The end of summer where I live, much like the first day of school, is something I dread very much each year.
Like an unwelcome guest, summer's end seemed to show up when least convenient, right when the season had reached a peak, and too little time for me to enjoy it.
But that is the typical way of seasons in the Northwest. Yes, we have four of them. Yes, it is a "wonder" to some folks, and draws people to the region. And yes, it is even motivation enough for some to actually leave a warm state like California and settle here for just that reason. Why, I'll never understand, as I know firsthand the harshness of our winters, short falls and springs, and an all too brief summer.
Living in a part of the country where it's freezing and unseasonal for more than eight months of the year typically, with the better months sometimes mixing a great deal of rain and snow flurries in sporadically, consistency of weather has never been an asset for this territory.
Knowing this, people who love its harshness I've never understood, and prefer the brief period of freedom from it that is our summer. What it means is sunlight until past 9 p.m. Sleeping free of covers with windows open all night. Walking anywhere in the city or rural area and not fearing razor sharp wind chills overtaking you every other step. Driving on roads free of ice and potentially hundreds of dollars in car repairs, tire replacements and extra service to keep things running. Lower utility costs, minus outrageous charges for heating. No jackets. Driving with windows down completely. Going sleeveless. And much needed sun rays that do wonders for the mind and spirit, and for which we northerners are known to be greatly deprived of to the point of deficiency.
There is the nature summer. Like coming home from a vacation too short. When it's over, all you want is to have it back.