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Mar 14

A Year of Perfect Weather

Winter, spring, summer, autumn

Pretty pictures of the four seasons. The spring one appears to have been taken from inside a well or other hole, which is admirably plucky on the part of the photographer, if a touch premature-burial creepy. Photo credits, clockwise from the top left: carfull…Wyoming via photopin cc, xavipat via photopin cchttp://free.total-wallpapers.com/, Micky** via photopin cc

I’m at that point of the year where I’m heartily sick of winter, yet dreading spring a tiny bit—because after spring comes summer, and summer is wretched. Humid. Sweltering. Satan in weather form. Sigh. I can’t be the only one who’s tired of this torture, right? So let’s fix this. I have the beginnings of a plan.

Here is what a year of perfect weather would look like if I designed it (apologies to non-North American readers; this is a slightly insular take on things, I admit):

December 15 – January 15: Winter. Lovely snows, big fat puffy flakes falling gently from the skies, enough accumulation for sledding and snowball fights and snowmen with carrot noses, coal eyes, and stick arms. Bonus points for Calvin & Hobbes snowmen. Cocoa and peppermint sticks and gingerbread men for everyone! NOTE: Lovers of snow get special dispensation to have this last as long as they like in their immediate area and surrounding, but they cannot complain if all their family, friends, and neighbors abandon them after a while.

Apocalyptic Calvin & Hobbes snowmen

These are Calvin & Hobbes snowmen, of course. I’ve always thought that a black plastic lid would be an ideal cavernous scream.

January 16 – May 15: Spring. We start out with a quick, painless snow melt. No ages and ages of slushy, muddy streets and lawns. Next, while everything else is still bare, the forsythia bushes bloom their happy yellow flowers as a cheery sign of things to come. Then, slowly, green shoots unfurl from the trees, shrubberies, ground. The grass is perfect to walk on barefoot, soft and tickly and warm. There are irises. Irises everywhere! Lilacs too. I suppose daffodils because some people like them. And lawns are full of henbit (except for our neighborhood, which is nice but a tiny bit snooty, so we have our own pot of henbit on the deck). Lots of kite-flying. Gentle rains every morning, but no storms. Highs in the 60s most days.

Henbit

Henbit. You can suck out the nectar. It’s awesome. Originally from www.turfcareaustin.com/.

May 16 – August 15: Early summer. Crashing storms, especially at night! Big, rolling, angry clouds full of lightning! Sweet, juicy peaches and cherries at the farmers markets. Basil, zucchini, and tomatoes starting in earnest, too. The smell of honeysuckle fills the air in the evenings while fireflies dance in every yard, starting in late June. Highs hovering around 78 most days, going absolutely no higher than 84.

August 15 – August 31: Late summer. Sweltering, sticky heat, sometimes getting as high as 93. Conversations with neighbors mostly revolve around how wretchedly hot it is. Everyone swims. Kids run through sprinklers to cool off. Lemonade stands and garage sales pop up like mushrooms. Life gets slow and buzzy for a while. Lavender-blue wild chicory grows alongside the road in lovely reckless clumps. We gorge on plump, ripe sandwich tomatoes and slice after slice of moist zucchini bread to sate the cranky inner beast. There there dear. It will only be this hot for a while.

Wild chicory flowers

This is wild chicory. All the pictures I can find of it online are of fields and native gardens and such, but in August, it grows like mad alongside roads. I suppose that wouldn’t look as nice in photos.

September 1 – September 21: Early autumn. The first day of autumn, we walk outside into a crisp 67 degrees. The sky is perfectly clear, the bluest we’ve ever seen it. There is the faintest hint of wood smoke in the air. Just a hint. We all grill out for dinner and start thinking of polishing our boots–and maybe buying a new jacket this year. Kids head back to school with brand new boxes of crayons; the lucky ones get 64.

September 22 – September 30: Indian summer. Just when we were starting to get used to the cool, highs spring back up into the (low) 80s. It’s our last hurrah of sun tea and ice cream cones and shorts-wearing.

October 1 – December 14: Autumn. Ah now, this is the stuff, isn’t it? Autumn begins in earnest. The trees and bushes shout with color: bright yellow birches, orange and red maples, deep red sumac lining the roads. In the morning the air is crisp and the ground is blanketed in frost, and when you come inside your nose and ears are quite pink. Occasionally, for a change, the day is misty and slightly raw rather than brisk and lively. Leather boots and fuzzy socks and your favorite sweater make regular appearances. Thick stews are served for dinner, followed by homemade pumpkin pie. Sometimes dinner is chili and cinnamon rolls. Weekends are for hayrides and bonfires and apple-picking. Evenings are snuggly, reading or crafting in front of the fire. The leaves slowly begin to fall from the trees at the beginning of December, their beauty having been the backdrop of our lives for two months. The two weeks that they are on the ground is just enough time to rake them up and stomp through the crunchy piles before winter begins.

I know some people profess to have other preferences, like wanting warm weather all the time or whatever, but really it seems impossible to me to improve on what I’ve laid out here. But I know I’m not perfect. I’m taking suggestions via comment, in case I’ve missed anything. For when I’m in charge.

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