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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Summer's last hurrah!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hi neighbors. Another Labor Day is upon us! Where did the summer go?

If the last week means anything, we might as well start packing up all of our "summer stuff" early. It looks like another year where summer will simply "fall" into winter with no autumn to speak of.

Pack up the charcoal and break out the parkas!

Maybe this weekend will allow one last hurrah for summer. Go fishing! Take a hike. See a ball game. Ride a horse. And my favorite sport, visit a cemetery.

If it doesn't rain you could use that backyard hammock one more time. Sit on the porch or deck and drink your coffee.

All you "yard-a-holics" out there can pull weeds, trim bushes and mow to your heart's content -- for a few more days.

Has anyone checked the persimmons out yet? Guess it is too early to find out if spoons, forks or knives are growing inside them. I'm certain they are as good a method of prognostication as groundhog shadows in February.

I did see a lot of bag worms near Jefferson City last week. Since they were all concentrated in one spot, I think that isn't very indicative of the coming winter severity.

I don't know who comes up with all of these notions. They are interesting though.

The problem is that everyone who quotes them never tests the data to confirm them.

This year I want to keep track of when the first snow falls and see if that is really the number of snows we have all winter. Maybe it will fall on a first day of the month thus sealing the fate of all snow for the season.

But what constitutes a "real" snowfall? A few flakes that melt on impact? A whiteout blizzard that lasts for days? I guess no one knows. I imagine it depends on how many snows are needed to suit the predictor's guesswork. If you've had two blizzards and still need three snowfalls to reach your predicted five snowfalls (because the first snow of the season was on Nov. 5) you'll take any trace of snow it takes to make the five. You can always delete the little snows later on if another blizzard hits to make a number six.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. Every living thing is full and sassy and ready to bed down for the winter. I never see it as a time of "dying off" but rather I consider fall a time of satisfaction with a spring and summer well spent.

Plants have sprouted, bloomed and produced seeds. Animals have given birth and many species have raised their broods to adulthood.

Humans have (hopefully) tended their duties and stocked up on seeds, plants and animals to get themselves through the winter...with enough left over to start the entire cycle again next spring.

As the air turns crisp and the winds turn cold, we should all be snug in our homes away from the expected bitter winter.

I hope you all have warm places to stay this winter. A few of you might be going to Florida or Texas or California to get away from Missouri's cold air.

Like the majority of my readers, I'll be staying home, hunkered down and hoping the price of oil stays less than roof high.

I really would like having a wood-burning stove or modern fireplace as a survival resource in case the electricity would go out for an extended time. I like the smell of wood burning, the flickering flame, the popping of the wood.

The sounds, smells and sight of "fire" is a comforting thing to all human beings who live in temperate zones.

Unfortunately, to save on gas prices I'd have to spend more on insurance so I guess I'll put survival on the back burner for now.

But that fire scenario would be a great way to spend at least one night of this last weekend of the summer. Take the kids out and have a campfire! Roast hot dogs on sticks, make some s'mores with melting marshmallows -- now doesn't that sound like fun?

No matter how you spend this weekend, whether having fun or cleaning off the patio, spend a little time enjoying the weather. Trust me, it will change soon.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup