Today the weather is perfect–low 70’s, sunny, breezy, the kind of day I want to play hooky from any and every responsibility:  don’t want to eat sensibly, don’t want to exercise, don’t want to write, don’t want to interpret, don’t want to talk to anybody…give me a cup of coffee and a chair on the front lawn so I can be one with the out-of-doors.  I’ve officially crossed into crotchety-dom.

I asked my husband if it is worth enduring hellacious winters, absent springs and bone-baking summers for a few glorious days like today.  He said yes…didn’t even have to think about it.

Now that Labor Day has passed, the calendar is a grim reminder of the worst to come.  I now fully understand my mother’s late onset hankering to live in Southern California after a lifetime of living in the midwest.  Fully.  While I don’t want to live in So-Ca, I would like to live in a place where weather isn’t extreme; although after all of the natural weather-related disasters this year alone, is there such a place anymore?  And more than that, why does this happen?  What manner of change comes to a person who as a child loved every inch of snowfall, played and ice skated in sub-zero weather, ran outside when spring thunderstorms hit to feel the drench of rain, and laid in the sun on 90 degree days until sweat-soaked, then dove into the lake and swam forever?

One of my favorite aunts died recently.  Aunt Barbara was in her 80’s, had a large family, had the kind of laugh that when you heard it made you laugh too, and was a superb cook.  We had large get-togethers at her home; the main activities: eating and talking.  My brothers, sisters and I would run around with our cousins until time for the late-night trek back home from the suburban hinterlands.  Her death marks time, a stroke on the proverbial number line, separating then and now.

Barbara Lightner Whitehouse

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