Winter Is Coming… I Hope

I have been comforted in this uncomfortable year, by the extent to which, if nature is noticing the pandemic at all, she’s mostly finding benefits from it. The clear canals in Venice, the improved air quality, the reduced carbon emissions… all good stuff. My spring flowers bloomed with their usual enthusiasm, the feral kittens showed up at the summer kitchen on schedule (dang it), and summertime arrived, complete with heat, humidity, and bugs.

And I have had enough of summer, thank you very much. I’m trying not to use the daytime AC this year, and ye gods… How can it be that fans pretty much guarantee chapped lips while the stinkin’ humidity guarantees two showers day? Did you know that cats can transmit poison ivy? That will teach me to let the little buggers strop my ankles when I’m running around in shorts and a T-shirt.

I’m ready to be done with summer. Done, done, done. I want to get to the part of the year where hot drinks, fuzzy socks, and long-sleeved layers are delightful. When you can take that power walk after 8 am and not worry about heat exhaustion. When cooking is partly to keep the house toasty, and not a last resort in a kitchen that feels like an oven even when the oven is off.

I want to get to the weeks when cleaning out the flower beds doesn’t mean a wringing sweat in the first five minutes of outdoor activity, and scented candles rather than essence de pet de mouffette perfumes the evening air. My energy ratchets up when the temperature drops and the days get shorter, and the colder months are generally more productive in terms of writing for me too (Sycamore Dorning, take note).

I know people gathering indoors more is not a good thing from a public health standpoint right now, but I’m not much of a gatherer in any weather. Bring me autumn, please, and to heck with this heat. I want to spend long, dark evenings reading great books, and chilly mornings writing some happily ever afters.

Are you getting exasperated with any aspect of life these days? Do you dread to see the seasons change, or are you looking forward to the cooler months? What has brought you comfort and a sense of normalcy this year? What are you looking forward to?

I’ll add three commenters to my ARC list for My Heart’s True Delight, which will be available in the web store in just a couple weeks!

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19 comments on “Winter Is Coming… I Hope

  1. It’s interesting to me that this past week was one of the hottest of summer and stinky and muggy and Chicago-ugly-hot. But today was a perfect summer day! Temp was about 81 with little humidity. Sky: blue and sun: sunny. Flowers: blooming and gorgeous. The only thing that disappointed me was the sunset seemed too soon. I guess that makes sense since it’s the last weekend of August.

    This was the best year for our garden–someone actually told my hubby they thought our garden was BEAUTIFUL today as he dead headed the roses in the front. I will miss it–we had such fun gardening this summer–but I also feel it’s about time to put it to rest. We decided to continue having meals on the patio on the weekends until October or so, much longer than usual since we won’t be going to concerts or events this fall and will have time.

    My houseplants have been wonderful since mid-March, I guess I have had much more time to groom and water them. I’ve enjoyed our greener life, both and outside, this year. Probably because I’ve had time to tend to things.

    I am looking forward to autumn this year. It’s my favorite season but I plan to enjoy it simply this year. All my usual apple and pumpkin laden treats will bring me comfort and we need comfort this year.

    What is the one thing I’m really feed up and exasperated with this year? One word: POLITICS!

  2. Last night, my husband , Rose and I sat outside on the porch after it rained. We enjoyed the break in the humidity and the cool breeze.

    My husband remarked several times that it was almost September. We are expecting a few humid days and possibly more rain this week. But cooler weather is definitely on the way.

    September and October are my favorite months. Love the cooler mornings. The weather is perfect for walks, baking and porch sitting. The dogs seem more active, too.

    During the months of stay at home, we have been able to finish a few house projects. I have sorted through, clothes, books and paperwork. Closets have been cleaned and the dining room hutch has been organized. Little projects but big steps in organization.

    I am looking forward to buying some pumpkins and mums to brighten up the front door. Going out to eat…now that the summer people are gone. Baking bread and pies. I think the change of seasons brings comfort to me…the spring flowers, the happy sunflowers, mums and pine.

