Fall - Why This Ain't Necessarily It, Chief

The breeze that kicked up outside my front door Friday morning signaled the end of summer. I noticed the hint of a chill as the air washed over me when I took my coffee out to the stoop.

While sipping from the mug in my hands, I noted leaves on the ground across the street. The breeze had worked some of them loose from a tree that's situated at the back corner of my neighbor's home. They are now splayed lifeless on the roof and have spilled onto the ground at the tree's foot. 

Until now, I never really thought about how quickly leaves turn brown when they are cutoff from the source that kept them vibrantly green and alive through a long, hot summer. Soon, they will be so dry they will crumble at the touch. Those that don't disintegrate naturally will likely get chewed up by lawn mowers while the grass is still growing. The rest will eventually get bagged and carried off by city workers whose job is to help keep our neighborhoods tidy.

The autumnal equinox is Saturday at 9:54pm ET, giving us a span of 24 hours that features light and dark in mostly equal measure. After that, the days in the Northern Hemisphere get shorter and temperatures get cooler, marking the beginning of fall.

I'm looking forward to the change in weather. I'm tired of having to cool my house, and frankly, my wallet is, too. After all, I've got a kid in college and another planning to go next school year.

Besides saving money on air conditioning, I'm also anticipating being able to wear actual clothes, again - not that I went buck naked all summer, although there were certainly times when I would not have minded a little public nudity, for the sake of comfort, of course. But right now, I'm ready for sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans and boots.

With the change of seasons, walking our Big Dog Rodney won't be as much of a trial. The blazing hot summer sun made our afternoon jaunt a chore to suffer through. Rodney's tongue hung low almost as soon as we went outside. And as soon as we got back, he sought water and an air conditioning vent to cool down.

Our summer walks were necessarily short - just long enough for a bathroom break, really. Soon, however, we should be able to resume our customary mile-long constitutional through the whole of the neighborhood. At the very least, Rodney will have more time to decide on a comfortable place to poop. He's finicky. He prefers the more immaculate lawns that the heat kept us from.

But mostly, I'm looking forward to it being cool enough to put up my lawn mower for the season. It's old and rickety. And, it's had to work extra hard what with all the rain that's fallen this summer. I sort of feel sorry for it.

I'd feel even worse if I actually took pleasure in using it.

I'd much rather spend my time writing this drivel and watching "Star Trek" from the comfort of my favorite recliner, than face the drudgery of mowing the lawn.

Too bad the onset of autumn does not necessarily mean the grass stops growing. I'm afraid I might have to wait for winter for that to happen.

An Internet meme my college son and his friends have been using on Twitter seems to apply here:

"This ain't it, Chief."

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