Ozark Road: Tired of the teasing
To read more of retired Gainesville educator Jane Elder’s blog, Ozark Road, visit gainesvilemo.blogspot.com.
Here it is. The end of October, or nearly so. I finally broke down and got out the coats and heavier jackets, washed my winter clothes, bought some new winter shoes, located the caps and scarves. And all for naught.
Temperatures in the high 70s do not require much more than what I usually wear for late spring and summer. Even the plants and flowers are getting fooled by this fluctuating thermometer. A friend showed me a lawn full of crocuses yesterday. Even the bluebirds are confused. I saw our next-to-the-house pair looking anxiously into their abandoned box the other day. Then they chased each other through and around the porch in the semblance of a mating dance.
I am getting impatient. I do not like cold weather. I don’t look forward to ice and snow and the miserable north wind blowing furiously outside my windows. But this unseasonable warmth has the effect of putting me off my stride.
We have cleaned the wood stove, checked the flue. Wood is piled in the garage ready to bring in and warm our house to a cozy temperature, if needed. We wait ... and wait ... and wait.
Almost holding our collective breath, we anticipate those crisp frosty mornings when the sky is clear and cloudless. When you step outside to check the weather, you quickly come back in to grab your sweatshirt.
Squirrels are not fooled by this on-again, off-again weather. They scurry from field to tree to hiding place carrying walnuts and hickory nuts to store for the coming cold. The spiders are doing their usual fall weaving of webs in every nook and cranny of the porch. The cicadas have stopped their song. The night music of the crickets has slowed, and the frogs in the pond have made themselves scarce.
Each sunrise beams honey-colored light into my house, reaching farther and farther into the north-most corner. All the signs of fall are there.
This teasing has to end. And it will. Patience will have its reward. Finally, one morning, I will get up, go to my east-facing door and see that it has finally come. I will be glad, thinking, “Welcome fall. You are here at last.”