Try to Remember the Kind of September by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Late September by Jeanne Smith


I have a confession to make. September is not one of my favorite months. I feel like an iconoclast writing that. After all, everyone likes September, right? The new notebooks and the smell of sharpened pencils? Shopping for school clothes? The leaves turning, the apples ripening, fall in the air…

Um, no.

I get the back-to-school shopping done in August, when it’s a relief to escape the heat in an air-conditioned department store. And the new notebooks and pencils? Come out of the school supplies drawer, which gets loaded up anytime I see a good buy so I don’t have to shell out at top dollar the week school reopens. The other stuff; the apples and the leaves, and the scent of fall in the air – all that happens in October.

September Morn by Paul Chabas

That’s the problem. September is a wishy-washy month. Up here in Maine, the wind off the ocean makes it just a tad too chilly for the beach. and the lakes and rivers cool off very quickly once it starts dropping to the low fifties every night. But it’s still too warm and buggy to want to take a brisk hike through the woods or climb apple trees at a U-Pick-Em orchard. It’s too cold for lemonade and too hot for cider. Those spontaneous weekend jaunts to Bar Harbor or Pemiquid Point become impossible as all the extracurricular activities, organizational meetings and volunteer groups – which haven’t met since early June – swing back into action.  But the next decent three day holiday weekend isn’t until mid-October. The only trees that have turned are the sumac (very pretty) and that diseased black ash in the yard that you really need to get taken down

September Gale, Georgian Bay by Arthur Lismer

. But the leaves are already falling, so the maples and oaks look like once gloriously voluptuous women who’ve dieted down to a boring thinness.

And the temperature bouncing up and down! One day the high is 57, and you drag out the sweaters and turtlenecks. The next day it does up to 82, and the kids wear shorts to school. You have to spend the entire month with cedar chests open

and storage boxes out on the floor, switching from summer wardrobe to winter wardrobe, unable to stow one or the other away until Mother Nature relents and the frost sets in. And while you’re switching between tank top and wool cardigan (sometime in the same day) the September calendar reminds you of the relentless rounds of winter-reading tasks to get done: order the oil, make appointments for the chimney sweep and the furnace cleaner, stack two cords of wood. Painting? Paving? Now’s your last chance.

Melancholic September by Alex Roman

Oh, well. Just a few more days, now. Nobody writessongs to October (probably because nothing rhymes with October except Rock sober) but it’s the month I wait for all year long. Well, that and May. And December, of course. July is delightful as well. Just not February. Don’t get me started on February…

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5 Responses to Try to Remember the Kind of September by Julia Spencer-Fleming

  1. Julia Tracey says:

    The first day of fall leaves me depressed for a few days because I too dislike September and it would be great if we could remove February from the calendar. Your story made my day. I’m not alone. The last few days has been a rush pulling up annuals for brush pickup. Rush, rush, rush to get everything done before the temps. go into the 50’s.
    From Syracuse, New York

  2. Rhonda Pickens says:

    Sounds like a good month to stay indoors in your pajamas and write! We your fans are always ready for the next book!

  3. Ooh, sorry, Julia, but I love this month. One of my favorite times to travel, when things are quiet but the weather is often beautiful! Still hoping to get to Maine one day…

  4. Brenda Buchanan says:

    Ah, Julia! This post gets my vote for best line of the day: The maples and oaks look like once gloriously voluptuous women who’ve dieted down to a boring thinness.


    On the comparative attraction of September, I’m with you. The loss of daylight happens too fast. The tomato plants are still producing but they look like hell. And, like you, I can never figure out what to wear, especially on my feet. Sandals or shoes and socks? Such a dilemma.

    And the Red Sox . . . Let’s not even talk about it.

    Brenda B.

  5. I didn’t even get into the Sox’s famous September collapse.

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