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…
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.
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
. 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.
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…