It’s only mid-August and I’m already fantasizing about the sweet relief of fall.

Per my annual normal, I just can’t wait for summer to be over.

Even as a kid, I found fall to be my favorite season. It’s the time of year that prompts a sigh of relief.

Summer was always filled with work – gardening, canning, mowing, moving pipe, butchering chickens, watering trees. It was also filled with sweating in a non-air conditioned house, fighting off flies, sneezing from the pollination around us, itching from the mosquitoes.

And then, the temperature changed and brought with it relief.

There was the great relief of going back to school because it was not as labor intensive as being home.

I felt relief as the pipe was piled on the trailers and the corn was hauled to the silage pile.

The leaves fell off those trees I’d faithfully nurtured and they were allowed to stop growing for just a bit. That meant I got to trade in my water buckets for a rake, which was a lot easier to handle.

The chickens were in the freezer, the garden was jarred in the cellar and the flies were finally dead.

The pace of fall somehow helps us slow down a bit. All the work of the summer is finally completed, the responsibility is lifted.

There’s also the ability to put on more clothes. As I age, I’ve grown to appreciate that factor even more. We can cover everything up – conceal what we want to without sweating to death. It’s so much easier to hide our flaws under a sweater than a tank top. We can always put on more clothes when it’s cold . . . we can only get so naked when it’s hot.

There’s also the great convenience of using the crock pot. The honesty of the device is that it is designed for stews and soups – not lighter fare that’s commanded during the hot months. I love that I can throw a bunch of stuff in that thing in the morning – and at night, I find it miraculously turned into something hot and comforting.

I love that the flip flops are on the floor of my closet and socks under boots are on my feet. My ugly toenails are covered and if my feet sweat, I’m the only one that knows.

The checkbook sighs with relief because it’s not under assault to finance air conditioning – and it’s not quite cold enough to start the furnace.

It’s a relief that the sun goes down earlier, thereby ridding us of guilt if we just want to watch TV instead of feeling the need to get as much accomplished as possible in the daylight.

Fall is a brief relief because we don’t yet have the stress of winter, with Christmas and slick roads. We don’t have the anticipation of spring and the coinciding need to plan and re-energize.

Fall is just this happy medium, a break from the extremes.

Take a breath.

Put another blanket on the bed.

Fill a bowl with gourds.

Enjoy the spoils of your labor.

Eat some chili.

Drain the garden hose.

Kick some leaves.

Watch some football.

Make a pumpkin pie.

Oh, the sweet relief of fall. I simply can’t wait.

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