Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Daughter Summer

Isn’t this the saddest little flower you’ve ever seen? Kind of reflects my inner life when I think about what day it is. The last day of August. The last day. Indian summer officially starts tomorrow, and frankly it feels like it has started today. I’m on the back porch in a sweater because the breeze is a little chilly. The light golden and the sun more tentatively warm than full on hot. I wish I were filled with breathless excitement over the new season about to come upon me. Admittedly, autumn is sweet here, lovely sunny warm days with a subtext of coolness; fog in the mornings and crisp nights. We do get snow in late October and fourteen years ago we had over three feet of snow in late September. It was freakishly early so we were all in our shorts and sweat shirts by the next week. I have absolutely no romantic memories of that storm because it was Hell when it happened; the snow was so heavy it blew up the electric transformers in our end of Stepford Knolls and we didn’t have power for four days; which was especially fun with a six year old and a two year old. No school for the oldest, the school was in the ‘hood and without power as well. Looking back, I’m not sure how I entertained the little monsters dears. I know I used a ton of babysitting co-op hours so they could hang at friends’ houses that did have power and they spent a lot of time bundled up, playing in the snow. I didn’t go as far as David Sedaris’ mother who locked her kids outside and watched them from the warm kitchen while drinking from a coffee mug of gin. My kitchen wasn’t warm and I’m pretty sure we didn’t have any gin so that plan wasn’t viable at my house. I did weep at the kitchen table because I was losing hundreds of dollars of groceries we could ill afford to lose that fall.

And the first snow always comes as such a terrible surprise. Like I’ve just discovered I live in a climate where it stands every chance of snowing from October until May. Always, without fail, I am all “WTF???” when snow is predicted. In fact, my reaction to snow is more predictable than actually getting snow. I’m never prepared, don’t know where my boots are or gloves…the Beav and Wally don’t have coats that fit them properly so I’m one of those Anti-Uber Moms at the store snatching up jackets while my kids are shivering in the car or at home waiting for me to return with their jackets so they can leave the house. Last year, if you recall, I was the wild-eyed lady who almost crashed her car getting to the tire store on October 28th when we had our first big snow. God was looking out after me because the tires came in under budget and I didn’t kill anyone on the way to the tire store. That sort of blessing bears remembering.

This fall, I have promised myself to just Woman up and have the gloves, hats, boots and jackets ready for winter before she knocks me down like a playground bully. In the meantime, today I will be cutting flowers and deadheading the spent blossoms, beating down weeds and fretting over still green tomatoes. I’ve also scheduled in a session of reading in the sun gather the last bits of Vitamin D before I become like Persephone and pine for my lost daughter and favorite child named Summer.

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