The end-of-summer-I’m-depressed post.
I warned you.
I spend 5 months every year literally counting down the days until June and then I blink and it’s the end of August and I can see the demonic eyes of winter staring at me menacingly through the subtly changing leaves which he’s using to try to disguise himself.
Oh, I see you, Warlock. You might be a couple of months away from slapping me in the face, but I know you’re there hiding behind the lovely cool breezes and bonfire nights and red and purple and orange mums and football games. And it makes me sick.
I’ve now lived in Minnesota for over 14 years (you can read how I feel about that HERE) and for me, the years don’t consist of 12 individual months but definitive chunks of time that dictate and drive my moods…my emotions…my vocal rants and raves (Husband is nodding his head so hard right now I imagine his hat just flew off his head). It’s as if I have an internal mood meter that rises and falls with the temperature.
Let me break it down for you – the months….the moods….and the things that are necessary for me to survive.
June, July and August – The Golden Months.
Despite about 10 of the 14 Junes I’ve experienced in Minnesota being cool and rainy and windy, June means summer and so June gets a big PASS from any weather related complaints (usually).
And by mid-June when school is out and we are just starting to spend our weekends at The Happy Place and have 10 full weeks of evenings-into-late-nights on the deck (at home) and the dock (at the lake) and sunset cruises and loons and floating on rafts and trees with fat green leaves and sunflowers and strawberries and bug spray and skies so full of stars it’s like God dumped glitter up there, I feel the absolute happiest that I feel all year.
And sure, it can get grossly muggy and buggy for a handful of days in July and there can be wicked thunderstorms and tornado warnings that have the Things (and me) cowering in the basement bedroom on occasion, but I’ve found that as long as it’s not winter I pretty much could give a damn about everything else.
Mood meter: Off the charts! Sky-high! As sunny as (most of) the days!
Rx: (not needed, but simply enjoyed…) Crisp Chardonnay! Lemondade (spiked with Raspberry vodka)! Watermelon! Jean shorts and clever t-shirts! Flip-flops!
September, October, November – FALLing into dreaded winter.
I love fall.
Contrary to my end of summer depression, I do.
In fact, growing up in Arizona (off and on) where fall is a figment of the imagination and only proven to be an actual season by the artificial leaves and pumpkins found at Michaels, it was my favorite season. Not because I ever got to actually experience it, but because I imagined and longed for cooler (much cooler) temps, crisp and colorful leaves and (the real reason) cute, chunky sweaters and boots and sassy beret/scarf sets. I dreamt of living in Vermont or Connecticut in a picturesque little village that blazed like fire every fall.
Minnesota isn’t quite Vermont, but for the past 14 years (and the 2 years before that spent in Bloomington, Indiana, where fall is breathtaking) I’ve definitely gotten to experience fall.
In late August, after I pull myself together and come to grips with summer being over, I really do start to get excited for all that fall brings – pumpkins and gourds, multi-colored trees, apple farms and apple crisps and caramel apples, corn-mazes and hayrides, Thing 1’s birthday (because she’d kill me if I didn’t mention it), and yes, cute, chunky sweaters and boots and sassy hat/scarf sets.
The only problem is, in Minnesota fall is usually too damn short and the weather can turn ugly as fast as it turned pretty. It often only lasts a short 4 weeks before we have to cover up our cute sweaters with ugly (but practical and very necessary) puffy parkas.
Mood meter: Medium-High…but falls steadily along with the temperatures.
Rx: Red wine, fun-sized candy bars (stock-piled to last throughout the winter), pumpkin lattes and pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins, pastas with heavy sauces, Chocolate martinis, bigger pants.
December, January, February – Winter. The dark days (literally).
Thank God for Christmas.
(No, you really should thank God for Christmas.)
If not for my lifelong love of Christmas and all the planning and decorating and shopping and wrapping that goes along with it, I might not survive December in this state.
