Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple. ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
When we left Denver a week ago yesterday, it was summer. When we got back on Sunday, summer seemed a distant memory. It was drizzling, and the temperature hovered somewhere around 50 degrees. I had turned off the air conditioner, but hadn’t turned on the heat at our house, so when we walked in the door, we were met with a bracing chill. I turned on the heat, and our old furnace groaned and said Seriously? Already?
Thankfully, knowing Colorado weather, we had both brought warmish jackets, and had them on. Still, it was a sad surprise following our five days in North Carolina with the temperatures in the 80s and lots of sunshine. Afternoons in the swimming pool were a mere memory. Pumpkin Spice lurked in the shadows like Freddy Kreuger.
Every year about this time I write my ode to the disappearing summer. Though I should be used to it by now, having lived in Colorado since 1974; nevertheless, it always takes me by surprise. When we left, there was nary an autumn leaf on the trees. When we returned, there was this…..
So I did what any self-respecting home cook would do. I made beef stew. Actually, Sunday night we were too tired from travel to do nearly anything, so we ate at the nearby Greek/Italian restaurant. I made beef stew on Monday. I would show you a picture, but we ate it all and — like God’s creation — it was good.
Quite frankly, there is very little I like about this weather. It’s true that the changing leaves are beautiful. It’s also true that I like the cooler nights and that I happily prepare dinners that have been coaxed into tenderness either on the stovetop or in the oven. Hence, the beef stew. But I will miss my evenings on our patio drinking my gin-and-tonic and cooking our dinner on the grill.
The cool weather always brings to mind football, which makes me happy. This year, however, it will also bring to mind cross country. In fact, yesterday afternoon, Bill and I put on our warm sweaters to go and watch Alastair and Dagny participate in a cross country meet.
Cross country, for the uninitiated, is a bit challenging to watch. The gun goes off at the starting line, and you watch your loved one(s) take off with determination. And then you sort of chase them around in an effort to be somewhere where you can cheer them on. Finally, some 10 minutes or so after they started, you see your loved one(s) cross the finish line, all determination long gone. They are simply tired. Still, the two seem to like it, and if it makes them happy, it makes me happy to watch them…..
The reality, of course, is that all of my nostalgic ruminations about the coming of fall will be forgotten by Saturday, when, in true Indian Summer fashion, the temperatures are expected to again be in the high 70s. There will still be time for Bill and me to visit Rocky Mountain National Park and listen to the elk bugle before the heavy snows begin to fall and I REALLY have something to whine about.
Welcome to Colorful Colorado.