Monday, November 9, 2009

Indian Summer

Indian summer is a period of sunny, warm weather, late October, early November after the leaves have turned, in the Northern Hemisphere-that per Wikipedia.

Well, if you have never experienced this gift, I feel badly for you. We have had many days in a row and a few more expected of 60 degrees plus. Someone even mentioned yesterday that maybe this is our spring! We really had a lousy spring and summer, wet, cold, especially the weekends.

SH said that we are predicted to have an El Nino winter-milder than usual in the Northeast. That is so us we are the Northeast!

We did have an El Nino a few years back (well it must have been quite a few years back because SH and I were not married and I was drinking a glass of wine-not my MO now) and I remember sitting on the back steps on Christmas Eve in shirtsleeves! In WNY!!!!! Did you hear me singing that last sentence? Just the memory makes me happy and hopeful for some of the same. Let's meet here in April and we can talk and compare snow or lack-there-of stories..

Autumn is the time of year when we try to "GET READY" here in WNY. That term can vary from person to person, household to household.

Those dedicated to their yard work trim, cut back, mulch, cover bushes so the rabbits and deer don't find out that your burning bush tastes really good, and then there are pansies and bulbs to plant. The cars get winterized, the summer toys/bikes, hoses put away.

Some people fill the larder,
freezer and every nook and cranny with food, paper products,
pet food and anything you think you might need in case the big storm does come. The last few years, they may have added printer ink to that list! Some people make sure the snowblower will start, gas is ready, wood is ready, shovels are moved to the front of the garage, and one put on the porch (you need to get rid of a few feet of snow sometimes from the porch before you can do anything about the mess in the driveway-and sometimes you can only push the front door out only so far because the snow is so high-not often, but it happens here in the "snowbelt"), bottled water aplenty is in a non-freezing place, and generally we get everything ready to get warm and stay warm. Flannel sheets have been on the beds of many for at least a month. Some people take advantage of this kind of weather to put up Christmas lights and decorations. It is usually done on a weekend, when the weather is unusually warm-and you know you might not get another time, so it is not too uncommon to see Christmas Decorations in place before Thanksgiving. Hey, whatever, I don't pay their electric bill. Let their kids and grandkids talk to them about "going green", using less energy, smaller footprint, blah, blah.

I have done most of these things, with the variety changing as the years pass. This year I did nothing more than toss out hanging plants and pull up most of the annuals for my yard work. We had a project in the front that is still not completed, yard dug up, many bushes were moved, many plants lost completely in the process. I just decided what dies back and regrows does. Period. Next spring will be surprise after surprise to see what makes it.

SS and I ran the massive snowblower about a month ago to be sure it is ready when we are. I feel like such a wimp now, I cannot start the snowblower unless I use the electric start. The "easy start" operation apparently only applies to people under 60 without arthritis in their hands. I really look comical when I use the snowblower-it kind of drags me around the driveway, any speed it wants-I just have to hope when it is done, it leaves me near the steps. SS does most of the snow removal-he is really so good to us, but sometimes, we need to get it done before he is available, so I take out my typed up instructions, reminding me where the choke and other things are that I have to set properly to get it to do more than start and quickly stop. I use this time to practice new swear words also-my "Me" time that all the magazines stress that you must find time for.
Warm clothes, blankets are ready, new gloves bought in multiples for SGS-where do they go?
What is done is done.

So listen, the reason for this description of our usual Autumn activity is because, most people have done whatever they needed to do by now, and these are our bonus days-enjoying the mild weather, blue skies and generally just soaking up some pleasant sunshine-free vitamin D.

Wherever you are, I hope you can experience your own version of INDIAN SUMMER, even if it is just in your heart.

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