Friday, October 05, 2007

That Dreaded Season

The Earth revolves around the sun once a year. And it rotates on its axis once a day. I’ve always had a problem with people who never can remember the difference between a “revolution” and a “rotation”. But that’s the subject for a different day.

The Earth’s axis is tilted at a 23.439281 degree angle. And therein lies my problem for today.

I live almost exactly half-way between the Equator and the North Pole. Around 40 degrees north latitude.

That means that here in the Kansas City area we have four seasons. Go a couple hundred miles north and they only have two. Go a couple hundred miles south and they only have one. But we have four.

And since it’s the first part of October, that means we’re coming up to the saddest season of all. It’s fall. Or autumn. It’s miserable enough that they thought it deserved two different names.

In my mind, “crisp” is just a euphemism for “cold”. There’s nothing “crisp” about this air. I like my crackers “crisp”. I like my air breathable.

It’s not that I don’t like autumn (or fall, whatever). I just think it’s sad. Summer is the time to get everything done. The yard gets mowed. The house gets painted. They play baseball. We go on vacation. Stuff happens. I like it.

Fall (or autumn, whatever) comes around and ruins everything. Suddenly I’m painfully aware of everything I didn’t get done over the summer. It’s a weird combination of a mad dash to get everything done and a sinking realization that it’s not going to happen.

The sun used to stay up until 8:30. I know it did. That’s about the time I have to flip on the headlights on my lawn tractor in July. And I still had a good hour of mowing time left. Now I can’t even get started mowing when I get home from work.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that we revert from Daylight Saving Time around this time of year. You lose a couple of minutes of daylight each day and then suddenly — BAM — a whole hour gets wiped out in one weekend. Depressing.

Holidays? Nope, just Halloween, that dreaded, stupid excuse for making your kids look ugly and cute at the same time so they can mooch candy from their neighbors. Each year I turn off my porch light and hang around the wholesale club until it’s all over. Pushing around a shopping cart full of five-gallon tubs of corn flakes was never so much fun. (Actually, there’s nothing as amusing as those institutional-size jars of mayonnaise.)

The only good thing about autumn (or fall, whatever) is that it’s only two seasons away from spring. Wake me up in time for Christmas. Then I’ll hibernate some more until March.

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