Bring It!

Last time I visited my doctor, we looked over a batch of labs and I saw my C-reactive protein score was up. This is a measure of general inflammation, and it’s a test where the lower the score, the better. My PA, though, pointed out that my score ALWAYS goes up in the summer, and comes back down in the winter. The number swings from, “This is flirting with rheumatoid arthritis territory,” down to, “What’s inflammation?”

This comports with my sense of the seasons generally. I detest the heat, humidity, and bugs of summer, and I made things harder on myself this summer by trying to minimize my use of AC. By July I am wrung out, August is a white-knuckle slog, and September is one long prayer for a hard frost.

It’s October, and we still haven’t had a hard frost, but we’ve had a few nights in the forties, and the end of this week should see a dip into the thirties. I say, Bring It. Bring on the days when hot tea is wonderful, bring on the nights when it’s dark early enough that evening feels like evening, not like perpetual, overheated afternoon. Bring on the days that start when days should, not at 5 am with the neighbor-cows bawling their greeting to the sun.

I am just not made for summer, no matter how light my clothing, no matter how many fans I use, no matter anything. I am made for soft layers of comfy clothing, thick socks, hot tea, and cats snuggled in a heap on my living room counter. I thrive on weather that means riding a horse warms me up rather than wrings me out. I delight in starry, starry nights, when I can see my breath and the Milky Way.

I know winter is coming. One indication is the number of readers ordering A Rogue in Winter from the web store. Another indication is that the horses at the barn are getting fuzzy. Yet another is that I’m sleeping better. I love this time of year, when I no longer feel I have to defend myself from excessive heat and humidity, and I can move around in peace again.

My seasonal preference has grown more pronounced as I’ve aged, and as climate change has made summers more unbearable. My dad, by contrast, grew to hate winter, to the extent that at age 55, he retired from Pennsylvania to San Diego, and never looked back. For me, we’re finally moving toward good writing weather, good sleeping weather, good everything weather.

How does this time of year find you? Losing energy? Gaining energy? Looking forward? Backward? Crafting? Reading? Or–one of my faves–hibernating? I’ll put three commenters on the ARC list for my first Lady Violet mystery–Lady Violet Investigates, which is due to release in the web store on Dec. 14.

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26 comments on “Bring It!

  1. I like summer but not enough to want it all year long. I hate winter in the Midwest, no matter that I’ve spent most of my life dealing with, what the local news outlets call, “character building weather.” I enjoy spring, once it gets going and the rainy, drippy, gray and crappy days start getting longer.

    But the season I really, really, REALLY LOVE is autumn. The angle of the sun turns everything golden. Greens are greener, any flower still blooming is more intense and concentrated in color and, of course, the gorgeous leaves becoming breathtaking shades of red and gold and orange. Days that are still warm or sweater weather or needing a nice jacket and my fluffy comforter at night. I love my fall clothes and my nice socks and cute shoes. I feel more myself in autumn!

    • What you said in a nutshell–I feel more myself in autumn and winter, and least like myself in summer. Has to do with both body and mind, and the pattern is utterly consistent.

  2. I can’t wait for the cooler temperatures!

    It was 68’ and a bit humid here yesterday!
    Temps should drop in a day or so and hopefully trend down!

    I am enjoying the walking weather and the last few weeks of coffee on the deck with the dogs. I have noticed my energy level picks up in the fall—the summer humidity gets to me.

    I have saved a few books for winter reading and am trying to get organized for my daughters birthday and the holidays. And baking— just took a loaf of pumpkin bread out of the oven. Am looking forward to wearing my sweaters and fall jackets.

    Am wondering about the winter and the SNOW. Greg ( the corgi) has dropped his coat. I brushed him yesterday and now he looks like a puppy. Am wondering if his winter coat is going to be thick— will know in 6 weeks.

    Enjoy your week!!

    • I sleep better in the cooler weather. Colder air has more oxygen in it (because denser), and I suspect my vitamin stores are highest in the fall. Whatever the explanation, it’s the season when I am most likely to be productive AND happy.
      The horses are fuzzing up too–I just love that, though it means tacking up is a little more time consuming.

  3. I’m not much of a summer fan. Give me spring and fall any day. Love those in-between extremes months.

    The summer in Alabama is brutal (the humidity is relentless). However, we don’t have extreme cold temps in winter (not much snow) and some years not much time between seasons. We sometimes go from 75 degree weather at Christmas to a deep freeze in January…you never know. ‍♀️

    • I consider Alabama sub-tropical. I’ve been in Phoenix on a 115F day. Yeah, it was hot. But not nearly as uncomfortable as NOLA on a 95F day. That’s a special brand of in hospitable, though I guess we can acclimate to a lot if we’re motivated and patient. Still… give me four seasons or give me a transfer to someplace that has a true autumn and winter.

  4. First open window day here in Florida. Glorious opportunity to save on my A/C bill, which rivals northern heating bills.

