Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘change of seasons

Little Scary

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Summer is going out with a bang this year. Tomorrow will mark the change to autumn already, preceded last night by a late season outbreak of severe weather that provided a little scare in our parts.

We were aware there was a chance for heavy weather, but after a couple of intense downpours, our concern lessened and we turned on a DVD movie up in the loft. Three quarters of the way into “Trumbo,” my phone went into alarm mode beneath us on the main floor. At almost the same time, Cyndie received a text warning us our area was about to get hit hard.

I shut down the movie and brought up the local television broadcasts to see what they were reporting. The radar image looked ominous enough that we decided to hustle down from the loft and switch the news on in the bedroom. My natural aversion to hiding kept us from going all the way to the basement, despite the advice of the weather broadcasters. I wanted to be able to see what was happening.

Locally, nothing worth noting was happening, even though the radar image made it appear the worst of it was just moving overhead. I put on boots to step outside, hoping get a better sense of what was really happening.

What was happening was, it had started to rain, so I closed the door and kicked off the boots. It finally changed from dead calm –the calm was actually more eery– to moderately windy. I never noticed a significant main gust.

While broadcasters talked about the possibility of tornadoes wrapped in the rain in very close proximity to our location, we only saw evidence of normal thunderstorm bluster with heavy rain in the barely visible evening light, occasionally illuminated for fractions of seconds by flashes of lightning.

It was scary for a little while, based on the radar image and warning messages, but we seem to have dodged any justifiably scary conditions.

Once we get out this morning in the light of day, we’ll have a better sense of whether we took the drama too lightly, or not. You can be assured I will have my camera with me, so I can share what we find, if there is any damage to report.

I’m hoping the brief scare we got last night was the worst that came out of summer’s last thunderstorm blast for 2018.

I’ll let you know.

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Written by johnwhays

September 21, 2018 at 6:00 am

Noticeable Changes

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I get up at the same time each work day, but the sunrise doesn’t. Yesterday, it was completely dark as I navigated my way, by feel, down the hall toward the kitchen to get my breakfast and lunch items out of the refrigerator, before traipsing toward the garage door with my arm outstretched, heading off to work.

It was the first time this season that I realized I can’t see my way through the house in the morning any more.

Last night, it was cool enough with the doors and windows open that we actually kept the blankets over us in bed. That hasn’t happened in a loooong time.

Having blankets over me must have led to some tossin’ and turnin’ overnight, because the fitted sheet on the mattress had slipped up off the corner and the area under my body looked like it had been through the ringer.

It creates an absolutely unacceptable situation each night when I am ready to tuck in, if the bottom sheet is in a jumble of wrinkles left over from the night before. I am the Princess and the Pea when it comes to my bedtime ritual.

The bottom sheet must be stretched TIGHT, or I am bothered all night long.

Cyndie and I have figured out what we are going to jointly buy for our wedding anniversary next month. New sheets! A set that actually fits our mattress.

Imagine that!

Monday night into Tuesday I had a dream that involved some vivid eating. I filled a bowl with cereal and milk and was shocked with myself to be completely ignoring my self-imposed limitations focused on reducing sugar in my diet. Not only that, but a short time later in the dream, I was taking a bite of some fancy chocolate cookie.

The middle was thick with a gooey chocolate, and as I sank my teeth into it, the creamy chocolate solidified onto my two front teeth. Still in the dream, I reached up to pry the chocolate down off my teeth, which woke me because I had actually reached up and was trying to pull my mouthguard down off my teeth.

I wear the guard to keep from grinding my teeth while I sleep.

Apparently I wasn’t sleeping sound enough to paralyze my body during the dream.

That’s going to change when we get new sheets. The nights are getting longer, what better time to upgrade the sleeping environment?

Yes, I called myself the Princess and the Pea.

It makes Cyndie laugh.

Some things never change.

Here’s another view of the sky from late Monday afternoon.

Those clouds were in a constant state of change, …and it was very noticeable.

