Yep, it's that time of year again....it's Fall in Dallas; my favorite time of the year! Fall in Texas is a different thing than Fall up in the Northern states. No here, the leaves don't change into vibrate reds and oranges before they get gently swept away by the incoming crisp Arctic blows. Here the leaves hang on until about mid-November and then give up and over the course of about, oh I don't know, a weekend, die and spiral to the ground in an uninspiring mess.
Nope, you can't use the leaves as a gauge here because Nature works a little differently in Texas. Around here, we don't really have what most would call "the true four seasons". Always needing to be bigger, we don't settle for just four seasons; instead we have six "temperature and activity ranges". I guess if you had to compare it to places that have "the true four seasons", it'd go something like this:
Spring - A four week period when it's about 80 degrees and it's truly beautiful and enjoyable to be outside; flowers are in bloom and the air is amazing! Women get pedicures, men begin preparing their grills and children begin clamoring for the pools to open.
Post-Spring - A four week, Texas only season, observed when the rest of the country is still enjoying moderate temperatures and we begin crawling into the 90s and sneezing all over the place because everything is truly in bloom now. The pools are now open and conversations are beginning to compare droughts of years past as residents brace for the upcoming months.
Summer - The sixteen week period in which the damn mosquitoes are frigging everywhere and the air is sick with the smell of Deep Woods Off! It's so hot that all most women can muster is a ponytail and flip-flops for "dressing up". Children only hit the pools during the early morning and late evening hours because, well, the water is virtually boiling...but hey, for some reason it's a great excuse for men to BBQ! And I mean why not...you're already hot, why not hang out around a grill loaded with a multitude of marinated meat?!?! It is during this period that thermometers in these parts will max out some where around 104 and most Native Texans will begin harking for the return of Winter in order to catch a break from the oppressive heat and drought.
Post-Summer - The eight week period directly behind the never-ending drought previously referred to as "Summer" in Texas. This is the period in time when our temperatures fluctuate between 98 and 75 on any given day and every cricket within 1,000 miles will magically migrate into our great state and begin camping out on the sidewalks, streets and entryways of our buildings and homes. Everything that died, or went into Summer-hibernation, during the previous sixteen weeks due to drought will suddenly wake back up because it will start raining as if ordered by Noah himself. We will all once again begin sneezing all over the place as if it were Spring due to the sudden re-blooming of everything and the flip-flopping temperatures. In case this still doesn't sound familiar to any of you, this section of time is sometimes better known by it's more formal and beloved name of "The Beginning of Football Season"!
Fall - The two week period when it is once again amazing to be outside and we are finally safe from any potential pollen, ragweed or other hay-fever inducing particles. Women will ditch the pony-tail look and will once again begin to curl and straighten their hair as there is no longer a fear of instantly frizzing when stepping outside due to the heat and humidity. During this time men will begin preparing for hibernation during what is commonly called "post-football season" or "football draft season".
Winter - Ahhhh Winter...yes here this is known as the 18 week period when everything will once again die, including the mosquitoes and bloody crickets, and we will break out our heavy coats and sweaters (because to us 40 degrees might as well be the actual temperature for freezing water). Children will begin praying for "ice days" and school closings. It is during this time of year that you will most often hear Native Texans spouting the question of "Geez, how many more weeks until Summer is back?"