Fall has lingered this year, only a joy if you have enough time to get out and enjoy it. You have to take in these stolen moments as you can.
It’s the best season, especially when things dry out and the bugs finally go away. But that chill in the morning air carries some foreboding because it’s a reminder – almost subconscious but felt bone deep – that you know what is coming. It’s coming sooner than we might think, on its own terms and certainly not when it’s convenient.
I treasure the many joys of winter, though not the driving, shoveling or shivering. I’m sure I’ll be babbling like a loon when first snowfall comes, but right now I’m just not feeling it. Highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s get very comfortable.
I’ve spent one-quarter of the winters of my life in places with reasonably serious winters – southern Iowa, central Illinois, northern Minnesota – and I like to think that has revealed that I’m made of tougher stuff. Who am I kidding? I’m too old to sled, shoveling snow quickly loses its appeal, and grownups don’t get snow days.
I walk out into a warm late November evening and find it oddly comfortable. Why can’t fall just last? What’s the harm?
Well, you can have that if want to move to, oh I don’t know, San Diego. No thanks. I complain – it’s the human condition – but I can’t quite let go of the need for four seasons. So you have to live with your choices.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac – what a great racket – says we’re in for a dry, mild winter in this part of the country. Sure. Why not? The National Weather Service is even more vague: not too warm, not too cold, not too snowy, not too dry. OK, I’ll put a little more faith in that.
All of this is only of limited comfort. The simple fact is the icy days will come. The slushy days will come. We will grumble, endure, button up and maybe in an odd way convince ourselves that we kind of enjoy it. Maybe.
But for now each day of autumn is a gift, with a sunset and a chill wind that come too soon.
Follow Jeff Fox on Twitter: @FoxEJC