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Friday, October 31, 2008

It is my sad duty to report that summer has finally crashed to a skidding halt in the Bay Area, to be replaced by sudden-onset winter. I know that in some areas thereís a period of gentle transition, known by various names (autumn, fall, Indian summer, November). We didnít get much of that this year. What we got was nice weather followed by lousy weather, with the promise of a lot more.

It rained hard during the night. It didnít keep raining all day, but there were periods of heavy cloudburst and that miserable, drizzly feeling in the air. Mostly it was just dark and gray, and now we face the resetting of the clocks this weekend, which will smudge the afternoon sky with night even earlier. Some people enjoy this time of year. Good for them.

What this time of year brings to my mind is this: I wonder how many more flushes are left in my toilet before the ground water backs up into it. I wonder how often Iíll be sitting in the dark while the utility company fixes other peopleís power outages before getting around to mine. I think about getting my rubber boots down from the loft and putting them on every time I go out to get the mail.

So far Iíve resisted the temptation to turn the furnace on for the first time. I doubt Iíll get through the whole winter without heating the house. I probably wonít get through the first week, but this weekend Iíll drain the air cooler of water and take it upstairs, and bring down the space heater. Iíll get out all my sweatshirts and dust them off. I will face that grisly monster winter with pluck and resolve. I mean, itís not as if I live in Frostbite Falls. It wonít get me down, any more than the very thought of it already has.

I do have one thing this winter that I didnít have last year. I have a cell phone with unlimited web access, so when the lights go out I can sit around watching my favorite videos on YouTube until the power comes back on. Or at least until the phone battery dies.




26 October 2008

Aiden wishes you a Happy Halloween.



So goes my annual winter lament. Itís wet, dark and cold, and it will stay that way, more or less constantly, for four or five months. Then it will be baseball season again, and the self-correcting rotation of the earth will whirl its merry way around in the right direction once again.




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