It just can't be happening, yet. I'm not ready. Most years I'm all for summer ending and fall beginning. I'm not a fan of hot and humid. Life is much more comfortable at 65 degrees and with azure blue skies.
Fall means digging out the scarecrows and autumn-colored wreath for the front door. It may still be 83 degrees outside, but, by golly, we're going to be wearing corduroy soon and putting on boots because that's what is already on display in our stores.
Perhaps this year will be different. Because we had such a long, cold, snowy winter last year, my guess is a lot of us will drag our feet into the next season. That's why when I saw leaves falling from the trees the other day and the thermometer dip into the 50s at night, I got nervous. I half expected to hear a frost warning from the weather guys even though it's only August.
The harsh winter took its toll on our lives, our gardens, our homes and our psyches, not to mention that all my boots have holes in them from the road salt eating away at them. I don't look forward to refurbishing the cold weather wardrobe and footwear. It seems as though I just packed away the scarves and gloves and winter coats.
Don't get me wrong, I love the colors and smells and all the neat festivals that come with the return of autumn. Oglebayfest, the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival, the Wellsburg Applefest, Black Walnut Festival and the Sternwheel Festival are some of the big events that allow us to embrace fall without dreading what comes next - winter.
Autumn recipes will appear on the table once again - beef stew, warm bread from the oven and Mom's apple dumplings. The delicious watermelons and cantaloupes will give way to roasted carrots and squash.
The boys are on the football fields and fall baseball and soccer teams will be doing their thing soon. School bands are tuning up and stepping out, putting in the time to perfect their routines. Soon the bleachers at the Wheeling Island Stadium and others across the Ohio Valley will fill up quickly as the Friday night lights kick on.
Candy corn has reappeared on store shelves and Halloween is edging out the back-to-school displays.
That sunset we sit and admire each evening is catching us off guard as the brilliant orange sky turns from light to night sooner with each passing day. The farmers are hurrying a bit more now to bring in the hay and to keep the deer at bay as they attempt to raid the cornfields.
We laugh out loud as we watch a squirrel steal ears of corn, one at a time, from a neighbor's corn crib. We should all be as industrious and prepared for the change in seasons.
For now, I will be content to ignore the falling leaves and concentrate on the warm sunshine and burgers on the grill. Autumn can just wait a little longer to knock on our door.
Heather Ziegler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.