I love fall…it’s my very favorite season. The different path the sun takes. Waking up early and finding that the sun is already peeping over the horizon. Sitting in my little writing haven and enjoying the new shadows that are playing amongst the trees. Watching the leaves swirl in the wind. I just wish that the temperature stayed down in the cooler range rather than racing up to the 80’s and sometimes 90’s during the day and back down to the 40’s and 50’s at night so that we have to run the heat in the morning, A/C in the afternoon and heat again at night. Then we’ll have a few cooler days and nights but return to the warmer days much too soon. That will usually last until mid-November. I just wish that I lived somewhere that was more colorful than a Texas fall. I like to joke that Texas has 2 seasons…hot and not so hot. I’ve spent more than a few Thanksgivings and Christmases in shorts. We’ve had freezing temperatures with sleet and snow one week and then 90 degree days the next week. I’ve played outside in shorts then later in the day, watched it snow. Texas weather is a complete dichotomy during the fall and winter. Maybe that’s why I love it…it’s unpredictable. Summer is like one endless sweltering hot day that feels as though it will never end. Spring is a bit like fall in that it is also unpredictable with the storms and fluctuating temperatures. Actually, the storms aren’t completely unpredictable. You can usually feel them coming…especially the really bad ones. The barometric pressure drops. The wind picks up and starts whipping around. The sky darkens and then begins to turn green…that’s when you need to start getting concerned. Then there’s hail…you need to get really worried. The wind picks up even more and it’s swirling the leaves and loose objects around and the sirens begin to sound…it’s time to head for an interior bathroom or closet. Sometimes that’s as bad as it gets but other times it’s much much worse. I’ve watched the debris on one side of the road blow east while the debris on the other side of the road blew west. I’ve been caught on a bridge in traffic while a tornado was on the ground very close by and felt my little Accord being pushed toward the side of the bridge by the outflow from the tornado. I’ve been caught in traffic at night while tornadoes were touching down all around me and the hail was so large and coming down so hard that it sounded like 100 sledgehammers were pounding on my car and I was sure I’d die that night. I have a lot of stories like that because this is Texas and I’ve lived here all my life. I remember as a child, we were going to visit my aunt and uncle in the country and the weather suddenly turned bad and I watched 2 small tornadoes traveling the same direction as we were out in the freshly planted fields alongside the road. Usually, these storms are one and done but other times they come in waves over a week’s time. Once in August, every single night for a week, the sirens would sound around 11:00pm. At first, I worried and stayed up but then I just decided that a tornado might or might not hit my house but there was very little that I could do about it so I just went to sleep. I love thunder and lightning and the wind howling and rain blowing against the house. That will rock me to sleep like a lullaby. My mom was terrified of storms and she had a habit of calling at the height of the storm and when I answered, she’d scream at me for answering the landline while there was so much lightning around because she was convinced by doing that I’d be electrocuted. She didn’t see the irony in the fact that she was also on the phone and that she was the very reason that I was on the phone. I miss my mom. Yesterday it was 81°, today it’s 72° but tomorrow it will be 63° and over the next week, the temperature bounces up and down. Dress for fall in the morning, then summer in the afternoon and winter at night. In Texas, we’ve learned the importance of layering our clothing for just that reason. And we’ve also learned to check the weather apps for the hourly temperatures the next day so that we know if there’s going to be a temperature drop or spike. I always feel sorry for people that have just moved to the area and haven’t learned how to navigate our seasons and weather. There is a definite learning curve. Well, I suppose that’s enough rambling for today. I don’t really know what brought it on but it just felt like a good day for it.
“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus