Moderately warm on a dry sunny day, it was perfect weather for a clam bake. I met Diane in the St. Monica’s parking lot right before two p.m. and we went upstairs to the school gym where the tables and chairs were set up for the eaters. We had been to other clam bakes in previous years but this one put on by the Catholic War Vets was the best of them last year so when Diane mentioned it, I said, count me in. Once again we enjoyed the fare and each went our separate ways after the meal.
Labor Day weekend usually acts as a reminder that the heat of summer is behind us, but this year the season lingered on with many schools closing early or cancelling classes altogether because the schools were built before air conditioning was standard in all buildings and summer vacation for children went on through August. With the hottest August in recorded history, according to local television meteorologists, the eighty-five to ninety plus degree days continued for two-thirds of September.
This Wednesday evening is the Knights of Columbus dinner, Lasagna, and we will have spent September and be looking into October. It means a different kind of slowing down. In the intensity of a ninety degree day, with the constant drone of mowers and machinery, street traffic, and this summer the cacophony of cicadas in every thick stand of trees, humidity and clothing damp from perspiration, just walking from the car to the office, or into a store took extra effort.
In the autumn with crisp cool days, the perfume of decaying leaves, the breeze casting a spell of mild intoxication, I walk or drive with the wide range of breathtaking analogous reds, oranges and yellows replacing the summer greens, the daylight hours grow shorter and an appetite for homemade soups, stews, and roasting squashes, hot drinks fill my head. I add extra blankets to my bed coverings. It is time to stock the pantry, and prepare the house, yard and car for winter.