The solar lights don’t last as long, nor do I. As darkness exceeds daylight, neither they nor I ever feel fully recharged as the days begin. We want to sleep and dream of re-energizing summer days. The dog logs freeze and then thaw and freeze then thaw as does Milo’s dog walker. The leafy color was brutally brief this year. Most trees went straight from green to brown. They dropped their leaves like they were being forced to at gunpoint. Unattended sprinkler systems produced ice cycles where they once left puddles.
We need more seasons to adequately define what’s going on socially and climatically. I have previously written about “sprinter” the confluence of spring and winter. The one upon us now is “falter,” the commingling of fall and winter. It’s officially “falter; the season that does not lend itself to celebrations. Even winter pray-for-snow zealots are caught in the middle. There’s not much to celebrate.
You probably forgot to drain the gas from the snow blower, and you will just as likely forget to drain the gas from the lawn mower because you keep thinking you might use them both in the same week. Pipes will freeze in campers and cabins throughout the county because of misplaced optimism.
This is the time of year when everybody remembers what a bad idea daylight savings time is, but it’s too late to get its abolition on the legislative docket. How can you call it “savings time” when you just lost an hour of your after-work relaxation time? Builders, roofers, and tree killers work frantically to beat the snow. If you are ambitious, you get the leaves taken care of before they become a slick frozen blob in your yard and rain gutters.
In falter I go into Gardeners’ Market withdrawal. I’m in denial as I shuffle through the produce section of Smith’s while holding a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito. I wonder where all the dogs and Jehovah’s Witness stands are.
My light-deprived days make me spiteful. I think about flying my drone over all the corn mazes and posting photographic spoiler maps on social media. I complain more than usual. Will Center Street be done in time for Christmas … of this year? I ponder: How many more Costa Vida and Café Rio type places do we need? Will the orange cones ever go away? Will there soon be a Maverik inside another Maverik? Why are there no gas pumps at Maverik Stadium? Does anybody really know what Chicago pizza is, and could I get a side of Mayor Daley bread sticks with a Blues Brothers brew to wash that down?
I do sort of like being warm and cozy inside, but so does every other living thing. Mice and all manner of varmints try to get in our house. I’ve already snap-trapped half a dozen mice and set a live trap for some bigger somethings that have been rattling around our air ducts this falter. If the trap is successful, we are going to humanely release it in your neighborhood. FYI: it seems to like apples, garlic cloves and Milk-Bone dog treats.
Of course, falter is not all bad. It is the prelude to extreme seasonal home décor. The guy on the corner of 10th North and 15th East wins Halloween every year. I can only aspire. Like my favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, there is always next year.
Dennis Hinkamp recommends the soothing tones of “California Dreamin’” All the leaves are brown and the skies are gray — Mommas and Papas