Signs of the season arriving too early


Well… it happened… the first sighting.

I should have seen it coming. Definitely not my favorite things to see. But it’s going to happen, whether I like it or not, at some point around this time of the year.

To be fair, it’s not something I can honestly say I notice happening earlier and earlier. September. October. Even November. It’s still too early for me.

The flannel sheets have been brought out.

It’s something that has gone on for several years. But has become a real debate topic in our house over the past couple of fall seasons, replacing an argument over an air conditioner.

Much like all of us, Terry can be a creature of habit… or more precisely, a creature of comfort habit. And the air conditioner story is a perfect example.

Every spring, usually around May, we would break out the air conditioners and I would begin setting them up around the house. Some of the locations changed from year to year… dining room one year might become office the next… as we tried out different ways to improve circulation and comfort throughout the house while making some attempts at not blowing the electrical bill through the roof.

One consistent placement was in our bedroom. Pretty obvious and standard concept there… even our dogs seemed to begin sleeping better once the AC was turned on in the bedroom.

The challenges would begin in September.

One thing I hate about pulling out the air conditioners is dripping water throughout the house. Perhaps a contest of sorts, it was still an unwelcome one as I would attempt to balance the unit without spilling water all over the floors and stairs as I tried to get the damn thing outside so I could let it drain a bit and dry out.

Funny thing that water… seemed to be a few days every year in mid to late September where we would get a run of rain. Heavy rain. Heavy windblown rain. For some amazing reason, if the air conditioners came out before those rainy days, I could tip the darn things in any direction without a drop of water hitting the ground. (I know… stunning.)

Terry didn’t care.

The whir of the fan… even if just the fan with the AC turned off… was a tremendous sleeping aid, placed at an unapproachable level of soothing. She would often threaten me well into October before finally allowing me to pull them out and close up the windows. One year, she actually succeeded in delaying the project into November.

And then… we moved into a house with central air.

I am not kidding when I say this – there actually was a discussion about putting an air conditioner in our bedroom window the first summer in the new house.

I’ll pause for a moment while that connects.

And now, revisiting the idea with more detail…

Terry began a discussion with me that was based on placing an air conditioner in a bedroom window. This window was in our new house, which has central air, and that central air works quite well.

For some reason, in a victory for every “I know this is silly, but…” thought ever raised for consideration, we did manage to agree on not doing it.

(We kept most of the units though. I mean, central air or no, we’re not crazy. If we have them… the central air will work. As soon as we consider giving them away or getting rid of them… the central air won’t switch on. It’s a fairly famous corollary to the “if I have it I won’t need it, but if I don’t bring it I will” theory.)

All of which ultimately brings us back to flannel sheets.

Terry likes them. I’m not a fan. (I just personally find they can get too warm, and they are no longer comfy-cozy and instead turn into a furnace of unending cruelty.)

With no air conditioners to install and remove, we have definitively shifted the methods for spotting the changing seasons. And it is not Santa’s arrival in retail stores, nor the pumpkin spice flavored invasion of coffee shops, that marks the arrival of my true discontent.

It’s the switch to flannel sheets.

Fortunately, this year, we got them onto the bed just in time for the weather forecast to be declaring the arrival of four days in the mid to high 70s, along with a record-breaking run into the 80s that should arrive tomorrow. (But… who could have predicted that?)

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