Winter on the Brain

School, the first concrete sign that fall approacheth, has started for me already, but it hasn’t yet for Virginia, and quite frankly, it’s still pretty summery around here. The weather’s warm and the leaves are green. The day after my in-service, I was back at the pool with Virginia and her pals, no sign that summer was in its last throes. Some of Virginia’s friends are still in day camp or on the tail end of vacation with their families.

But fall is around the corner—I can feel it. Pretty soon we’ll be in the thick of school and homework and after-school sports and music lessons. As the scents of sunscreen and grilled meats are replaced by apples and cinnamon, we’ll be scrambling to make/purchase Halloween costumes and bags of fun-sized candy. And once we start fretting about what we’re going to do for Thanksgiving, I will have finally given in and packed away any tank tops and shorts remaining in my bureau.

And then it’s the impending march toward the winter holidays. It’ll be mid-December when digging our car out of the snow and scraping the ice off the windows becomes our new normal. At least once, I’ll turn to Josh and say wistfully, “Doesn’t it seem like summer was just yesterday? I feel like I could have been sunning by the pool, like seconds ago.” It’s because summer is awesome and winter sucks. We miss summer. No one is wistful about winter. “Doesn’t it seem like yesterday we got caught in freezing rain?” Or, “It wasn’t too long ago that I missed my bus and had to walk home alone on a windy, frigid afternoon without gloves.” We endure winter. And now, at the end of August, I can already look ahead and dread winter. I dread winter when it’s perfect outside. When I’m still wearing skirts and sandals. When I can still buy a soft-serve vanilla cone from the ice-cream truck.

When we lived in L.A., Josh always complained that he missed the seasons. He hated that it was always summer in Southern California and said the lack of seasons made it hard for him to keep track of the passage of time. I think I’m exactly the opposite. I want summer all the time. I don’t find it boring. I also really don’t need the constant reminder that time is passing, especially if it comes in the form of snow and sleet. I grew up out west, and even with California’s more temperate weather, I never had trouble assembling my memories chronologically. But seasons is how it’s done in Philly, and I’ll be better off the sooner I can figure out how to roll with it. Otherwise, no matter the weather outside, in my head it’ll always be winter.

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