand. I could never live in the South.) You can always put on a few more clothes; there's a limit to how much I'm willing to take off in public.