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The Marriage Wars: Sunshine, chill and the coming winter
Sep 20, 2013 | 706 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By MARK GRAY

The publisher of this newspaper is in my corner. He can understand the doomsday that approaches all of us. Unlike my wife, he can sympathize with my growing apprehension and impending depression.

I am referring to winter, a source of conflict with my wife. She loves all the seasons and confuses a beastly winter storm with one of nature’s delicate cycles. She becomes rapturous about snowfalls. To her, icicles on trees are merely nature’s chimes. She contemplates delightful frosty mornings accompanied by hot cocoa and a warming fireplace.

I am more realistic. The beautiful photographs and paintings or newly fallen snow mask the true reality of slushy and icy street, treacherous driving conditions and dirty, sooty chunks of snow lining the curbs. Winter cannot be God’s plan; Adam and Eve were placed here naked, without winter coats. Let the snow ignore us and pile up in the mountains to replenish our water supply. Unless you ski, winter doesn’t embrace us. It only taunts and depletes us.

I’m a summer person. I love the spring too, only because it is introducing summer. While I can enjoy autumn weather, I also fear it. I know what’s coming.

Summer proves that there is a heaven. I can relax on the patio and read a book. I can sit back at a daytime baseball game and get a tan. I can rise early in the morning and run a 5K race before it gets too hot. I can lounge poolside. I can sniff the sweet smell of cut grass.

Author Henry James wrote that the two most beautiful words in the English language were “summer afternoon.” Though he probably forgot about mosquitoes, I count him as my buddy.

By DAWN BRANDVOLD-GRAY

For me, the saddest day of the year is December 21. Not because it is the first day of winter, but because the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and conversely it means that the days will start getting longer. Before you know it, it’s summer and it’s daylight until 10 p.m. Sure I love patio dining, baseball, and popsicles, but as far as I’m concerned, I could enjoy these things on vacation to warmer climes.

There are a couple of reasons I’m not a fan of summer. First, I have reached the cliched “hot flash” season of life. I’m in perpetual summer and the” dog days” bring out my inner pit bull. Secondly, I am cursed with allergies to pretty much every living thing. From the first bloom of spring to the first frost of fall, I’m in a drug-induced daze.

Food tastes better from October to November. No one wants to eat butternut squash in June, but come October you can find it at every restaurant in town. Same goes for cobblers, pumpkin pie, and cocoa. The best food arrives about the time the Halloween decorations go up.

Cold weather fashion is more fun too. Everyone looks good in sweaters. Toes don’t have to be as manicured in boots. And I never met a pair of corduroys I didn’t like.

To be completely honest, I can tie my love of early sunsets and a chill in the air to the time when my children were growing up. During summer, they roamed the neighborhood with other kids until the “streetlights came on”.

But gradually as the days grew shorter and the air grew cooler, they were content to cocoon at home.

English writer, Edith Sitwell said, “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

I say amen, and bring on the blizzards.


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