‘Tis the Season


Last week, I sat at my desk wondering what to blog about. Outside, colored leaves skittered and played over the parking lot asphalt, the concrete of the deck, the grass and sidewalks. A heavy sky threatened rain overhead and the temperature hovered in the low-middle 40s. I contemplated Midwest autumn and the textbook case of it we had on our hands.

autumntreeI went to bed with the temperature in the upper 30s and forecasts projecting mid- to lower-40s for the rest of the week. The next morning when I got up and opened my browser, the forecast said middle 30s all week with dips to the low 30s, and the temperature reading sat near the middle twenties.

Overnight the season changed. I realize  it doesn’t wait for the solstice, and the meteorological seasons change generally around December 1, but this seemed so sudden, so stark. The bleakness settled with the cold too. The sky went from heavy to a leaden shield, as if no blue sat above it. The wind didn’t rustle leaves, branches and blades of grass, it whipped them and stood the flag straight out on the pole across the street. The deeper gray washed the horizon, and the whole world suddenly felt as if it had fallen asleep. Just like that. No real warning, no real heralding of the change. It just happened while I slept.  I went to bed in autumn and awoke in winter.

Winter TreeLife seems like that many times, doesn’t it? Things just settle from out of the blue, an unseen bird landing on a wire. Only this is akin to an elephant landing on the wire, not a bird. And it roosts for a very long time indeed.

In truth, winter has been longer here. This was a pleasant, long-lived autumn for us. Normally the weather turns mid-November. We had an early, long one and it was warmer than others I recall. Still, I can’t help but miss it when it’s over. Happens every year. I look out and sigh heavy when the short days bring the hyper-chill and biting air.

But things only move forward. No matter how I lament the changing of the seasons and wish for just a few more weeks (years?) of autumn, winter inevitably, inexorably follows, pushing us into the cold dark slumber.

Then I remember it’s blazing hot summer in the Southern Hemisphere and become glad I live up here instead. Christmas in summer? UGH.

-JDT-

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ALL rights reserved.

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15 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season

  1. That’s how it usually goes here, only it happens during seasons, too. The temperatures flip-flop, and I can remember wearing shorts only days after a snowstorm, and days later we were shoveling our walks again. This sort of thing happens several times a winter. Spring is marked by thunderstorms, but Fall is usually very short and alternately boiling and bone-chilling. Despite the annoying instability, it’s nice not having months of sub-freezing temps like my northern neighbors.

    It’s 3 degrees F right now. How’s that for bone-chilling? *Sigh*

  2. Winter is for pulling loved ones in close for warmth. For really appreciating what is important inside your home. Literal or figurative, winter is not so bad Darc. 😉

    Well, I’m okay with the snuggling part. But the long, cold winters? Nope, can live without ’em, sorry Jaymie. 😉 Though I do love Christmas ….

  3. The weather in the month of October is the best here in Ft. Worth. (my opinion) Summer can be brutal. Right now it’s 27 degrees and not much work happening in the world of concrete. I’m with Jaymie on her statement that winter isn’t so bad … I don’t mind it, though most of the winters here are relatively mild.

    Yeah, I understand mild winters. I grew up in northern California where 40 degrees was DEEP winter, February winter. I’m sitting here in 3-degree weather and let me tell ya, y’all can KEEP that “winter ain’t so bad” stuff. 😉 🙂

  4. The issue with winter temperatures is that popular culture has taught us to fear and hate and ignore the cold. When movies or television shows give us a glimpse of snow, it’s almost always related to Christmas.
    In January, turn on the television and watch some shows. Not a speck of snow will be found. Even if the show takes place in New York, where a lot of shows do take place. We need to see the winter in order to accept the winter.

    You’re absolutely right, there’s NEVER cold weather in Jan/Feb on TV or in the movies. I remember seeing a show once which took place in Chicago and it was supposed to be something like December or January. It was raining. That’s just stupid to those of us who live in the Midwest.

    And for the record, I just hate extremes in temperature. I don’t like anything above about 75F, and I don’t like much below 45F either. (That’s 24 to about 7 to you guys up there.)

    • You don’t like anything outside a fifteen degree radius of 60 degrees. Basically, you don’t like going outside then do ya?

      Not if I can help it, no.

      I’m sorry, but 40F is not extreme cold. Your fridge is colder than that.

      Yep, it is, and where I grew up, the refrigerator and freezer were designed to do what the weather couldn’t — keep stuff COLD. The idea of the air outside being colder than that for MONTHS on end was infeasible. Or at least unimaginable. If we wanted cold and snow and ice and crap, we went skiing at Lake Tahoe. We left when it got old.

      • You know, I don’t seem to recall ever seeing Batman complain about the cold. Now Gotham isn’t exactly the coldest climate, but it does get winter weather. It does snow in Gotham. And Batman, he’s out at night, on the tops of tall buildings. The wind up there at night, I’m sure it get’s pretty chilly. Why do you think we could sometimes see his nipples on his chest plate? He was nippy. But you never saw him complain.

        That’s because Batman uses super-insulated gear, wears a cape and full-face mask, probably has heated body armor for those long, cold-night stake-outs and crime-fighting trips, drives the most kick-ass car in the world, goes home to a fireplace six feet tall and nine feet wide filled to the brim with roaring, crackling logs, gets more ass as Bruce Wayne than a toilet seat, and is a multi-billionaire.

        If he can still complain, he deserves to have his ass whipped.

        DarcKnyt’s my screen name, not my way of life. I get to complain … a LOT. 😉

      • On the tv shows not showing winter I beg to differ. If you watch the original Law and Order which takes place in New York, it is almost always winter and quite a few shows show it snowing or that it is cold enough to be covered from head to foot in lots of clothing and with frosty breath. Can’t vouch for other shows but I watch reruns of this show almost daily and there are few that are in warmer weather, in fact very few are in summertime.

