With the solstice this past week, I got to thinking about the seasons--about when and what they really are ... at least in these parts!
Everything from October 1 to December 31 is Christmas. All the holiday hoop-la including finding great yucky spider decorations all over the place since people mistakenly think they're appropriate for Hallowe'en. Having to hear Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Winter Wonderland wherever you go. Figuring out gifts once again (or trying for no-gifts-this-year) and who-goes-where for holiday dinners. And then sliding down into winter as the sun seems to set around 4:00, especially after the time change. The garden gets put to bed--the hoses brought in, outdoor faucets drained, garden furniture and flower pots tucked into the garage. The car gets winterized and its ice-deflecting wipers put on ... and I stick the car's snow shovel and kitty litter in back, not to take them out again until April. (The litter adds traction if I get stuck.)
January and February is The Brutal Time. Icy sidewalks that you have to treat with enormous respect. Blizzards. Deep penetrating cold. No making any appointments or lunch dates without the disclaimer "I'm not coming if it's snowing." (Which it often is.) The smell of the oil furnace permeating the house. Seeing that the front walk is cleared for the postman, especially after the town plow comes along filling in what I just shoveled. Taking drops of flower essences to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. The constant thought that I really should live someplace sunny and warm if it was also affordable.
March - May is The Time to Pick Yourself Up Again. Repair any winter damages. Get tax stuff organized. Do spring clean-up in the garden--move downed limbs, rake leaves, sticks, pine cones. Figure when to do errands so that I can make a left-hand turn into town without encountering the two rush hours plus parents off-loading and loading their school kids. And, just generally, feel that things are getting a little bit back to normal after that long haul!
June - September is The Happy Time ... which, incidentally, whizzes by. One day it's Memorial Day. Then a week or two later it's Labor Day. It's also Road and Bridge Construction Time. And the Noisy Season with the sound of power mowers echoing around town as well as hundreds of motorcycles on their way to (and then from) Motorcycle Week in New Hampshire. It's the time to actually make viable dates to see friends ... to go to weekly farmers markets and tag sales (also called yard sales) ... to eat fresh strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes ... even sit in a back yard with a glass of wine and chat with friends, neighbors, family. In other words, it's The Normal Time ... Time to Get Back to Business. It's also the time for humidity, thunderstorms, and occasional excessive heat when you need to be sure to carry a sweater with you to counter too-cold air conditioning.
Except, sorry to say, there's one drawback to summer which the man who runs the local wine store recently reminded me about. When it finally arrives, the days immediately start to get shorter as we then slide back down toward winter. And after working so hard to get here!