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Written by johnwhays

August 22, 2018 at 6:00 am

A hint

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Walking up toward the house the other day, something new caught my eye. Can you see it?

Probably not. It’s subtle. How about if I zoom in?

It’s the leaves of the tree beyond the house.

Already?

They are showing the first hint of autumn color on our property.

Yikes.

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Written by johnwhays

August 13, 2018 at 6:00 am

Slow Fade

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Lately, my return trips from the day-job have been providing a mystery surprise ending. Each day, I get to discover how much change there has been in the snow-melt, or whether there are signs of water flowing in the drainage ditches. The big white blanket has been making a slow retreat from our hills and valleys this year.

The good result of that slow fade is a distinct lack of flooding problems. The less desirable result is the prolonged chill radiating off the snow base, not to mention the bothersome, sometimes hazardous footing on our trails.

Even though there is a lot of ground finally exposed, there is still a lot of snow cover remaining.

It’ll take a couple of days of real sunshine to finish off this lingering snowpack. It’s possible that today and tomorrow could do the trick, if the skies clear as predicted, but I won’t be surprised if that doesn’t pan out.

Of course, then we have new snow forecast for the weekend, so it’s not like there’s any expectation of being completely done with the white stuff yet. We’ve learned not to claim that possibility until some time in June.

At least the new snows of spring are much quicker to fade away when the sun comes out after a storm.

It’s almost time to rearrange the storage areas to put the shovels to the rear and bring up the rakes and lawn mowers.

Aaahhh, spring. So close, we can feel it.

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Written by johnwhays

March 28, 2018 at 6:00 am

Waning Days

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In the slow but steady march of days away from one season and toward the next, we have now arrived to chilly mornings, complete darkness when I wake up for the day-job, and leaves changing from green to red.

Last week when I mowed, I noticed this sprinkling of color in the grass beneath the maple tree that always turns the earliest. It’s become a reliable harbinger of the beginning of the end of summer for us.

I should be thrilled. Autumn has always been my favorite season. But I think that is changing. Maybe, with age, I am developing a more balanced perspective. I think it feels more accurate now to frame my view as appreciating all the seasons equally.

Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair. That means a lot more to me in theory than it does in practice. I rarely attend the fair anymore, however, the memories I hold from past visits, and the one year I worked a booth there, are a thread that keeps me feeling connected, whether I go or not. It is a blast of activity that serves as an exclamation mark at the end of summer.

It all has me feeling a little melancholy, which is rather uncharacteristic for me this time of year. Luckily, it can’t last, as the season of wood fires brings me great joy, and we have already lit a couple in the fireplace to ward off a bit of chill in the last few days.

Bring on the fall sports, the spectacular colors, the crisp air, the end of bugs, the time between mowing and shoveling, the harvest festivals, and Cyndie’s apple crisps.

The waning days of summer become the waxing days of autumn. Bring it on, I say.

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Written by johnwhays

August 24, 2017 at 6:00 am

Same Change

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Things are constantly changing, but what strikes me about the feeling I get in the month of August is how familiar it is. The transition from summer to autumn is always bittersweet for me. Fall is my favorite time of year. It is one of the reasons Cyndie and I chose September for our wedding. But who wants summer to end?

It is the same change every year. In what seems like a blink of days, I find myself in darkness as I leave the house for work in the morning. The days are getting shorter. “Sweet corn ahead” signs dot the scenery of my commute, as roadside stands sprout up every other mile.

IMG_iP1599eCHCounty fairs wind down as the big state fair hype revs up. The word “school” pops up with uncomfortable frequency.

Hot humid days lead to thick foggy mornings.

I love it, and I hate it. I appreciate the change, but I don’t want it to happen. I want fall to arrive, but I don’t want summer to end.

The familiar feeling of this change is the same every year. Is it possible to adjust my perception, to settle so completely into the moment that all these recognizable indicators of change don’t come across as such?

It’s just the 19th day of August. It is now. Today.

With a very familiar feeling.

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Written by johnwhays

August 19, 2016 at 7:46 am