  3. Oh, bring it on. Bring on autumn! If autumn could last nine months of the year, I’d allow the other three seasons a month each.

    Grace, as an aside…. I have a question for you about purchases via your store vs. Amazon, etc.— do purchases from you count toward those “best seller” lists? I have no idea how those lists work and although purchasing from your store makes more sense to me, I want to be sure I’m not causing you to lose out in the long run, somehow.

    Can’t wait for My Heart’s True Delight!
    Best wishes,

  4. Oh my goodness, I am ready for this oppressive heat to be gone!! We lost all our trees in a Cat 5 hurricane 2 years ago, and so it is blisteringly hot daily here. Yuck.
    Summer used to be my favorite season, but I am changing to winter being my favorite as I get older. So come on January! I can’t wait.

  5. Though the coming of winter, with the implied approach of Christmas, usually fills us with joy and anticipation, this year I am dreading the colder weather, truth be told. One of our very favorite things to do, any time of year, is to have friends and family gather round our table for some fine conversation and great food. Over this Covid summer, we have managed to see friends and family by setting up separate tables outdoors for each group, preparing individual Bento boxes for each guest and maintaining mask enforced social distancing whenever we are not seated. It has worked out beautifully, giving us a sense of human connection that Zoom or FaceTime simply cannot (though I still sorely miss the hugging!). Once the weather is too cold to be outside, I fear our sense of isolation will only increase. I’m not quite sure how we will manage the loneliness. I mean, I really adore my husband of 42+ years, but we still can get on each other’s nerves from time to time without the social lubrication that friends and family provide!

  6. Like you I’m looking forward to cooler weather. The last time I checked on my phone it was 99o feeling like 105o and we’re expecting triple digit high through this coming Sunday. Since I went through the change I don’t tolerate temperature extremes as I was able when I was younger.
    I’m staying inside mainly, thought I may need to get out a couple of days this week to get cat food.
    Just finished Douglas today and am trying to figure out which of your other books I haven’t read.
    I’m very much looking forward to reading this next book.

  7. Hi! Love your web site and books lists. How about a Dorning family tree? With characters from this family in more than one series, I have put together my own (or tried!) to keep things organized. I would love one from you, official-like! Thanks! Enjoy your books and always look forward to a new title!!

  8. For me it’s the winter months of january/February that I find hard to cope with.Short dark very cold days that run into each other week after week.It seems if time stands still for a time.Then just when it’s really getting me low I discover a tiny head popping up in the garden and it gives me a boost that somehow regenerated me.I begin to look forward to Spring and rebirth.Even if we are still living with the pandemic nature will play her tune,put her best dress on and dance.So it goes on despite every thing.We have Autumn first though so let’s enjoy her show before we hibernate(if only we could!!!).Looking forward to Della/Ash story soon,those two have been stringing us along for ages.Love and HEA forever Grace take us away with your lovely characters and stories.The best tonic for me during the high and low of it all.Keep cool and calm and remind yourself how you make your readers happy with your writing.Bye.

  9. I haven’t minded this summer actually, sitting on my porch reading and rereading all of your stories, starting from the VERY beginning, piecing together the timing, which is fun. Darius and Valentine go together and then Nicholas and then Trenton, to deal with the evil old Earl. THAT was very satisfying. Looking forward as always to the new ones. Do you ever consider getting the secondary characters, or the “not so bad villains” from previous stories, together for their chance at redemption? What about a series for a legal family? You do good lawyers. By thee way you do excellent animals. I love how they have an opinion – Georgette and Caesar for example on how humans are odd but dear.

  10. I live in central Texas and the heat can be horribly oppressive. I am very thankful that the humidity here isn’t as high as some places! August and early September tend to be the hottest months when everything outside bakes. I’ve been enjoying my tiny veggie garden this past spring and summer. However, I am gearing up mentally to wage war on the fire ants that I discovered today at the base of one of my (currently not producing cherry tomato plants). It doesn’t help that I am horribly allergic to fire ants. . .

