Monday, September 12, 2011

Fading Summer...

It’s that weird time of year where it’s not quite autumn but summer is starting to show signs of weariness. Two weeks ago, we were having 100 degree temperatures. Last week, the warm weather departed, leaving us with rainy, grey days that barely got above 70 degrees. This week is a happy medium. We’re supposed to be in the 80’s for the first part of the week and it’s supposed to be a little cooler for the weekend.

It’s a transition period. I find these are a little tricky. I have two wardrobes- a spring/summer and an autumn/winter one. Twice a year, I go through the ritual of changing out one wardrobe for another. It seems like just yesterday I was hanging up my capris and sleeveless shirts and putting away my thicker sweaters and darker clothing.

It seems too soon to switch the wardrobes. After all, technically, it’s still summer. It may be feeling a little autumnal out there but it’s not autumn. I love the treats of fall. I love pumpkins and squash, scarecrows, fallen leaves, leaf fires and chilly nights. However, I’m finding that I’m reluctant to jump in yet. It’s simply a little too early.

I think I’ve become fonder of summers since I moved back to a place that has seasons. I’ve written a couple of blogs about how summer is my least favourite season. This year, I’m not sure if I’ve just changed but I’ve enjoyed summer. I’ve enjoyed watching the herbs grow, the veggies ripen and sitting outside in the evenings. I’ve liked working on outdoor projects. It’s been fun.

This may be why I’m feeling a little defensive of summer every time I pass by a house that already has little scarecrows and autumn leaf flags adorning the garden. A couple of people have started their autumn displays of haybales and squash.

Even though summer was, once again, greedy this year and took over before spring was truly done, I still feel like that’s no excuse for turning our minds from the bright colours of summer and putting them towards the oranges, browns and reds of autumn. Not yet.

I know it’s a societal invention but I feel like until the calendar officially reads “first day of Autumn”, it’s not time to start celebrating the fall.

This is also true when it comes to wardrobe. I find that when I’m waking up and the mornings are chillier than they were two weeks ago, my tendency is to reach for autumn-esque clothing. I tend to leave a few pieces in my wardrobes that I consider ‘transitional’ attire. This is why I never put away my black, heeled, every day ankle boots that go nicely under my trousers nor do I put away my cardigan collection or my black trousers. With these items, it’s easy to find something to wear to work that utilizes parts of my summer wardrobe but lets me dress for the weather without completely having to changeover the wardrobe. This works well when winter is transitioning to spring too. I keep a couple of lighter coloured blouses unpacked so that I can wear them when the weather warms up.

It’s just hard to keep up with the seasons at the moment. The leaves are starting to look like they’re considering changing colour. A couple of trees in the neighbourhood appeared to have been fooled by the rainy, cold weather of last week and somehow managed to drop almost every leaf already leaving very little left to do in the autumn.

The dogs seem a little confused too. In the mornings, I let Rory and Sookie out and when it’s cooler, they stop and sniff the air instead of running full speed ahead into the garden as they’ve done all summer. They spend much more time outside too now the weather is cooler.

This is not necessarily a good thing. Last night, I went to check on them and couldn’t find them anywhere. Instead of panicking, I guessed that they had finally succeeded on their latest mission: Find a Way Under the Toolshed.

This is not the first time the girls have had this mission. Last time they succeeded, I barricaded all of the possible entrances to Under the Tool Shed using a combination of wood planks, pavers and bricks. I was successful. However, when dealing with two completely obsessed dachshunds who simply MUST GET TO WHATEVER SMELL IS WAFTING UP FROM UNDER THERE, there appears to be no 100% surefire way to prevent them from going under the shed.

Thus, when they vanished last night, I calmly went behind the shed. Sure enough, the wood planks had been fried loose enough to allow a gap big enough for my girls to wriggle through. I knocked on the side of the shed and firmly summoned my dogs back up to the surface. A few minutes later, both dogs emerged, bright eyed, laced with cobwebs with their tails wagging furiously. It was quite obvious that they knew they had Been Up To No Good but they were still too high from the adrenaline to care that their ‘mother’ was angry with them.

I quickly boarded up the gap and made sure that it was pup-proofed. Shortly after trying unsuccessfully to get back under the shed, the dogs followed me inside, dejected but also knowing they were in a spot of trouble. I told them off and they spent the rest of the evening trying to get cuddles which is what they do when they know I’m cross with them and they want to suck up. Of course, after my initial annoyance at their misbehavior wears off, I give in.

I’m hoping that this is not a sign of autumn antics to come. While I’m not fond of them going under the shed, I’d rather they disappeared under there than, say, under the fence or gate. At least its controlled chaos. I do worry a little that when they emerge, they’ll have some creature in their mouth but, so far, they haven’t caught anything.

Still, even though I’ve controlled their chaos, the cooler evenings and days mean that I’ll have to keep an eye on my wayward pups. With the sluggish heat of summer, they tend to be a little less active. When it’s nice outside, they stay out there and it only takes a short time for Rory Gilmore to Get Up to No Good.

I’m sure as summer really fades and gives way to actual autumn, there will be plenty more antics going on in my backyard. The squirrels already seem to be up to their evil plots. They always seem to increase in number in autumn so I’m gearing up for many a walk spent trying to prevent the girls from chasing them up trees.

In the meantime, I’m going to attempt to hold onto the last days of summer before the weather really cools down and avoid the lure of pumpkin, spices and autumn leaves. Of course, if it really gets as cold at night as they’re saying- 42 degrees, I may change my mind. We’ll see how it goes.

Happy Tuesday!

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