Living in south Alabama, one will quickly learn that there is one-and-a-half seasons here. There's the summer season, which lasts about 10 months of the year, and 2 months of the summer season having an identity crisis. It's disappointing to some degree- I loved having four seasons. Michigan has a real winter, spring thaw, an awesome summer, and a beautiful fall. There were rituals for all of them, but my favorite, by far, was fall. I always knew when fall had officially rsvp'd for the year- I would wake up and just know. I had extra determination and more energy, a greater drive to do things now because there was no waiting until later.
Living at my parents' house, we had a fireplace. I would start collecting kindling in August, about once a week go out and find tiny sticks that had been broken off trees. By September, I would do that every day so that I could guarantee we'd have enough for the winter. (Yes, we knew they make those starter stick things, but why buy what you can get for free?). There would be a huge pile by the time the cold weather actually hit- magically, i always got enough, too. I would clean out all my living spaces and clean them well. I stacked mountains of firewood. Mom and I would start to make hats and food- chili, chicken brunswick, vegetable stew. There was this lovely feeling in the air- electric relief, what some people call the "crisp" of fall. I remember it so well. I miss it greatly.
Here, there is no need to put up food, make hats, or gather firewood, really. It get chilly enough for a hoodie, that's it. It has snowed the past two years- once each identity crisis season- and I'm thankful for it. I think it's the Mother's way of making me feel better. She sure is good at that.