The Edmond Sun


November 24, 2012

‘Summer of old ladies’ sticks around

EDMOND — Two whirligigs stand out like giant black mushrooms newly sprung from the asphalt shingles that cover my roof. Some say those turbines should be left twirling throughout the winter, allowing the attic air to circulate ... whatever good comes from that. Others say the in-house temperature is warmer when they’re covered, so utility bills are lower. I’ve tried it both ways and can’t tell the difference, but I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry.

I adopted that safe/sorry way of thinking the year my outdoor sprinkler system froze up and a gusher seemed set on eroding the front lawn when it thawed. The repairman put a stop to that, but he left here with a big smile on his face and a bigger check in his pocket, and me in the house licking my financial wounds. Ever since, I’ve felt uneasy until after the pipes were drained and the mechanism winterized far ahead of the expected first freeze. For the same reason, the outdoor faucets have been snugly fitted with the insulated caps I keep for that purpose.

My yardman is out there now, raking up leaves for the third time this season, but it will by no means be the last time. Su-the-weenie dog sits at the big kitchen window, alternately scolding him and the squirrels that ignore them both. They scamper throughout the back yard, switching their tails, pausing to bury an acorn here and there, and then, full-cheeked, they dash up a tree to deposit their harvest in nests.

I wonder if they, like me, are thinking, “OK, that’s it. I’ve done my part, so where is the cold weather that the voices of the past tell me should have arrived before now? Bring it on. I’m ready.”

Ready or not, though, nothing weather-wise has happened. Maybe a day or two this fall my fingers did hover near the thermostat adjusting between hot and cold. Oh, and then there was Wednesday’s earthquake that rolled in with the sound of a Nor’easter but left the temperature unchanged.

I know it’s past time to abandon my sandals and take a jacket along when I leave the house, but I don’t. Except when I go to church, of course, or the theater, where the air conditioning that’s set for a crowd always seems to concentrate its blast on me.

Let’s see now. Thanksgiving is over (check). Fall leaves have changed color (check). We’ve had a killing frost (check), and the temperature has climbed back above 70 degrees (check). Hmm. Now what do suppose could. .... By golly, I’ve got it! We’re in the midst of one of those Indian Summers the Lithuanians call “bobu vasara,” meaning “summer of old ladies.” Well, fine! I should have known it would be something like that.

MARJORIE ANDERSON is an Edmond resident.

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