Living in the Midwest provides residents with some of the most beautiful weather months, a few of the most challenging, weeks of dreariness, explosive heat that appears suddenly, and while we’re perspiring and paying high utility bills, we realize we’ll later be freezing while still paying high utility bills. Our weather is often described to newcomers with the admonition that if you don’t like today’s forecast, stick around, it can change quickly. And so it does, sometimes in the middle of the day when temperatures plummet or rise dramatically.
If you grew up in this area, some changes don’t seem so drastic. Well, there was a measurable snowfall on Halloween last year which sort of cancels the previous thought, and my father-in-law mowed the lawn one Christmas day, but that was years ago, and those incidents teach us adaptability. They also teach us not to take good weather for granted, be careful what you wish for, and don’t be in a hurry to put away the snow blower or the lawn mower. Trying to outdo your neighbor will likely cost you in the end, especially in terms of pride and convenience. The deeper you store them, the more likely you’ll unexpectedly need them.
Some folks have elaborate reasons why they cherish certain months, often having little to do with weather. Some months just aren’t going to receive trophies as favorites of the year, such as February or maybe even March. On March 1, I always feel like a survivor as we’ve gone through almost three challenging winter months and spring is close. Not everyone dislikes winter. Some feel the same negativity for summer’s heat that others feel for winter’s cold. But one thing is certain, unpleasant weather doesn’t last forever. It sometimes only seems like it does.
If residents and visitors have an acute dislike for autumn, it’s not talked about. But unless one despises raking leaves, what really is there to complain about? Temperatures are generally mild; colors are exquisite; the sun isn’t timid about showing off; and the more recent enthusiasm for fall décor adds clever and attractive decorations. Most folks probably shudder about leftover Halloween candy and decorations competing on store shelves with Santa Claus and Rudolph, and a mere suggestion of Thanksgiving reminders, but what’s for sale doesn’t necessarily reflect accurately how we live.
This year particularly challenges us to decide when and how to decorate or even if we want to follow elaborate traditions of the past. Maybe it’s time to try out the minimalist style of living. Really go through those countless boxes of memories and ornaments and decide what’s worth keeping. Sometimes less truly is best, and much about 2020 has been out of the ordinary so now could be great for change. New details could replace traditions we’ve been hanging on to while thinking about redoing. For those accustomed to large family gatherings to celebrate the holidays, adjustments may prove difficult to accept, but necessary. One thing will help, if we learn to modify our attitude and celebrate our gratitude for what is rather than spend precious time lamenting changes.
As we welcome November, let’s continue enjoying Nature’s gifts of vivid colors and pleasantries while trying to take nothing for granted, and celebrating our blessings.