    On the bright side, my husband and I are going to head up north to Idaho on the other side of Teton pass from Jackson Hole. We’ll stop and see our son on our way up. Hubby will be working for a week while we are there and then we will spend some time exploring the western side of the Tetons and enjoying cooler weather!

  11. I also can’t wait for winter.I tried walking after dark but I still was sweating due to the humidity. I do not think the cooler weather will arrive any sooner than mid-October. Last year we still had temperatures in the 90’s in mid to late October.I felt that our summers were getting longer and I was right. The average high temperature in my area was 4 degrees higher in the month of September during the last 10 years than it was for the previous 20 years. For October it was 3 degrees higher.It is easy talking about the weather when my real concerns are frightening. I am worried that we are seeing the beginning of the end of democracy in our country. I have also been appalled by the hatred and stupidity exhibited by people who will not wear masks to save the lives of others.In a few months we will reach 200,000 Americans dead and yet some people are still unwilling to wear masks. I have lived through times of rioting(no, I do not condone it) in the past but it scares me to see police encouraging armed citizens to take the law into their own hands.We need to stop the rioting and police brutality. I do not know if we will get leaders who will be able and willing to do what is necessary to save our freedom and our democracy. People in other countries have lost theirs. I am hopeful there will be a vaccine within the next 6 months even though I can not envision what life will be like then. I certainly want to hear from your other readers what gives them hope.

    • Lynn, life is very scary right now, but remember that most of this will be resolved or over soon. I have great hope about the vaccine, and read yesterday where several important discoveries have been made about the virus. The election will be over in a few months, and the rioting will eventually subside. I’ve cut down on the amount of news that I read now. It’s too depressing.

  12. WHEN will print order be up for Ash? I went to pre-order on the monolith & nothing. *Sob* I can’t caress the spines of ebooks or sniff the pages even if I make a Keeper Shelf folder.

    If you ever decide to go digital only, give us plenty of notice, puh-lease?

    Luddites unite!

  13. I can’t imagine being without air conditioning in this weather. I live in Alabama and it has been brutal at times.

    About exasperation, a short answer would be life is exasperating. I’m working from home with my husband and son roaming around, add in 3 bored dogs and 2 foster kittens who all want attention, plus my own adult cats. And then when the virtual private network decides to stop working … I am looking forward to retirement next year when I get to drop the 40 hour work week. I also remind myself that my annoyances are also my blessings. I would not want to lose a one of them.

    I am also praying for cooler, drier weather as we have quite a lot of rain, and the humidity and heat are awful.

    About normalcy, I think reading has been my escape more than usual this year. I can’t really go anywhere with the pandemic and working full time, and even during the work day, I can snatch a little break here and there to read a few pages.

  14. I love the cooler weather of autumn and look forward to apples and honey. For some strange reason, this summer I have been dreaming of simmering soups and tea and hot chocolate. So now on each day that is cool enough, I am making a batch of soup/stew/broth and loving it. Come February I will likely be whistling a different tune, but for now I will enjoy sitting on the porch with big bowl of steaming soup or a mug of something soothing with a good book.

  15. We have recently started to return to “normalcy” by seeing a few friends on occasion. And by “normal”, I mean wearing masks if we are in close proximity, like sharing a car ride; remaining outdoors as much as possible; staying socially distant; and, worst of all – NO PHYSICAL CONTACT. I miss hugs, I miss kisses. These are my friends and extended family, people who are my lifeblood – and the lack of physical contact physically hurts. The good thing about the change of weather/season is that spending time outdoors with loved ones is something we can do more of, since there is less heat and oppressive humidity in our area. We are especially enjoying spending time with them around the fire pit at night, glass of wine in hand, 70s classic rock playing in the background. Despite everything, life is good.

  16. I am so excited by this book. I am looking forward to being able to order my paperback copy. My mother who passed away several months ago and I love the foods in the fall. I will miss talking with her about things. Holidays are hard. Thank you for your great books!