The Five Seasons

Autumn has begun. I understand the astronomical, physical, and cultural realities behind the seasons. However, the true seasons do not align perfectly with the way I personally define them. For me, the five seasons of the year are as follows:

  • Autumn starts 1 September and goes to Thanksgiving
  • Winter begins on Thanksgiving and ends at New Year’s
  • New Year’s to the Spring Equinox is just sad
  • Spring is from the equinox to 1 June
  • Summer is 1 June through the end of August

And so, remaining jobless and having reached my self-appointed deadline of applying-only-and-not-working, I am looking to start something–anything–so as to be doing something with my time and also earning money. Lots of waiting, even while I try to fill up the waiting with activity.

Not wild into the idea of still being directionless after the passage of almost two entire seasons since I started applying but what can you do. I feel like I complain rather a lot about my job search which, while valid, is probably a little boring and/or a bit of a downer for most of you. It does occupy a lot of my waking hours but also, it doesn’t really since, you know, it’s not an actual job.

It’s a weird feeling, being certain that I’m kind of waiting in a holding pattern but also knowing clearly that time marches on, as it is ever wont to do. It’s September already! And not only that, but like almost a full week into September. What happened to August? Though I have been able to still read outside, it has been somehow diminished, knowing that it is officially (according to  me) fall now.

Anyway, I did get to spend some time with a neighborhood kitty this past weekend. No idea what name they prefer, but they did respond to Toast. Such a long, pretty kitty.


That was a fun time, who doesn’t like a random, affectionate kitty wandering up to spend an afternoon with you.

I don’t know what seasonal favorites may or may not be heading your way in the coming weeks and months. I don’t know whether you revel in seasonal changes or if you’re hoping summer has a long, slow demise. Regardless, though, I hope that you are able to face the September air with fortitude, knowing that time and tide wait for no one.

Since I’ve got plenty of waiting on my plate as it is, I’ll not hold you up any further and end this post here.

Michigan is Happening

So maybe it’s me, but 20 October seems pretty early to have your first snowfall. Driving a van full of students back from the mall, in the dark, in the snow-then hail-then snow is not ideal, I’ll tell you. Doing it in October is just that much more disheartening. Well, maybe that’s not it exactly. Because I am, obviously, excited about the snow. Snow. What’s not to love. But I’ve been warned so many times about the kind of winter that I’m likely to have here in northern Michigan than I’m leery of it starting so early.

The next morning, driving to church in Traverse City, I saw areas of nothing, areas of dusted shoulders and fence posts, and areas of true coatings of snow. It’s all gone now, we had temperatures in the mid-fifties this week. But we also had days with highs right about 40°. Seems a little bit like that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they skip a season. Spring turned to summer, summer gave autumn a miss and went straight on to winter. Something like that.

Though, in Michigan’s defense, there have been some tremendous fall colors. It’s a genre of natural beauty that doesn’t typically hold much sway with me but I’m just as able as the next guy to acknowledge the magic of a tree lifting its unburning fire toward a chill, sere blue sky.

In any case, time marches forward and the seasons continue on their imperturbable rounds. Nothing else much to report on the life front. We’re up to five students (five!) in our house, so that’s been a development. Manageable and that’s pretty much all I have to say about it.

Another side to this job, the side that sort of compensates for what I expect could well be a disastrous winter, is the sunsets. Part of my job involves walking around campus in the evenings and that includes checking the beach on Lake Michigan. I often go after dinner. I often see spectacular sunsets. Case in point, earlier this week (though well after the snow experience in Traverse City):


It did also start to sprinkle right as I went down the boardwalk and, just behind me taking that picture, was a lovely and pretty clear rainbow catching the last rays of the day. Just incredible.

Michigan nature, as I’ve said, isn’t quite my usual but it is very good nonetheless.