Here in Southeast Michigan, this week of wonderful weather finds us with nothing to grouse about pertaining to Mother Nature (unless of course you got drenched while trick-or-treating on Saturday night).
We’ve had three days running of record-breaking temps, blue skies and sun galore.
While the leaves are cascading down around us and the calendar states that it is indeed Fall, don’t let those bare-looking trees fool you as they belie this mini heat wave which sure feels like a September, not November, day.
Right now, we are lucky enough to have our seasons bundled together. How so? Well, it feels like Summer, we know it is Fall and the holiday hoopla we associate with Winter has already begun. WNIC, a local radio station, began broadcasting Christmas music 24/7 on Monday. Yesterday, a beautiful 60-foot tall Norway Spruce found its way to Campus Martius where it will be adorned with three miles of twinkling lights in anticipation of the November 20th tree-lighting ceremony. Hines Drive has been closed for weeks so workers can put up the annual light display.
On my walk this morning, I noted that the same homeowner who was the first to put up the Halloween decorations, had a Christmas tree in his front room window. Down the block, another home featured icicle lights, reindeer and snowmen … the latter two didn’t know how to act in our warmish temps. Even the previews of the Black Friday shopping ads have already been circulated.
The picture above was taken in Elizabeth Park by my friend and neighbor Marge Aubin. She forwarded it to me and commented on my recent post about the leaves swirling around. She remarked that someone in the neighborhood was burning leaves and for a moment she was transported back in time to when she was young, and, while the leaves were burning, the kids had potatoes cooking in the fire. Marge wondered if kids do that now and I suspect they get their tater off the BBQ or out of the microwave. They probably don’t sit around that pile of burning leaves mesmerized by the flames or the crackling sound as the leaves shrivel up. I think today’s youngsters live at a faster pace than we ever did.
While walking this morning, I thought of Marge’s statement, which got me thinking about how adults perceive the seasons as opposed to when we were kids. As children we didn’t really associate the falling leaves as a prelude to Winter, nor were we exasperated by the endless amount of yard work that Fall brought: mowing, putting the yard to bed or the endless raking and bagging of leaves; we only wanted to run and jump in the leaves, giggling as their crispy edges tickled our noses. We didn’t associate the importance of harvest time and Thanksgiving traditions; we only anticipated Halloween for the chance to change our identity for the evening and gather goodies. Wintertime was not be dreaded for the ice and snow and treacherous driving, but it was a chance to make snow angels, build snowmen or go sledding with our friends. None of the tedium of the Winter season was part of a kid’s agenda. Spring was a time to play outside with our friends again, not be bogged down with yardwork as everything greens up and grows out of control. Summer was our time to recover from the rigors of learning the three Rs, so we played outside with our pals from dawn to dusk with nary a care in the world.
How long ago those carefree days of youth seem now.
As to our weather – well, it will turn the corner tonight and rain will spoil tomorrow’s walk for me. But there is always the next day to enjoy one or more of the four seasons, because we are “Pure Michigan”.