Well it's official, Summer is over and I'm sad to see it go, but Autumn in Minneapolis is beautiful. The leaves snap into bright oranges, yellows, and reds, new hardy flowers bloom, apples ripen, and the animals prepare for winter. Monarchs are making their way to Mexico, geese fill the parks, and the squirrels go crazy hiding food and getting fatter and fatter.
As for the human population, we withdraw from the lakes and the bike trails and start to turn inward. Suddenly we notice all the projects that we were going to do for summer but haven't. Squirrel-like we run around gathering coats and boots. We begin cleaning rugs, painting, preparing the ground for next spring and soaking up every last ounce of outside before outside turns vicious cold.
We turn inward mentally as well. Autumn is the time to bid farewell to grass and exposed skin, to go through and categorize the beauty of the world. The first snow is usually in Autumn and its everything the postcards brag about. By winter it will be hard and brownish-black. We start to take leave of our neighbors. Halloween comes at the perfect moment. One last time we go door to door visiting and laughing. Soon we'll be lucky enough to catch each other's eye and lift a gloved hand as we rush from heated car to heated house because you'd be crazy to pull down your scarf and breath -2 degree air just to say hi and looking up means taking your eyes off of the icy ground. Only the hope of a snow day and all it's shoveling can reunite our block before March.
Of course winter isn't all bad. Some of my neighbors are people I don't really want to see anyway (as in the creepy, should-I-call-the-police type). And all though the monarchs leave, so do the spiders and mosquitoes. I can go shopping buy frozen chicken and a tub of ice cream, then go straight to the library for an hour before bringing it home to warm it up inside the freezer. And although the snow is ugly, it's equally ugly in my neighbors' yards as it is in mine. It even covers all those toys that really should've been picked up. And very few things in this world can beat the rush of sledding down Powderhorn Park's hill way up from the top, all the way down and across the basketball court. The icier it gets, the faster you go.
So, in preparation for winter I've looked around and made a list. I need to put out grass seed and plant bulbs. Paint a few walls inside the home (I've decided that not even as a renter can I look at white walls for 5 months). Launder the couch covers. And preserve Summer memories that I might have those roses in December...
What We Did Last Summer: