As many people retire they are looking for more moderate climates to live in. I am happy to live in an area that has four definite seasons, and there are things I love (and dislike) about each of them. Let me be perfectly frank; this is my home and I am close to my children, most of my relatives and many of my friends. I stay here because of relationships, not climate.
I know that we live at a certain latitude, and the earth is at a certain angle on its axis and the earth rotates around the sun, and let’s not forget the effect of our moon—I’m Mrs. Science Teacher, remember—but I do love the Midwest and I get bored easily with only one or two seasons.
One of the things I like about the changes is the cycle of the growing season. I realize that the Midwest is not unique in this; every climate and area grows what grows there! Here, it’s corn, soybeans, winter wheat and hay. I love to see the annual growth and finally the harvest.
If I had to pick a favorite, I think I would pick the one we are in now. I love the daily changes during autumn. I love the colors of autumn. I love to watch them unfold, green to yellow, yellow to orange and then finally the dying brown. Actually they are the colors I have usually decorated with almost all my life. My wedding colors were fall colors.
I love to drive through the country and watch the corn being harvested. Next will be the beans, and after that winter wheat will be planted in the bean fields. Sometimes we are annoyed by the machinery on the roads, but it’s part of the agricultural life. What I look forward to is the picture of all the fields being “put to bed” for winter. Here, that is about Thanksgiving time. I love to watch the changing of the colors. For us the peak is the mid-October, and then the leaves begin to fall—it depends on whether we get a big rain to just bring all the leaves down at once, or it happens in stages.
By the time the end of November rolls around, I am ready to change seasons. Christmas decorations are up and I am basically a Currier and Ives sort of girl. I like snow for Christmas. My husband and I still drive around to see the lights. Snow is quiet and I love the peace and quiet. We quiet down and observe the Christmas holidays with our family.
In January, I love to “hunker down” at home. I love the beauty of snow. I don’t love the dangerous roads. I pray for my children that are out driving and doing their activities, but I am happy to read a book. We watch a lot of basketball on TV. I make lots of soup. When the roads are cleared, I love to drive and see the beauty of snow on the fields and the trees. But now that I’m retired, I don’t have to!
Alas, by the time March rolls around, I am tired of snow too! It’s melting, dirty and ugly. March is supposed to come “in like a lion and out like a lamb.” Not usually. I have sat through high school baseball games in late March and nearly froze.
Spring brings promise of new life and new growth. I enjoy watching the new growth come out in stages—first the crocuses, followed by other flowers. The fields are planted and the tree growth begins from the ground up, first with the lower bushes, reaching up to the deciduous trees, and gradually filling out as summer approaches. I love “purple week,” where the all the purple flowers and redbud bushes bloom. I love the celebration of the Resurrection.
May is a time of endings, school and other programs that operate during the school year, but the crops and other trees and flowers are growing. We spend time in our yard, planting the new flowers. I fix the pots for the cemetery for Memorial Day.
In our area, Memorial Day does signal the beginning of summer, even if the summer solstice is later in June. The trees and flowers are in full bloom and the crops are growing. The corn is usually far beyond “knee high by the Fourth of July,” and the wheat is nearing harvest. As summer progresses, the beans and corn grow and it’s all lush and green. Even if hot, I love seeing the greenness of it all!
But all growing seasons are supposed to come to an end. It is the way of the world, and the income of the farmer. Gradually the green turns to golden and the time comes to harvest. The nights are getting colder and the leaves turn, and it starts all over again.
It’s never boring and I love it.