I can't help it - we're in the middle of a glorious day here in north Texas, and I'm playing hooky. Instead of finishing up the original essay I started this morning, I can't pass up this opportunity to revel in our 69-degree, no-clouds no-humidity luxury. I've gotta tell you about the deep, kelly-green grass shining across the lawn, the crisp dapples of sunlight glowing from the trees, and the perfect blue sky running along the tops of trees across the street.
In the back yard, three crepe myrtles celebrate the day with lush bursts of pink flowers amidst soft green leaves. While in other parts of the country, leaves may actually have started falling in their traditional ritual, here in north Texas, we won't be burdened with raking for at least another month. So things here still boast full, green foliage.
The day's beauty even comes inside. Every now and then, a soft breath of fresh air puffs through open windows, cool but not uncomfortably so, carrying with it the unusual odor of... well, nothing, actually. Living in the geographic center of five million people here between Dallas and Fort Worth, it's not common to have odor-free air. And I'm not missing the smell of cooked exhaust.
Indeed, many of us in this part of the country don't generally enjoy summertime like the rest of America. We get brutal, incessant heat and low temperatures in the 80's. We don't live for summer like they do up North. No, we live for days like today, which start becoming pretty regular throughout autumn, and can also be fairly common in the spring. For this autumn, today heralds the beginning of the rewards for enduring a typically grueling summer.
And winters? Well, they can be downright pleasant in our corner of Texas. I can remember wearing shorts on Christmas Day here, although such attire doesn't really begin to get regular use until February at the earliest. Not that we don't get shocked back into the reality of winter every once in a while, like the massive 9" snowstorm we suffered this past February.
Now, undoubtedly, we still risk getting shocked with another day or two of hot heat before summer finally says "goodbye" to Texas for another year. The State Fair only just started, and 100-degree days don't usually pack up for the winter until after it ends in the middle of October.
But days like today serve to usher in the reality that cooler, better weather will soon be settling in over north Texas, and for a while at least, we won't dread the weather forecasts.