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Kelly's Comments: 'Mail Call' maven ushers in autumn

October 23, 2008|By KELLY MORENO

Some people say that fall -- or autumn, if you like -- is their favorite time of year. "The air is so crisp," they gush. "Crisp" -- yes -- for about a week. Then it just gets cold. "But it's good sweater weather," they'll offer. Right.

It means I go from wearing one sweater to two -- with a coat I'll have to wear until May. For me, anything under 75 degrees is cold.

So why don't I move to Florida? It's the old cliché: Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. Monotonous flat expanses of palm trees and beige stucco just don't do it for me. I enjoy the beautiful scenery that goes along with the seasonal changes in this part of the country.

I admit that the trees are pretty in the fall -- at first, when their leaves turn from green to gold, orange and red (but I still like green better).

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But then all of those leaves fall. Dead, dried-up leaves that have to be raked up -- unless we get lucky and the bone-chilling wind blows them away.

Anyway, fall is here, like it or not. I will miss the long, warm, sunny days of summer -- but not the mosquitoes. Amazingly, those varmints were still here in mid-October! Apparently they didn't get the memo about summer being over. What do they think they are, stink bugs?

I don't recall ever being bothered by mosquitoes in Washington County until this year. They must have been making up for lost time, the vicious little creatures. I'm glad they're finally gone, but I'm still having trouble embracing autumn.

And I don't understand why some people like to rush it. You know, the ones who put pumpkins on their front steps in September. Please. My fall decorating every year consists of buying exactly one mum, which inevitably dies the minute I plant it.

As you can tell, unfortunately I tend to associate autumn with life ending. A gradual, subtle, but unmistakable death. Everything turns brown and dies (mosquitoes, take note). I have to remind myself that spring will come again (barring a nuclear attack or some other disaster, that is).

Spring is my favorite season, because while autumn feels like a sad ending, spring feels like a miraculous beginning. It reassures me that life goes on, when everything gets reborn in the spring and I get to savor it all summer.

I practically live outside from May until October. The yard and the porch and the deck get lots of attention, but everything in the house is neglected. Those knick-knacks inside can just stay dusty all summer long; I'd much rather admire the gorgeous flowers outside.

Cooler weather also means relaxing in the family room instead of on the porch. This past spring, President Bush must have known that my animals had ruined my family room furniture, because he sent me a special check to stimulate me to replace it.

So I did replace the sofa and loveseat, but there was one piece of furniture that I couldn't possibly part with.

This is an older, special chair, affectionately known as The Bad Chair. The Bad Chair is so comfortable that once you sit in it, it's nearly impossible to leave it. Even unsuspecting visitors have been known to fall asleep in The Bad Chair after just a few minutes.

The Bad Chair's partner in crime is The Ottoman. These two evil forces work together to keep me from doing whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing. Given the danger involved, I don't often allow myself the luxury of The Bad Chair.

Once I settle in with a blanket, a cup of hot tea, a chubby cat, the TV remote and/or a good book, put a fork in me; I'm done. I can't get up. It's not my fault -- The Bad Chair got me again. Besides, there's a very heavy cat pinning me down, and I couldn't possibly disturb the cat, could I?

It's cold outside now, so I get to relax in The Bad Chair without feeling too guilty, right? After all, there's no yard work to do, and surely the housework can wait a little longer.

No, no, now that summer is over, I really will get things done in the house. I can finally work on all those projects I've been putting off, like organizing 10 years worth of photos, and reading (place obvious plug here) Tim Rowland's latest book.

I can watch those DVDs that are still in their original plastic wrapping. I might even open the Pilates DVD. Hey, I had good intentions when I bought it. Who knows? Maybe I will clean the house. It could happen. Except ... I think I hear the Bad Chair calling me.

Kelly Moreno is an editorial assistant with The Herald-Mail. Her column appears every other Thursday.

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