Fall - The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

May 8, 2009

4 min read


Summer is for kids. Fall is my kind of season.

I still think I love Summer.

Old habits die hard.

After 13 years of school we still think of "summer vacation" as an inalienable right — a 614th Mitzvah given to us. The fact that we haven't had one "off" for 37 years doesn't dampen our enthusiasm. Like Hanukkah, where a chocolate coin in gold foil sends our kinderlach into a frenzy of joy, we expect that same toddler rush till we're eighty.

We're a stupid race.

These days, the length of "summer" directly correlates to my memory bank. Both are shrinking. When I was a teen, summer lasted two months.

These days, the length of "summer" directly correlates to my memory bank. Both are shrinking.

This year "summer" lasted an hour and a half -- from 2 – 3:30 PM-- on a Sunday. Boom! A whole season reduced to 90 minutes of lying on my lounge chair with the two broken slats, watching the ice in my diet, anti-oxidant, pomegranate tea, barely make it to the melting stage.

Now, with the New Year starting, sisterhoods calling, and Bar/Bat Mitzvah invites flooding in, I made a few notes about my "Boomer Summer That Never Was." Here's how it stacks up.


THEN: Sunbathing. Roasting to a golden brown, that would make a kosher pulke proud!.
NOW: Sun-phobic. Slathering a #247 skin blocker to get the mail and prevent my punim from further deteriorating into a relief map of my ancestral home – pre-war Ukraine.
THEN: Floating on the water sipping a Coke, contemplating life's mysteries.
NOW: Floating face-down in a puddle of Diet Cel-Ray contemplating the mystery of who found — and dropped – this sacred secret stash I painstakingly collected when I heard the "diet" version was "to be" no more!
THEN: Getting that hip glitter lip gloss.
NOW: Getting that suspicious mole removed from my upper lip.
THEN: Opening the windows as the warmth bathes dreamily over us.
NOW: Opening the freezer until the hot flashes subside.
THEN: Grabbing a shovel to build sand castles with my pals.
NOW: Grabbing a shovel – alone -- to clean up the sand-schmutz someone tracked all over the house.
THEN: Lying in a tent with my friend Rachel, gleefully gasping in horror at the "strange" shadows "outside."
NOW: Lying in an MRI machine, with my doctor gasping in horror at the strange shadows "inside" -- me.
THEN: Tweezing around my eyebrows to get that clean look.
NOW: Tweezing around my upper lip – to lose the Geraldo look.
THEN: Driving with pals at 60 mph in a convertible with the wind in our hair.
NOW: Driving at 30 mph so my Miracle Ear won't fly onto the highway.

But, as always, Mama Nature does her glorious balancing act. Summer has faded ... and along comes Fall.

THEN:        Dreading that first day of school and seeing that witch Lynda-with-a-"y". Eew! Gotta schlep that "book bag" with the 1,019 page History of World Literature and re-read (double eew!!)....... "Silas Marner." And ... yellow's the hot Fall color. Blechh! I'll look like algae! And ... uh oh ... I got "Monsieur" Grumet for French again, who leaves his crypt every morning just to torture me. And ... the SATs! It's clown college if I don't get over a 500 in Math. I knew it! There it is. A zit! ... And my tan is fading ... and ......

NOW:       Fall. The kids are back in school. The grown-ups are back in town obsessing on cell phones. I can walk without a respirator. My waffles (as in arms and thighs) are safely quaking under long sleeves. And … Yes, Fall. Ahhhh ... what a wonderful season!

Marnie Winston-Macauley is the author of Yiddishe Mamas: The Truth About the Jewish Mother" and the award-winning "A Little Joy, A Little Oy" 2008 calendar. Her 2009 calendar can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

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