Wednesday, August 22, 2007

So It Begins ....

There's always one telltale sign in our back yard that fall is on the way. It's not the autumn crocus or the hardy amaryllis, but the lowest branches of the American sycamore that signal the turn of the seasons.
So far it hasn't been the warmest summer on record. In fact, I will be surprised if this September - usually a warm month - is any better.
Why, land's sake, I can remember in the '60s wearing a new wool skirt or a hard earned sweater (my own money, picking strawberries and beans) when school began in September and regretting it because the weather was so hot. Nowadays, there are many times I have worn sweaters this July and August, and not only because of air conditioning inside.
In the Oregon of my youth the summer days seemed warm and long. As I walked through fields of dry grass, the grasshoppers, with their brightly colored wings, fanned out from all around me. Now, I haven't seen a grasshopper in so long, I really wonder if Mother Nature makes them any more.
The summers were warm and my sister and I slept in a small bedroom upstairs where all the heat went during the day. We would gather around the one window that could be opened about 10 inches, because that was the size of the only little screen we had. That was our sole protection from the mosquitoes that could detect the scent of us from miles away. It was torture to lie there in the darkness and hear them whining away. So sleepy ... but we didn't want to doze in case one started drilling.
A rolled up newspaper came in handy, and eventually my sister would screw in the light bulb in the ceiling (the only way to turn it on or off) and start thwacking away at the bugs that alighted on the ceiling - trying in their obscure way to hide from us.
The light bulb in the ceiling: Ah! It's been a couple of years since I thought of that. What great arguments we used to have over whose turn it was to shut it off. It was usually so hot we had to put a sock or something else over our hand so we could touch it and (literally) "turn" it off.
Of course, thwacking mosquitoes on the ceiling and fighting about the light usually only brought a shout from downstairs. "You kids go to sleep! Right now!"
Well, I've come a ways from leaves turning color. What's it like where you live? How do you know fall is coming? I'd like to know. - femminismo

1 comment:

John said...

Great story Jeanne. I can almost feel the sting of the mosquito's bite. I can also picture your house in Cherry Grove and hear your father's voice telling you girls to be quiet. Ahhh...the memories.

You ask how we tell fall is quickly approaching where we are? SNOW!, that's how!