By Dobie Maxwell – www.dobiemaxwell.com
Yesterday evening right after a delicious dinner – probably about 6:30ish or so – I unmistakably ‘felt it’. I hoped it wasn’t what I’d thought it was, but there was no doubt. As soon as I felt it, I knew exactly what it was and my blood ran cold. The pleasantness of my meal quickly faded into ancient history, and all kinds of frightening thoughts entered my head instead. Fall was in the air.
Those of us who live in a climate where four seasons occur all have that innate inner ability to sense when summer fun is bowing out and fall is sneaking up behind us like an unmarked police car. Before we know it, the lights and sirens are blaring and full blown winter has captured us all.
As I get older, I’ve learned to become extra sensitive to knowing when the change is happening and I can’t help feeling like one of those goldfish they give away in baggies as prizes for winning a hoop toss game at the carnival. There’s always a pinhole in the bag, and all the water leaks out.
The fish swims around in ignorant bliss for a little while not realizing the water is getting less and less, but after a while there’s nothing left to swim in and the game is over. Most of those fish don’t even make it as far as the car, and end up getting flushed away at the carnival’s commode.
That’s what the seasonal change process feels like to me. We’re all swimming around enjoying the bliss of summer, but in the back of our heads we all know winter is eventually going to come roaring back and turn us all into human popsicles. We may be having fun now – but not for long.
I don’t hate winter itself, but the process of getting there can take the wind out of anyone’s sail. Gradual temperature drops and constantly shortening amounts of daily sunshine let us know that we’ll soon be needing all those heavy clothes we packed away not that long ago. Oh, it’s coming.
This is kind of like the aging process. That first grey hair or wrinkle hurts the most, but it gets a lot easier after that and eventually it’s not a big deal. Someone in their 90s doesn’t worry about a lot of things much younger people do. At some point, a person just becomes grateful to be alive.
I’m afraid I’m not quite there yet unfortunately. Hopefully, I’ve still got a little summer fun left not only this year, but in my life. I know the calendar says we’re only a couple of days from fall but it sure would be nice to go right back into spring after that and start up the fun all over again.
I guess this is just part of life in this part of the world. I love living in Lake County, but winters can get a little old after a while. But what part of the country doesn’t have some significant flaw? California has earthquakes, and the Gulf Coast has hurricanes. Texas and the Wheat Belt are full of tornadoes and a lack of scenery. No matter where any of us reside, there’s always something.
I’ve been all over North America too many times to count, and out of all the places I’ve visited I’ve chosen Lake County, IL to be my home. If I have to shovel a little snow and scrape some ice off of my windshield a few months a year, so be it. The benefits by far make up for the hassles.