Samantha Perry

Samantha Perry

Autumn creeps in during the chill of the morning, slinking through summer window screens designed to welcome cool breezes and the midnight sound of a summer hoot owl.

It happens in an instant.

One day, humidity is the enemy; the next, one is shivering in the pre-dawn hours under multiple winter blankets.

Unlike Goldilocks, we can’t seem to get our temperature just right.

•••

Like seasons past, this year’s late summer and early fall have brought out our favorite pests — the gnats.

They are, in a word, aggravating. But I have many more adjectives and nouns.

How about maddening, frustrating, vexing, relentless, cursed, exasperating, tiny winged demons sent from the depths of hell?

They flicker around trash cans. Soda cans. Dinner plates.

But the worst is when they zoom in about the face. How many times have I, and my co-workers, been seen flailing our arms wildly at our desks, as if we are doing battle with an invisible ghost.

We have tried the preventive measures — tying up garbage bags, rinsing out soda cups, leaving no food out unwrapped or uncovered.

It doesn’t work.

They return each day to perpetrate their miniature version of diminutive torture.

Give me a bear any day. Or a snake. Or a coyote.

At least then the enemy is in front of you, face-to-face on the battle line, so to speak. Much better than a snarky little fly who uses his size as an advantage.

Of course, the first cold snap will rid us of these critters, but that’s another reminder of why I dislike fall.

Winter is on the horizon.

•••

I do not like autumn.

It may not be a popular opinion, but it is, nonetheless, a fact.

I realize I should appreciate this season, with its kaleidoscope of colors and reverberating sounds of dry-leaf crunching underfoot.

But it’s not happening.

Nature is ablaze in beauty, I am told. Look around, and drink in the landscapes awash in shades of yellow, gold and orange.

I prefer my scenery in green, with pops of purple crocus and pink tulips.

•••

My hoodies have emerged from hibernation, along with the leggings and light jackets.

The boots will be pulled out soon, ready to be shined and buffed in preparation for the first cold temps and snow.

All-too-soon it will be sweater weather, followed by the months punctuated by gloves, hats and scarves.

The mere thought of cleaning snow off the car and scraping ice from windshields makes me shiver.

Fresh hot chocolate is not worth the discomfort of numb fingers and toes.

•••

I tell myself to quit being glum

Fall and winter are, after all, just seasons. They descend and linger, but always pass.

And through their days there will be bright spots.

Flickering Jack o’lanterns.

Halloween candy

Spiced cider.

Christmas trees.

Snowmen and women.

And weeks sparkling with the holiday spirit of peace and goodwill to all.

•••

Perhaps Cassie and I will take a walk today.

She can chase deer with her German shepherd fierceness while I munch chestnuts that have fallen from the trees.

While resting, we can watch the sky as it twinkles through golden leaves and relish these last few days of not-so-terrible weather.

In the morning, she will likely jump in bed with me to snuggle against the chill of the seasonal onslaught of cold.

Maybe autumn does have its good points.

Samantha Perry is editor of the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at sperry@bdtonline.com. Follow her @BDTPerry.

Contact Andy Patton at apatton@bdtonline.com

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