I sailed through Walgreen’s last Sunday looking for some Chloraseptic for Sissy, turned the corner and came to a sudden halt. “That is NOT a Halloween costume, is it,” I barked to the shopper with the bad haircut. “Uh, yes,” she said, eying me warily. “Pfft! Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” I mouthed. Deflated, I turned and headed toward the cold and flu aisle feeling fifty pounds heavier. I can’t believe it. It’s gonna happen again, isn’t it? Summer is going to end.
It started about two weeks ago. I stepped outside and caught that telltale whiff in the air, that smell of drying leaves preparing to drop from the trees. It was barely noticeable, but it was there. Sure enough, two days later the walnut tree started hurling its little leaves into the pool, beginning their annual August battle with the filter. Pretty soon other signs quietly started popping everywhere, slipping up on me like snakes in the grass. A few fall items replaced school supplies in the seasonal aisle at Wal-Mart. High school football scrimmages started last weekend. I bumped into a short stack of Halloween candy at the grocery store, and a buzz through Sam’s Wholesale Club yesterday brought me face to face with an inflatable vampire dancing to the music from Halloween. Fall is on its way, and is rushing in ahead of its time. Well, I have just one thing to say about that, “Wait, just a dadgum minute! I have 26 more days of summer, buster. 26! And I’m going to savor every last one of them. Take your cool weather, chili lovin’ self right back where you came from and stay there until September 22nd. Don’t come back a minute sooner! I mean it. Don’t make me stop this car ‘cause it won’t be pretty!”
I know most folks love it when fall rolls around. They like the relief from the summer heat. The leaves are pretty, and high school sports kick in again. They’re energized by the change in seasons. I’m not one of those folks. I mourn summer’s passing. I hate turning loose of the flip flops and shorts…and the sun, glorious sun. Fall means jackets and jeans, rain, less daylight and the promise of winter gloom. No more burning heat on my face. No more barefoot walks in the yard. No more long days that give way to lightning bugs and hummingbirds. No more watermelon or homegrown tomatoes. No more roller coaster rides or days by the pool. No more ice cream cones in the shade or Jimmy Buffett concerts. Gone. All gone. For another year. Another long year. Eight months of having to wear a coat or at least planning ahead before going outside. Eight months of unpredictable weather and gray skies. Eight stinkin’ months. Sigh. Oh, I’ll get through it. I always do, even though it gets tougher each year. I’ll manage somehow. I always do. Don’t worry about me. Go ahead you autumn lovers. Live it up, but not for 26 more days. Those days are mine, dang it, and I’m going to enjoy every last one of them. I will swim as much as possible, eat all the tomatoes I can stuff down my throat and sweat my fanny off in the heat. I will hold my head high and forge past your Halloween displays and leaf covered tablecloths in my flip flops and tank tops, right to the summer clearance bins where I can stock up on $2 beach towels and $1 sandals…for next year. Hrump! Take that, autumn!!
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