Is It Here?
C. Derick Miller – