Just Like That

If you stood in the shadows here on Monday you noticed how chilly dawn and dusk felt. My dog’s breath hung in the air as she made her morning rounds. The official high temperature at the airport (a wide flat space covered with pavement) was only 71F.

That same mercury reached 85 yesterday afternoon and everyone’s agog that 100 is possible today (at 4 p.m. it was 95). We can finally retire our sweaters (no more false starts, at last). I dug out the electric fans we keep on-hand for this short-lived occurrence—we are amateurs at weather extremes—glad again that the small house is cozy with a mixed forest of big trees. Shade, iced coffee, and discovering all the screws for the Big Fan are there—could it get any better?

This seemingly swift throwing of The Big Switch, from cool to hot with no moderate in-betweens, reminds me how time seems to pick up speed past one’s 50th birthday. Things happen. And we swear we didn’t see them coming. In contrast, my neighbor’s oldest son is home from college for the summer, out bucking hay in the mornings with his brother and otherwise enjoying a less frenetic lifestyle (as he works toward med school) and his youth. Nineteen in April.

It doesn’t seem possible.

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