It's the time of year where
the grass turns brown and crunches under bare feet. The bushes are
wilted, sagging from the heat and lack of rain. Even the mighty Willows,
which are weepy-looking anyway, look tired. It seems that everything is
laboring under the heat and gasping for water.
I always think of September
as the turning point of the summer heat. It is the start of the new
quarter on our calendar and we are now only four months away from Christmas,
and that puts winter in my mind. That should mean that the weather will
now change and that glorious season of fall will be here. Right?
Every year I am tricked by
turning the page to September. I am so ready to stop sweating that I
expect the leaves to start their brilliant fall show any minute. But as
the heat drags on well into September, I remember just how bad my memory
is: September is mostly hot!When I was young, the approach of September
meant going school clothes shopping. Remember that? All the racks
were lined with the fall styles and fall looks way too early: boots,
pants, sweaters, long-sleeved tops. Of course it was still summer when
mom dragged all five of us down to the store to shop for new clothes, so we
were sweating in the store, sticking to all the wool and long sleeves and
shoes. It seemed almost cruel. None of us were excited about the
new clothes yet, and mom was frustrated that she couldn't get us to like this
shopping trip with even the bribe of new clothes. We all had to wait
while the other siblings tried their clothes on, changed out for the right
size, run for different color, etc. Those were tortuous trips for
me. To this day, I don't try on clothes in a department store.
when the first day of school came, it finally got exciting. Those new
clothes came out of the closet and off we went to school!
summer I met up with some school chums and we all laughed over those 'first
days' of school, because we all wore our finery at the cost of heat
stroke. One of my friends said that her mother had gently suggested that
she wait a week or two to wear the real fall clothes. We all laughed,
because we are all parents now and know that there is no getting a teenage girl
to listen when it comes to fashion. One of my friends reminded us of our
first day in high school. Our first day of school was always the Tuesday
after Labor Day (shows how old I am: back then we started school AFTER Labor
Day, not in the middle of summer like they do now). And there she went,
off to school in her new fall wardrobe: wool plaid slacks and
long-sleeved matching sweater in 90 degree heat! Still sweating and
sticking!! We roared with laughter because we all remember it!
farm, everything is sagging and sad looking. Irrigation has picked up,
but when the earth is this dry it is like trying to wet a sponge:
it keeps soaking it up with no clear effect. Our bees are still working
but even they have slowed down, not producing much honey. The dog still
runs through the field but comes back more quickly now, trying to find a cool
spot of tile in the cool house. The thermometer showed 115 yesterday as
we came into the house, which made me feel less like a wimp for feeling so beat
working out in the heat, but no better for knowing how hot it actually was.
first thing people talk about when they meet each other is the heat. The
second thing is the weather forecast. And like all the plants, people
seem wilted and tired at this time of year. People are still
working: the corn is still being harvested, hay is still being loaded and
hauled, the tractors are all still out moving and working. But it's like
watching a video set just a tad slower than normal speed.
I am over half-a-century old, you would think that I would not be delusional
about something that happens every single year, year after year. You
would think that after more than fifty years of summer-to-fall transitions, I
would remember that September is not the first month of fall, but the very last
breath of summer. I think that it's just hope of change, not true
the fall finally does come, we all will be rejoicing in the cooler
weather. We will feel like getting out to all the fall fairs and harvest
festivals. I know that when winter is finally here and has us in it's icy
grip, I will be wishing for the hot weather, but right now I am tired of being
a puddle of sweat.
- Maura White grew up on the Pacific Coast in a sleepy beach town and
has lived all over the country, as well as in Asia. What a change it
was for her to move to the country and she uses humor to help her make the adjustment. She and her
husband are working to make their farm, Double Star Bar Farms, a
successful family farm. She keeps busy with her stained glass business,
which you can check out at www.southernstainedglass.com. You can read more of her stories at whitem4.wordpress.com. She keeps saying “You can take the girl away from
the ocean, but you can’t take the ocean out of the girl!” Copyright © 2011, Maura White. All rights reserved.