And just like that, the cat curls up in front of the heat register, I want hot water—not cold—to wash my hands and I put on a jacket before leaving for work.
Somehow, this feels more right than the opposite transition in spring. When I stop wearing the coat in April, I fumble for weeks trying to find a place to put all those things that fit so easily in all those pockets.
When I first moved here years ago, people described North Country cold with the wonderfully succinct: “nine months of winter and three months of bad sledding weather.”
No, it’s not like that anymore, but this is still a wintry place. Heat and humidity are the anomalies, brief like life and bookended by long, dark cold.
The buzz of summer visitors—from mosquito to Manhattanite—will soon leave us. Our tribe of hardy and flannel-clad stoics will send up thin wisps of steam and smoke, from hot coffee, chainsaws and woodstoves—and our own mouths. And this, just as much as a blossom or splash in the lake, is proof of life. But the contrast is clearer in winter. Everything is.
As the leaves start falling, we’re getting into the season of seeing through. And for us, that’s getting back to normal.