Monday, September 6, 2010

My Favorite Time of Year

Tomorrow the school term begins here in New Jersey and I, for one, couldn't be happier. Not because I still have any kids in school - no, my daughter is an adult with a husband, an infant daughter and a career - rather I love the beginning of school because it is a harbinger. For me, the year actually begins in Fall, my favorite season. On my walks with Rocky in the morning, I love seeing the cumbersome yellow school buses making their way down my narrow street, holding up traffic and generally making pleasant nuisances of themselves. (This is the year that Rocky gets a sweatshirt to wear on windy days. I finally found one that is perfect and he won't be embarrassed to wear.)

Though the leaves are still green, to me a yellow school bus says - no, shouts! - FALL IS HERE! Even if you can't yet smell a trace of chilly Autumn air, you can smell the diesel fuel. If the buses are out, then it's official: the heat of summer (and this year has been ghastly) will soon be a memory. Baseball season is ending - I am a fan, the pennant races are on, the World Series looms on the October horizon. The good movies, read: Oscar worthy movies, will begin to hit theaters in order to qualify for the awards season. The new tv season sort of begins. By mid-August, Halloween decorations had already appeared, as if by magic, in stores. Too soon, too soon, we say every year. September, October and November will, as usual, fly by in a blur, then comes Christmas, another year ends and one begins and we settle into the gray delirium of January, February and March.

But before that happens, we get the yellow, red and orange extravaganza of the Fall season, happy pumpkins on the front porch, the furor of Halloween and the celebration of Thanksgiving. (In a way the forgotten holiday, design-wise, though you wouldn't know it by Martha Stewart or any of the other decorating magazines whose holiday exuberance - 1,000 new ways to cook turkey! - is somehow reassuring.) Then blink an eye and it's Christmas once again. I've always felt that December 26th is the most disappointing day of the year. I mean, it's all over but the hollow pretense of the shrillest night of the year, New Year's Eve.

The older I get, the faster it goes. Sometimes it feels as if I just have to turn around once and a another season begins, turn around twice and it's over.

One of the books I especially like to read this time of year, every year, is Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie. It partly takes place at a girls' boarding school in England. Though it is a Hercule Poirot mystery, he doesn't actually enter the book until the last quarter, summoned by a very enterprising young school girl to solve the mysterious goings-on, including murder, at her school. Though it's been said that characterization was never Agatha Christie's strong suit, you couldn't prove it by this book. It is brilliant characterization that helps bring about the denouement in this terrific mystery. Besides, I love the ending.
No Halloween reading list yet. Wouldn't want to be accused of rushing things.

Note: the painting of autumn birches is by artist Lynda Newell.


  1. yvette, I could read your blog all day.... this one is really good.. you make people really see the school bus and all the leaves falling... what a writer you are!!! Write a short story about this time of year!!!

  2. HEY !!! I DID IT!!!!!!

  3. Thank you, Anonymous. Now, let me see...who could you be?? HA! Thanks, Judy. (Glad you made it home safe and sound.)

  4. Okay, this is now the 3rd time I've tried to post!!

    I loved your post and I feel the same way you do, except I'm dreading tomorrow and the beginning of school! eek! Homework season, PSAT's in October, school buses delaying my morning commute - driving my son to school in the morning, getting him out of bed (I have a 16 yr old - enough said!) I'll miss the lazy days of summer, but I welcome the cool weather, though this weekend has been beautiful here in NJ, I can't complain.

  5. Julie, sorry you're having trouble posting. But thank you for persevering. Yeah, under your circumstances I wouldn't be so lyrical about Back To School either. I understand. ;) I'm looking at it from a different perspective. Yes, the last three days here in NJ have been superb. Hopefully the really awful weather is gone. Wishful thinking?? Probably.

  6. Julianna will be going off to school soon enough ... I'm not rushing it though. haha!

  7. No point in rushing anyway, it'll all happen soon enough. Enjoy the time you have while you have it. Julianna is a treasure.


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