Summer is rapidly drawing to a close in my neck of the woods. The sun is rising later and setting earlier with each passing day and the nights are feeling distinctly cooler. This morning when I woke up, our home weather station reported an outdoor temperature of 64 degrees. I would have to check local records, but I believe this was our coolest morning since May, or possibly April. I opened the doors at the back of the house, in our bedroom as well as in the breakfast nook, as I do every morning in spring, summer and fall. I like the fresh air through the house to freshen things up and I close the doors before it gets too hot. In summer, that often happens early. But it takes longer and longer now and I love it: there is nothing like cool, fresh air in the house. Soon, we'll stop using the swamp cooler, which takes longer to switch on these days anyway. Fall really is coming.
Afternoons continue to be very warm, most days. On a recent dazzlingly bright afternoon, the small Bears and I played in the backyard. Well, they played, and I mostly took advantage of what will surely be one of the last truly splendid outdoor-crochet days for awhile. There is something wonderful about crocheting outside. The yarns seem more vividly colored, you can see every single stitch in stark relief, the breeze keeps your hands cool while you work. I tend to be nervous about working outdoors unless I'm sitting on a blanket in the grass because I've been afraid of my yarn rolling away and collecting leaves and dirt. But I've decided to stop worrying about it and just embrace the opportunity to work outdoors, which is so pleasant for me. I can pick the leaves out if they get in the yarn. It's a small price to pay for the myriad delights of outdoor hooky.
On this particular day, the sky was nearly cloudless. The sun was bright, so I stayed at the patio table, under my beloved new umbrella. There was plenty of shade, but I could still feel the warmth of the sun. The sun doesn't feel as intense anymore, though, even on a warm day. There has been a subtle change. The indirect rays don't warm you through the bones like they did in June, July and August. The breeze has a very slight edge, not the parched blast of the summer months. The outdoor cement and stone surfaces at our house don't warm up as quickly; as a person who prefers to be barefoot, this is vaguely disconcerting to me. Change is afoot, quite literally. But it's okay; I have lovely new slippers just waiting for their cool-weather debut.
By the end of this week, we should feel as if we've been plunged into the throes of seasonal change. The weather forecast calls for rain, with much cooler temperatures, every day through the weekend. There appears to be a tropical storm coming from Baja California, ready to park itself over the southwest for several days. Last night, a local weatherman stated on his blog that over four inches of rain could fall between now and Friday. Four inches! It's raining lightly right now. Time to hunker, I think. It's a good thing I've got this new crochet project to work on. This is my second year starting a big blanket in September, with the idea that it will grow down my lap as the autumn progresses. It worked beautifully last year and I can't wait for the same cozy feeling this time. Roll on, fall. Bring it on, tropical storm. I've got a hook and a big bag full of yarn and I'm ready.