Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Summer in October?

Who screwed up the seasons this year?  Winter, forecast to be a fairly mild season, was extremely harsh ~ bitterly cold with wind-blown blizzards, frigid temperatures and hazardous road conditions.  Then Spring, I believe should be called Spr-ummer!  Last year it was forecast that 2014 summer would be long, hot and humid...well, June  complied.  But, Mother Nature handed us storms of  booming thunder, flashing lightning, tons of rain (the latter a devastating flooding...the worst in decades...Burlington was inflicted with atrocious damage with literally reconstruction costs running into the millions of dollars!).

Now to be kind, Mother Nature has favoured us with sunny days and cool evenings.  In the eve of September, Major League Baseball is drawing to a close, Canadian and the National Football Leagues are in full swing.  The grass is lushingly green...autumn flowers in gorgeous bloom...woodland trails ever so inviting...local waterfalls gushing with cascades...and country roads lure us to  travel.  For what more could we ask?  The season is now Indian Summer...defined as a period of mild, dry weather, usually accompanied by a hazy atmosphere occurring in late September, October to early November.

'Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone.
(by Thomas Moore written in 1830)

Say Goodby to Summer
(Excerpts from an article written by Paul Benedetti ~
a Hamilton resident and former Spectator reporter,
teaches Journalism at the University of Western Ontario)

Let's face it: summer is over.
Like most people, I try desperately to hang on to summer, hoping for one more warm day, one more clear blue sky, one more excuse to have a cold 'summer beer' after work.  A government official whose whole job is is to watch a giant Season Clock in his office sounded an alarm and then sent an e-mail to every civil servant to STOP WEARING WHITE TO WORK!  Autumn means shorter and shorter days, colder and colder temperatures and the really frightening realization that Christmas mall music is only weeks away.
I know it's summer when:
My dry, brown, dead grass miraculously springs back to life and turns green for a brief fleeting moment. My front lawn is essentially a dusty wasteland through July and August, so this week or two of green is one of the world's many miracles. 

You reluctantly, but finally close the cottage.  You have to clean out the fridge (that's either a head of broccoli or a bowl of egg salad), shutter the windows and drain the toilets.  As you drive away, you think back fondly on the two weekends you actually managed to stay at the cottage and realize your per night cost was $1,493, not counting tax.  You weep!

Your neighbour, whom we will call Dave, comes down to inform you that, “There are leaves collecting on your lawn.”  “Yes, Dave,” I say, “that's the wonder of nature.  The cooler weather signals the tree to prepare for winter and the green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves.”  Dave retorts, “Yeah, whatever, but that mess is going to blow down the street onto my lawn. Clean it up.”

Finally, there is the issue of shorts.  This is the complex matter of deciding when it's no longer reasonable to wear the pants of summer...shorts.  He begins wearing shorts (excluding work because 'the shop guys whistle at my legs') on Easter Weekend.  And he never takes them off.  “All right -thinking-people know that you stop wearing shorts on American Thanksgiving ~ snowfall depending,” he says.  But Dave delivers it with conviction, often with a Manhattan in hand.

I appreciate Dave's one-man-campaign to extend summer.  His never-say-die approach inspires me.  It also keeps him barbecuing into December  and insisting  his family dine outside in the snow.

If  you see him around this fall, say Hi.  You can't miss him.  He'll be the only guy in Fortinos with yellow shorts...and blue legs.

Indian Summer
(written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
He was an American poet and educator and author whose works include 'Paul Revere's Ride, The Song of Hiawatha, Evangeline’...and many philosophic quotes:  e.g.
The best thing one can do when it rains...is to let it rain.
In each life, some rain must fall.
Music is the universal language of mankind.

It is the Indian Summer.  The rising sun blazes through the misty air like a conflagration.  A yellowish, smoky haze fills the atmosphere...and a filmy mist lies like a silver lining on the sky.  The wind is soft and low.  It wafts to the odour of forest leaves that hang wilted on the dripping branches...or drop into the stream.  Their gorgeous tints are gone, as if the autumnal rains had washed them out.  Orange, yellow and scarlet, all are changed to one melancholy russet hue.  The birds, too, have taken wing and have left their roofless dwellings. Not the whistle of a robin, not the twitter of an eavesdropping swallow, not the carol of one sweet, familiar voice.  All gone.  Only the dismal caring of a crow, as he sits and curses that the harvest is over; or the chit-chat of an idle squirrel…the noisy denizen of a hollow tree...the mendicant friar of a large parish... the absolute monarch of a dozen acorns.

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted September 26, 2014
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