        Good to know! At least one show’s trying. 🙂

        Problem here with the temps falling all week is it has also been gray and nasty though no snow or even rain. Makes the winter blues come even earlier than normal.

        Can’t say I mind the gray and gloom, but can live without the cold and snow, for sure. Have a great weekend Delaney! Stay warm!

  5. Maine got hit with a Nor’easter last night — a good foot of the white stuff fell and my yard looks like a beautiful winter wonderland. I was extremely thankful that I did not have to commute to work this morning like I have had to do in the past. The snow is much prettier when you don’t have to drive thru it!
    I’m a Winter girl and I still love the snowstorms!

    You know, if there weren’t any pressure to find work for me, I’d be pretty happy with a nice snowfall now and again. It’s just the DURATION of the winter and the deep cold which pins us down I don’t like. Then again, like I said to WIGSF, I don’t like high temps and humidity either. I’m a middle o’ the road guy. 🙂

  6. I’ve never been a fan of winter only because I love to be outside and my internal thermostat can’t tolerate cold. As soon as we turn on the heater, my hands dry up and crack, my throat hurts, etc. So I’m either freezing or look like a crumpled up paper bag.

    You’re even poetic and a word-painter in blog comments. You’re making me jealous of your skills, D.

    It used to really depress me to see no sign of life in my yard during the winter too. I took care of that last year by planting some evergreens in our front and back yards, and now it’s not so bad. It’s also nice to see the deer drinking from the stream, which is hard to do when the weeds are growing wild in the warmer months. So although it’s not my favorite season, it is slowly growing on me, and I suspect it will continue to do so as my girls get older and are more capable of entertaining themselves indoors without wanting to kill each other.

    If I could get it in SHORTER DOSES (and yes, the New England winter is shorter than the one here), it might grow on ME too!

    And of course, nothing beats snuggling up by the fire, or being surrounded by family and friends while the wind howls outside. That is priceless.

    Yeah. But I don’t have a fireplace. I got NOTHIN’. Well — cuddling would be cool, but GOOD LUCK getting anyone in THIS house to do that. Fal is on the computer all the time, our couch sucks eggs, no fireplace, the kids would have to be tranquilized to snuggle … yeah. I got nothing.

    Great post, Darc. It is beautifully written and the photos are fantastic. Cheers:)

    Thank you D! I can’t take credit for the photos — Bing.com found them for me — but I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  7. What a lovely, poetic post today. You know, even though most of us live in climate-controlled environments, we sense the cold and our collective memories can’t help but call up the ancient association of winter and death. But all things are cyclic, death is inevitable, and without it there would not be the glory of the spring resurrection. Winter is but a sigh, a reminder that we need the slow times, a refueling, a time for contemplation.

    Thanks, Linda, I’m flattered!

    I generally love winter. Living in the Midwest taught me to despise it. Driving in the snow, ice and sleet is quite different than vacationing to a snowy resort. I love the slow, muffled way the world sounds beneath a snow gently dropping from heaven. Now, if water would only freeze at about 45 degrees, all would be well. I don’t associate winter with death — it holds my birthday for one, the celebration of Christ’s birth for another, and I am NOT an evolutionist — but there is a slow, sleepy way about it that I can get into.

    When it’s not so frickin’ COLD for so frickin’ LONG. 😉

    • I was referring to the dying of plant life. And you confused me with your statement about evolution.

      ROFL! Oh, my goodness, I bet I did! I thought YOU were referring to ancestral memory, something evolution ascribes to humanity through its progression of changes! I got that inference, somehow, from the “collective memories” portion of your comment. (wtf? how?!) And HOW I interpreted your poetic dying of plants with DEATH, like of HUMANS and such, I’ll NEVER KNOW! I mean, you even said “cyclic” — the death in winter and budding in spring of plants, duh — and I still messed it up.

      Oh, forgive me Linda. I’m so sorry for being dorky. I answered comments with one eye shut and a cup of coffee hooked into my veins and it didn’t work. I pulled a very late night working on something I’ve had on my plate for a while and made the mistake of thinking hot shower and hot coffee would salvage my mentality.

      Here’s the REAL response to your comment:

      What a lovely, poetic post today. You know, even though most of us live in climate-controlled environments, we sense the cold and our collective memories can’t help but call up the ancient association of winter and death. But all things are cyclic, death is inevitable, and without it there would not be the glory of the spring resurrection. Winter is but a sigh, a reminder that we need the slow times, a refueling, a time for contemplation.

      Thank you, Linda! I’m flattered you found this poetic. But I must say, you’re statements about the glory of the spring resurrection (my wife whole-heartedly agrees on springtime’s glory) is far more eloquent than anything I said!

      Oh, I long to love winter again! If it were shorter I’d long less. HA! Get it? Long less? Shorter? HA!

      …sorry.

      And I apologize for the confusing and … well, WEIRD response. I promise NOT to read comments anymore before I’m fully awake and cognitive! Thank you for stopping by today!

  8. Since the 1st of December, our average high has been 12 degrees and our average low has been -19 degrees. If you want to see how much fun this has been, look at my “I Hate Winter” page.

    Your winters have ours beat, I’ll grant you. But so does your scenery and general way of life, not to mention cost of living. I don’t know if the trade off’s worth it, but there’s something. 🙂

  9. As a survivor of 37 New York winters I can’t even begin to explain how much I am enjoying life in the south.

    Haha! I can only imagine, Al! (Sorry, didn’t see this comment until just now. Thanks for chiming in!)

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