According to the calendar, it is fall. According to store displays, it’s just about Christmas. According to what people are wearing, it’s still the middle of summer, at least here in San Diego. Global climate change deniers, sorry, but it isn’t fornication or a lack of faith or a sudden and unpredictable anti-ice age that’s causing our wild climate fluctuations, it’s a man-made buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. That’s great news for people who want it to be summer year-round! Not such great news for people who like sweaters and not sweating!
I’ve lived here long enough to ignore the calendar when it comes to seasons. In San Diego, lush greenery happens in winter, spring is the end of a cool winter, and fall is just a three-month extension of summer, with a few wildfires thrown in for season-appropriate crackle and cozy smoke odor. I used to get out my sweaters and corduroys by October, then would swelter in them as locals still wandered around in flip-flops and shorts. No more! Okay, I’ll probably still do it but will at least realize it’s me that’s wrong, not the weather.
This weekend we celebrated the arrival of autumn by picking apples. Actually, my wife and I picked apples while I did chores at home while The Boy took his nap. They returned with two large bags of apples. Look! It’s fall now!
But that’s not all. Wife and daughter raked a big pile of leaves while I turned my knuckles into bloody meat trying to fix my car. [sigh] Do you really want to know? REALLY? I had to replace the coolant temperature sensor because my VW was having cold-start problems. The actual replacement took about 30 minutes. The other three and a half hours was pulling apart the top of the engine compartment to get to the part, then cutting every finger on metal poindexters put in place by sadistic German engineers. At one point I spent half an hour just unscrewing a screw. Imagine bent over at the waist, your hands buried up to the shoulder in a matrix of plastic and metal, trying to blind-fit an Allen wrench into a bolt head, turning it 1/8th of a turn, fumbling, and repeating. For thirty minutes. Then you get to do the same thing in reverse to put the bolt back in. Ha ha! Then I dropped my Allen wrench down into the engine compartment and couldn’t find it. I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t even get my head into place to look for it. It is still there. These are the things that give me dark thoughts.
But the leaf pile, squeaks a small voice from my one blog reader, what happened with the leaf pile? Jumps. Many jumps. I jumped in the leaves. Child Harbat jumped in the leaves. We got leaves in our hair, we smelled the rich fragrance of crumbled dried leaves from a camphor tree. We laughed, we played. Then autumn really began.