It’s still relatively warm up here and even the rain has been sporadic, leading many to claim this area is in a drought situation. Not seeing it but it gives the weather bunnies something to talk about. It’s only the end of July now but if one were to take a stroll through some of the stores around here, it’s full blown autumn.
Said stores, never to miss a selling opportunity have already put all the summer stuff on sale or back in the storage rooms and now have all the fall and winter crap out for the retail public to spend their hard earned money on, at least those with ‘real’ jobs. Heavy dark clothing to ward off the coming freezing temperatures, decorations for the upcoming holiday orgies ranging from Halloween to New Years. The outdoor shops are now chock full of hunting equipment. Rifles, pistols, archery stuff, and all the clothing and other accouterments which go along with said sport. Make no mistake. Despite the national arguments over guns, hunting and gun ownership is a way of life here in these mountains.
The annual back to school junk is also in full swing, having started way back in early June, right after Labor Day and before the kids even finish the previous year of indoctrination…excuse me, ‘education’. Summer was being sold when the snow as still falling back in late winter. It’s like you barely have time to celebrate any season before the next one gets shoved down your throat.
This happens not just here but everywhere in the country including the Florida Keys. Although winter clothing is not quite so popular down there, the holidays are and the retail warlords waste no time in putting related junk up for sale. Even now, stores which were filled with lobster hunting equipment are putting whatever is left on sale and gearing up for the next big events. As for Key West, the big doin’s coming up at the end of October (not allowed to mention it by name because those who run it don’t understand the internet nor publicity) mean stores are already filled with costumes, glitter, and beads. Some retail spaces which are empty most of the year are occupied for the next few months by out of town companies who follow the festivals around the country, selling their associated wares. After the event is over they move on to the next place where tutu’s and body paint will be in demand.
It’s a strange way of life with all these seasonal changes. Of course, the bottom line is always the bottom line. Making money off the seasons, holidays, and events. Cashing in on anticipation and excitement with deals on clothing, equipment, decorations, and seasonal food. One gets tired of it eventually, or at least I do.
But for the locals up here in the hinterlands, the change of seasons is a part of life. Soon, houses will be sealed off to block the coming cold. Winter tires will be put on vehicles. AC units, used very little, will be covered and something called a, ‘furnace’ will be lit. Firewood will be cut and stacked. In the not too distance future, barely a couple months from now, leaves will change color, die and the raking will begin. All the nice, light weight clothing used in summer will be packed away whilst all the heavy, dark, cumbersome uniforms of winter will be dragged out, cleaned and readied for the long cold season to come. The sun, the big yellow bright thing in the sky which gives out heat and warmth for those of you who don’t live in the Keys, will vanish behind a solid gray blanket of clouds, wind, cold, and rain.
No thanks. Give me eternal summer with it’s sunshine, warmth, and comfort. I have no desire to participate in another bout of cold, snow, ice, sleet, and gray depressing endless dreariness. No retailer can overcome the awfulness of winter. No amount of money spent on decorations, nor new clothes, nor seasonal food makes up for the fact it will be cold and downright gloomy for 9 months out of the year.
I’ll take the cheerfulness and optimism which comes whens the days are long and the nights are warm. Hopefully, things might work out where I will miss most of the coming cold weather. Mayhaps to get back to the islands and enjoy the warm, sunny sea breezes.
Soon. Just not soon enough.