    I just replaced dead “landscaping” put in by a builder who bought whatever was cheap as opposed to native. My choice is every rosemary sprig I could get my hands on, since it’s full sun on sandy fill dirt. It might not be Florida flora, but Mediterranean plants do well here & I’m hankering for something that smells nice & doesn’t require massive quantities of toxic chemicals to survive. Hopefully it will fill in & choke out the weeds that flourish on mulch demanded by tyrannical idiots intent on selling every scrap of ground to clueless out of state migrants.

    Lovely to change out of tank tops & skimpy shorts or skirts suitable for yesterday’s 89F & don tops with short sleeves & a skirt that dips below my knees. Highs forecast for the 70s today, so Fall is finally teasing us with bearable temps.

    I’m finally migrating to the porch to enjoy the ibis, egrets, & cowbirds establishing their territories around the lake. Thanks to the trade winds off Africa blowing ash from the La Palma volcano across the Atlantic, we’re having spectacular sunrises & sets. I can’t help feeling for their banana planters as the lava destroys their houses & fields when I see the colors.

    • We occasionally get the ash sunrises and sunsets from western wild fires. It’s the same thing–so pretty!–but so tragic, too.
      Is there any finer way to start the day then with your bevvie of choice out on the deck? Methinks now.

      • Just treated myself to a new coffee pot after the old died of overwork. I jazz mine up a little with a sweet turmeric blend of spices, add whipping cream, & let my tongue purr as I sip. Ahhhhh!

  5. I’m a summer girl at heart. For some reason I am always cold (I’ve often said that if not for the occasional hot flash, I would freeze solid!), so the warm weather makes me come alive. I also love being in the pool, despite our initial impulse to have the pool filled in when we bought the house. We were dissuaded by the ridiculous cost of filling in what is essentially a huge hole, and decided to live with it for a year or two before deciding. As it happens, we’ve decided we absolutely love having it and it isn’t nearly as much work or expense as we initially anticipated. Of course, winter does hold the tantalizing promise of Thanksgiving and Christmas!

    • I’ve often thought if I had a pool… even an above ground pool… except around here, the above ground pools get positively hot, and that defeats the whole purpose. To be able to just take a dip in the heat of the day though, or for happy hour, before turning in…. that must be lovely, and well worth whatever effort is required.

      • A pool that’s to hot? That does not compute for me!!! LOL! We got a pool heater a couple of years ago and we routinely keep it at 88 degrees, a bit higher if we have friends over on a cloudy day. Even at that temp it’s lovely to take a dip and it’s so blissful when we emerge. Honestly I find that taking a dip cools me for the rest of the day.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear you have to deal with inflammation. I, too, detest the heat but my challenge is not pain. I am perpetually dehydrated. It’s just my natural state. This makes it hard for me to function in the heat. I feel nauseous and all sorts of bad, and I spend summers indoors with the AC cranked. I absolutely love this time of year when the days are cooler. My favorite are those that drop below 60 and I can comfortably play outside. This time of year brings invigoration and new energy. I can wear hoodies and drink hot tea. When the first snowflakes fall, I break out my happy dance! My coworkers laugh at me and grumble, but there’s hardly a happier sight for me than that first snowflake and I feel young and full of excitement every year.

    • The first flurries never fail to lift my spirits too, though after a few good snowfalls (which we don’t get some years lately), it’s more, “Shovel and broom, and broom and shovel…”
      It’s been years since we had a true blizzard, but when you get three feet all at once, there’s a least a couple days of just waiting for the plows to come through, because there’s no point digging out the car anyway. I can do without the huge accumulations, but I do love a pretty snow.

    • I love, the long, dark, evenings for reading, and in most years, that stretch from Veteran’s Day to Groundhog Day is when I work most productively. I suspect some of that is that I just don’t go anywhere, but in the past eighteen months, who has? It’s also the case, though, that other people are busy–shopping, socializing, getting after winter projects–so the distractions are fewer.
      Good luck with the WIP. May the words be with you!

  7. I adore summer, but I also love it when the temps start to come back down. Today I had to wear leggings on my run for the first time this year- such a glorious fall day! I was still able to enjoy sunning in a swimsuit at noon, though. What a perfect mix of weather. I like having all 4 seasons to enjoy (and sometimes endure)

    • One of my brothers lives in the high dessert north of Albuquerque. I can see the appeal of that location, if for no other reason than every day has some dry warmth, and some genuine cool. No matter what your preference, there’s an ideal time of day for you, almost every day.

