Sunrise. August 4th. As I watched the sun slowly coming over the trees, there were faint wisps of nearly invisible, high clouds drifting ever so slowly to the east. I noticed the leaves were still on the trees, a robin was singing while its mate scrounged the damp grass for worms and grubs.
There was not even the slightest tinge of frost on the window. Curious! The back door was open all night so the cats could relax on the screened-in porch. Crickets were chirping. And yet I know Winter is just around the corner.
How do I know?
Because it’s Freakin’ Football Training Camp time and we still have 2 months of Boring Baseball plus the playoffs and World Series to be played out in… November? Ruth, Cobb and company must be spinning in their dugouts!
We wait all Winter for the warm days of Spring but they pass much too quickly. Just about the time we get settled in to comfortably decent, enjoyable weather, Summer comes. But more importantly, before we can even enjoy July 4th, the fools on TV start telling us it’s only so many days until Football Training Camp! Get your Coors Light, foam fingers and stadium seat-warmers. Good Gawd! Got your snow shovels yet? Don’t get caught without them! And make sure you have a supply of rock salt for your walkway!
The solstice occurs late June and that heralds the end! You may think Summer’s just begun but you’d be wrong. Alas! Sol starts his inexorable journey south making way for Old Man Winter. In no time at all, we start seeing hints of what’s coming. Summer isn’t even off to a month's start but the harbinger of Winter is inevitable – Football Training Camp!
Yeah, yeah! Football connotes cool Autumn afternoons, colorful falling leaves and carving pumpkins...for about a month and a half. But it really means Winter is just about here. It’s summer or so they say. If you’re not already getting storm windows cleaned, making sure the snow tires are ready, piling firewood behind the house, buying yarn and books for those nights with your loved one sitting beside a roaring fire, you’re at least thinking about them.
Winter’s many days or months away you say? Phooey! That’s no time at all. Time isn’t absolute. Einstein was right. As we age, time moves faster. The scientists just haven’t released the proof to the public yet. Too traumatic for us oldsters! It’s just that we never noticed it flying so quickly when we were younger.
We all “know” that Winter lasts about 300 days but Spring, Summer and Autumn share only about 20 of what’s left of those precious days (the few extra are holidays).
Football was supposed to be an Autumn sport but adding games has dragged it out nearly to Spring what with the StuporBowl. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you if you mention Football, they'll think of Winter. And Winter comes much too early!
I like Football. I like Autumn. I don’t even mind the season’s first snows, they’re beautiful…until after the holidays, then the stuff gets old real quick! Our Congress can legislate anything (with the help of SCOTUS) so why can’t they make snow after January 1st illegal? An amendment at least?
Then there’s that interminable wait for the first Robin we doubt will ever come while we bitch about long cold nights, heating bills, roads never cleared and Seasonal Affective Disorder!
We rush through life prisoners of the television and newspaper (remember them?) advertising business. Already, Winter clothes are on the shelves. By December, they’re stocking bikinis. One local store has Halloween items out now! It’s Freakin’ August 4th! Next week, they’ll probably stock cornucopias and Currier and Ives prints!
We no longer live for today, we live for the next season or holiday. We’ve been pushed that way by business and we accept it because we’re too dumb to say no...enough…stop and let us take a breath!
You people on the Left Coast, Southwest and Deep South, ignore this (you live in one season that changes only in degree of hot).
For those of us who despise Winter though, Global Warming can’t come soon enough.
Yeah, Football Training Camp means Winter's just around the corner, like it or not.
However, there is ONE redeeming virtue to be found during those cold snowy nights:
HOCKEY! HE SHOOTS…AND SCORES!
Almost makes Winter tolerable!