El frio, it’s what everyone has been talking about. It’s been cloudy for nearly 6 days straight with on and off misty rain, turning the streets into puro lodo and temperatures have dropped. And I might be the only one that’s happy about it.
I was feeling depressed a few weeks ago. Work has been steady but uninspiring, fun activities at a minimum. Then, after listening to Michigan football games via internet radio every weekend, I was beginning to get homesick for the crisp, cool air, changing colors and warm apple cider that accompany every autumn, my favorite time of the year. Nothing here looked like fall, the pine trees still bright and vivid, the weather still moderately warm, no apples or pumpkins at the market. I had relinquished myself to making autumn leaves from construction paper to decorate our apartment when it happened.
The sky clouded over, and temperatures, although still in the 60’s, felt noticeably cooler. While in the US, this weather would still warrant shorts and flip flops no doubt, here, people have brought out oversized fluffy winter parkas, beanies, fleeces and scarves to keep out the chill. I awoke one morning to a slight mist which, when matched with a wintry smell in the air, almost fooled me into thinking snow was eminent. I commented to Nolan that, “It feels like the middle of winter here!” to which he smugly replied, “It is the middle of winter here.” Winter is over in December after all. On a trip to a community high in the surrounding mountains, I happened upon a wonderful sight, a solitary maple tree shedding it’s orangy-golden leaves in the midst of a pine forest. I was amazed. I followed this up with a trip to the grocery store where they were already stocking Christmas ribbons, nativity scenes and poinsettias, earlier than in the U.S. if you could believe it. (They don’t have Halloween and Thanksgiving to get in the way I guess).
It finally feels and looks (mas o menos) like it ought to in late September and the cold air has refreshed my spirits.