  8. Another Florida dweller (though not forever, I hope) who happens to prefer warm weather. I am frequently cold and even in summer usually sleep beneath a top sheet and a light quilt. I am okay with hot weather to the extent that at the end of August/first of September while we were waiting for the AC to be repaired, I stayed in the house over a week without it while my partner decamped for a hotel (since he couldn’t sleep in the heat). Yes, it was warmer than I prefer but not unbearable. After all, I spent my growing-up years in southern Georgia and Texas and visiting my grandparents here in Pasco County, Florida. None of those houses had air conditioning and I played outside all the time. Plus, I do prefer to keep my AC set to 80 degrees during the summer and I’m plenty comfortable.
    Interestingly, I find that my blood pressure (that I check weekly) tends to run higher in the colder weather than in the warmer weather and has for years. So I guess I’m kind of your opposite.

    • I guess a lot of it is what you get used to… as for the BP, there’s probably some subtle climate connection.
      My sister is a Type I diabetic. For YEARS she told her docs she did not need as much insulin in summer. They told her she was imagining things, varying her exercise routine more than she realized, changing her diet… along comes some decent science from somebody who actually listened to their diabetic patients, and it turns out that Vitamin D (the sunshine Vitamin) has a tremendous impact on insulin metabolism. Who knows, maybe it affects BP?

  9. This is my favorite time of year. Cooler weather let’s me get better sleep and lack of humidity means I can actually do outdoor stuff.

  10. Grace I am totally with you and lowering tolerance of summer heat. However, I also have super low tolerance for super cold weather and snow. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons because of the more moderate temperatures with cooler eveniings. I claim it is some sort of genetic throwback to my ancestors since this time of year I start craving foods like cheese and meat and more baked goods than I do other times of the year. I dont read more often or sleep more – mostly because I try to do lots of those year round.

  11. I love the fall and I even enjoy the winter until February when I begin wishing for the spring. The summer is my least favorite time of year and has been my whole life. I remember as a kid suffering through the end of the school year in an old building with little air movement (much less A/C) but being outside all winter skating and sledding etc. My age bring less tolerance for both of the weather extremes, but I prefer snuggling up with a book and tea in the winter to feeling trapped by the heat in the summer.

  12. I hope you’re all feeling well, both physically and otherwise! Personally, I love winter since it gives me an excuse to be even more of an introverted hermit than usual 🙂 I absolutely LOVE mysteries and can’t wait to meet Lady Violet!

  13. As far as weather, temperatures, seasons, etc., not to mention your writing… you are a woman after my own heart. We live in the Midwest now after 40 years away at other locations; back ‘home’ so-to-speak. We moved to NYS right after my husband graduated and I had our son. We arrived July 5 of all dates, and it was freezing cold. It rained nearly every single day that summer and in August we had to buy winter jammies for our 2 mo. old son, August! I had such post-partum depression and I loathed the dang humidity and gloomy skies there with a passion. Then Autumn arrived and I relaxed with a sigh of relief. The weather was gorgeous, the colors in New York State were a true dream, so many varieties of trees!! I thought ‘I can live here.’ Winter came early and left late but Winter was the sunniest time of the year there. Sunshine! I don’t do well when days on end continue with dark grey overcast skies, humidity you can cut with a knife. Misery. We lived there 20 years in two different locations. I still hated summers there but they were short compared to where I grew up, and winters were long but so was Fall and Spring. The only consolation of summer was gardening.

    Then we moved to Texas. Oh Lord. Nine months of summer. Instead of using the furnace for 9 mo. of the year we were running AC for sometimes 10 mo. In those very few years when we would get a light dusting of snow I was like a little kid I was so freaking excited and happy. I would just go out on the patio and b-r-e-e-t-h-e and smell the snow. Yes! Smell the snow. I missed the change of seasons so badly. Fall colors, crisp weather (instead of using the AC on Thanksgiving, sometimes Christmas.) The first year in Texas after dropping our son off at school, also in TX and even further south and killingly humid, he said he missed the leaves we used to rake together, the smell, the crunch. We got to TX a couple mo. later so it was already turning Fall in NYS. I saved a bunch of the most colorful dried leaves from around our neighborhood and sent them in a shoebox to him in Houston. A big hit. He just crunched them and enjoyed the smell. Ha.

    I’m 24 years older now, and years past menopause so I don’t tolerate the cold like a used to but I’d rather wear cozy fleece and sweaters and long cushy socks and fingerless gloves around the house enjoying hot tea than turning up the heat. I worry excessively if the snow is severe on my Sisters’ and their family’s accounts having to be caught out in it to get to and from work. But the snow and cold still delight me.

    I am so excited about the books you have coming out soon. And I just downloaded ‘A Rogue in Winter’ from your online store. My first experience doing that, and it was pretty simple since I had previous experience with Book Funnel. Good ol’ Amazon (?) has to change their methods every now and then so it was a little different but I figured it out.

  14. I’m late to the game this week… but, I just wanted to say that I am SUPER excited about the new Lady Violet Investigates series. 😀

    Also, “A Rogue in Winter” was SUCH a delight!!

    Thank you!

    (I will say that I detest summer… I’m not sure which other season might be my favorite, but summer is bottom of the barrel… maybe not even in the barrel… it’s far, far way at the earth’s core.)