Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fall is Coming--Thank Heavens

Most of you have experienced the crazy heat this summer.  Indiana has seen the hottest and driest June and July in memory, and I can tell you--I don't love it. It's hard for me to write in a house full of distractions--the constantly running AC, the fans whirring, the chaos caused by my children running around the house because it's just too hot to play outside--they all eat at my brain.  I can't hear the voices in my head when they are drowned out by the noise in real life. *sigh* I can't wait until the season changes and I can get my writing mojo back.

You see, I'm a cool weather girl.  I like turtlenecks and flannel jumpers, or shawls and long swingy skirts with boots.  I like hockey and football.  I burn in too much sun, and get sunstroke at least once a summer.  You'd think I'd learn, but... no. Unfortunately.  So, every year when my birthday comes around in August I think one thing,  (Okay, two things, but I don't think "chocolate cake" works with today's theme.)  Fall is coming.

Now, this isn't like "Winter is coming." No, for me Fall is a welcome and ephemeral thing. It brings shorter days, where the sun cants at a crazy angle through the trees--the same trees that have decided it's their turn to put on a show for the botanical world and so use the slanting light as their own personal spotlights. It brings longer nights to cuddle with your special someone, or your babies, or your iguana.  (He gets awfully cold you know.) The drone of the air conditioner is replaced with the smell of woodsmoke, and the monotonous buzz of Summer's cicadas is replaced by lucky crickets singing to attract a mate.

In Appalachia there's an old wise woman's tale:  6 weeks after you hear the first crickets you'll get the first frost.  And last night?  Lying in bed with the windows open, sweltering in the heat that still hadn't dissipated from the day?  I heard a cricket singing.

Fall is coming!

Six weeks from today is September 18th.  It would be an early frost, hopefully just a light dusting that looks like fairy paint.  The farmers in my area have had a terrible time this year, and they're hoping to make up lost time with a growing season that stretches out until November.  For their sake I hope the real cold holds off, but for me? It certainly will be welcome.  I just hope that the extremes of this summer don't follow us into the colder months.  "Winter is coming," just doesn't hold the same appeal.