Update: After I posted this, the trees around my house started changing colors the next day. It was not very cold, but it was chilly with a very brisk wind, and it was very cloudy. So I had to take a photo and do an update as it fits with the theme 🙂

Impending Doom

October is here. This year, it is still unseasonably warm in my neck of the woods – but “warm” here is relative. The October chills are here although sort of half-heartedly this year. Fall is coming – signs of impending doom for a body genetically engineered for the seering Chennai heat. There are things to enjoy in fall and even in winter. But let’s face it. Those joys can be fleeting for a South Indian, and are soon overwhelmed by the overall gloom and doom of the Midwestern winter.

The first time you notice the signs of this impending doom is in early October. The perfect (warm but not hot), beautiful weather in September is replaced by a fickle one in October with wide swings in temperature: between the perfect 70s-80s, down to cool and a bit chilly low 60s or high 50s. That is if Ol’ Man Winter does not have a good game plan for that year. Else it is down to nasty (for October) 40s and 30s. Of course that is his top game for fall. His top game for winter here can get down to -10 to -20 (yep – Fahrenheit that is).

You also notice that the days have gotten considerably shorter. This will soon be made worse by the daylight savings adjustment. We, in Chicago get a raw deal due to this as we are in the eastern end of our time-zone. This means lesser daylight as winter takes over. It also means way more daylight than you probably need in summer – but hey I am not complaining. I do want to have the cake and eat it! But yes in winter, here you get to see the Sun set at freaking 3:30 PM! Although I do understand its purpose, I hate daylight savings adjustment!

Once winter arrives, for a few weeks (till the winter solstice), when you leave for work it will be dark, and when you leave work in the evening, it will be dark. Most days it will be cloudy and seeing the Sun would become as rare as seeing an eclipse. What a thrill – eh? There was this winter in the 90’s where we went I believe 3 full weeks without seeing the Sun. There was another winter where we went the same period without the temperature crossing zero degrees (yep – Fahrenheit). Now, do you get my point about impending doom?

Many years, Octobers are fine and you think “hey this isn’t bad!”. But come Halloween, and whoala – it is freaking cold, freaking blustery – with even some lousy snow flakes! And you groan loudly as this is the day you cannot huddle at home in some warmth. This is the day that you must get out and walk the neighborhood as your kid’s escort as she goes out trick or treating. You huddle in your coat shivering. But you see kids in much flimsier clothes having so much fun getting candies and treats!

Can we go home – you ask.
No! Few more houses – says your kid.

Can we go home now? – you plead later.
No! Couple of more houses – says your kid

Can we please go home now? – you beg.
No! Not yet – how about that street? – your kid jumps excitedly.

You groan resignedly. Somewhere an some old dude with a frosty beard, crusted with ice, and a maniacal smile, giggles silly at this charade.

(Fortunately – this is not my kid. She does not like cold all that much. But still about 15 houses is a minimum, and I start shivering after 5 houses)

They say it is going to be a warm winter. They have been wrong before.