I am, as I usually am, out of the mainstream. Most people looooooove summer. Right now they are moaning and kvetching about the end of summer, how awful it is. Nostalgic memories of summers past are being shared like gossip in a small town.
I like summer, but I loooove fall! Summer is hot, there are bugs, lots of bugs, bugs that you do not even know what they are, bugs you are familiar with: Flies, mosquitoes, cicadas, spiders, those big black water bug things. If you go outside you are going to be confronted by something with six legs. And it is too hot! Not being one with a sylph-like figure summer’s heat also brings issues. After all there is only so much you can take off in public and still be decent, even if you are slim and lithe, those of us who are not so constructed have even more barriers to comfort in the heat.
In cold weather you can put on layers, you can prepare for the weather by taking an extra wrap or sweater. In the summer you go out in a tee shirt and a pair of shorts–presuming your thighs are not too fat and you are not confined to capris–and what can you take off if you get hot? Hmmm?
If you are the male of the species no matter what you look like it is evidently okay to abandon your shirt, even if you have Donlap disease. But women are limited, even the members of the LBT club still have to wear something on the top!
For most of my adult life I did not work in the summer. I always felt odd when the other teachers at one point or professors at another point were rejoicing over the coming of summer.I did not find the prospect of summer comforting. It did not equate to leisure for me and I am not that fond of leisure anyway. Summer meant finding something constructive to do and without the structure of the school year. It also meant that I was now in the role of housewife no matter what else I had planned for the summer. It meant keeping the garden looking good–weeding, planting, moving things around, putting in more stepping stones, hacking out the mint that had sounded like a good idea but turned out to be a monster, cooking decent meals—no excuse you are not working–it meant running the kids hither and yon until they got old enough to run themselves hither and yon, it meant all those projects I had postponed over the winter because I was working had to be done. Organizing those photos, painting the study, doing some research for an article or for class in the fall.
Oh, I pretended to fit in. I joined in end of school year parties, I crowed about my joy that the year was over, but it was all a farce. As I closed my classroom for the summer I was already looking forward to the fall. To my new classes, to the bite in the air, to the smell of burning leaves, to the first football game at XHS or CSU or UD or Ohio State or BGSU or Wittenberg, or any of the other dozen or so colleges, universities and high schools I had a connection to. I would delight in the sound of CSU’s band beginning to practice in August–their practice field is down the road from our house. I knew all the songs by the time the season started.
Then after the football season gets into good speed October comes with cider and weenie roasts and the biggie, Halloween! I love Halloween, always have. I have been known to show up on campuses ,high school and college in my favorite guise, adopted long before Harry Potter, a witch! Since I am addicted to education I always had an academic robe and a witch’s hat is easy to come by. My latest one has tiny black feathers all around the brim, kind of a witch with an attitude thing. Now , of course, I can dress up and say I am McGonagal from HP, although I hope I look younger and sexier than Maggie Smith.
Halloween is the perfect holiday, full moon, black cats, orange pumpkins, corn stalks, haunted houses, ghosts, and candy. Who could ask for anything more? What is Fourth of July? Noise and hot dogs, please!
After the fun of Halloween we get ready for the gluttony of Thanksgiving! The silver has to be polished, the good plates washed since they have not been out of the china cabinet since last Thanksgiving, the turkey roaster located, place cards made—my group always manages to find some new people to invite, seating logistics thought out, who does not want to sit next to whom, and the men all want to sit on the side of the table that faces the living room so they do not have to miss any football. Roast turkey, oyster dressing and sage dressing, and sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes and green beans and greens and rolls and cranberry sauce –two kinds jellied and whole and pecan pie and mince pie and pumpkin pie all with real–that means you whip it–whipped cream. What can a summer picnic have to compare?
And then the biggest of all, Christmas!! Buying gifts, wrapping gifts, hanging stockings, putting greenery and lights on anything that stands still. Artificial tree in the living room, real tree in the dining room, kids, grandkids, friends, egg nog, Christmas cookies, rum cake, ham, Christmas Eve party, Christmas carols, everyone in a good mood!
Miss summer? Not a bit! Now when Christmas is over I do get blue, we are entering the dead time. No parties after the New Year’s Day for months usually, dark, cold, boring.
But, spring will come and Easter and my birthday and it will not be too bad. But I will still be watching that calendar. The fun beach house week in August is the preview and then the magic of Fall!!
Happy pre-Autumn to all!