By the time this is published the weather will most likely be back to its predictably hot and muggy conditions that are only normal for this time of year. But these past few days have been delightful, and unusual for this time of year. The first day of the cold spell I heard my husband call out from downstairs, “It’s 39 degrees out!” in much the same tone of voice he would announce, “Santa Claus came!”

It’s been a joy to feel the cool morning air, especially after a night of sleeping beneath a fluffy down comforter. We actually had cocoa at bedtime last night. 

I jokingly (seriously) broached the subject of turning up the you-know-what and was met with, “You can’t push up the oil burner; it’s August!” “But I’m cold!” “Have some soup.”

I think the rule is you don’t turn on the heat until October, or maybe even November. And then you discuss it endlessly with your neighbors, pitying those who gave in before the accepted date.

As I set out for my walk this morning, I, for just a moment, eyed a pair of gloves that hung by the back door. But I was unwilling to risk the sneers of those driving by in cars that were most likely blasting heat.

It is indeed too early for the certain rituals that must be performed before fall takes a serious hold. Screens will come down. Leaves will be raked. We’ll hang the heavy drape over the stairwell to prevent any precious heat from escaping to the upper rooms. I hate that curtain.

And then there’s the wood. The first year we lived here (22 years ago) there was such a romantic quality to getting in the wood. I felt like pioneer woman.  Tossing each piece into the cellar and then neatly stacking it into pretty patterns provided me with a sense of accomplishment. But the chunks have gotten heavier each year and the price goes up each fall. And who cares if there is a pattern that no one will ever see.

We’ll grumble about the leaf peepers who clog our roads as they search for a view that we take for granted. We’ll be happy, however, to take the money they spend on their journeys north.

We’ll pack up the lawnmower and take the snow blower for a tune-up, ensuring a light winter. We’ll scrub and activate the humidifier.

While the news channels present us with stories of world-wide weather disasters, we realize that we’re living in a relatively catastrophe-free zone. Except for the occasional wind that knocks down a few trees and thus the power, Mother Nature tends to treat us rather kindly. I should be seriously crossing fingers and knocking on wood right now in light of the above statements.

It’s definitely going to turn cold when the time comes. The catalogue people know it and they target their advertising to make us long for bulky knit sweaters and down jackets in August. In January they’ll inundate us with pastel-hued T-shirts.

But right now it’s darn cold and I must admit…It feels just great.