Somewhere between Thanksgiving and mid-December it turns bitterly cold (and dark – so, so dark) and it’s only because of the twinkling lights and the falling snow and the Christmas music that I play 24/7 that helps me to ignore the air that threatens to burn the inside of my nostrils and eat away at the layer of moisture that protects my eyeballs and forget for a few weeks that evil winter is just getting started.
And then Christmas is over.
And then my soul turns black.
The months of January and February are so awful and never ending that I might as well be stranded on a barren, windy glacier in Antarctica for 4 months studying the mating habits of penguins with only a light windbreaker and a beach towel. Seriously. It sucks that badly.
And when it is 22 degrees BELOW ZERO and I’m driving Thing 2 to school covered in blankets I’ve just tumbled in the dryer for 10 minutes yet still shivering to the point of seizure and the HIGH temp that day will remain a negative number, you do NOT want to be around me (Husband now getting whiplash from nodding).
I’m always, always amazed when I make it to March (without going postal on myself….my family….the poor Caribou Coffee barrista who gets an earful of all of the above most mornings…).
Mood meter: As low and dark as it is at 4-freakin’-thirty in Minnesota during the winter.
Rx: Baileys (regular, mint, chocolate…), red wine (IV drip), hot baths 5x a day, fleece everything.
March, April, May – Winter (2)…into Spring…into me exploding with relief.
My birthday is in March.
I love my birthday, but for the past 14 years I’ve learned to kind of hate March.
But in Minnesota, March doesn’t mean spring like it does in most other non-arctic states and we don’t get green grass, new flowers, warm sunshine, bunnies and robins and worms.
We get more snow.
In fact, Minnesotans are kind of freakishly proud of it and often like to share that fun fact with visitors and strangers and anyone who happens to be around here in March. (And just a tip if you’re ever planning on visiting Minnesota – don’t come in March).
“Ooo, we’ll get ano’der 6 inches by St. Patrick’s Day, doncha no….id’ll really pile up out ‘dare.”
(Relax, my native-Minnesota readers….I’m just kidding. You don’t really talk like that. Just your parents.)
But once we get the annual St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm the weather usually warms up pretty quickly (and by ‘warms up’ I mean hits 50°) and those mountainous piles of filthy snow that clog the Target parking lot (so annoying) begin to miraculously melt along with my winter rage and I become alarmed at the soggy substance I see appearing along the edges of my driveway (and then relax because I realize it’s just the grass), and I know it’s finally time to breathe easy.
And for the first time in 4 months I’m able to take a deep, deep breath without fear of freezing the insides of my lungs and then I get a little crazy and wear flip-flops and short sleeves and swear I’m not cold and ignore the goose bumps the size of marbles because I am that happy that I’ve made it through the winter.
And then it’s May, which in my calendar year is like Christmas Eve or the day before your birthday (which, as I have always told the Things are the very best days of the year because they are the only days you can say, “Tomorrow is Christmas!” or -better yet- “Tomorrow is my birthday!!”).
May is the precipice of summer…the very top of the roller coaster hill…the moment the waiter sets down your sparkly – and full – Appletini.
May in Minnesota means new mint-green leaves and daffodils and warm sunshine and open windows and rain, rain, rain (which I miss dreadfully in the winter) and scary thunderstorms and tornado warnings.
But no matter what kind of weather May brings, I love it.
Because I know that the Golden days of summer are just around the corner.
Mood meter: Medium-High to HIGH….grows steadily along with the rising temperature.
Rx: a good Cosmo to celebrate, a flirty new pair of sandals, a lot of self-tanner, a lot of salads to try to reverse the effects of the past 4 months, a much needed pedicure.
So there ya go – and even though I’m heading into a (hopefully) beautiful fall, I’m really starting to hit rock-bottom depression realizing that I’ve got all those looong months of winter ahead, and that they’ll be here before I know it.
At least I’ve got all that Baileys to look forward to.
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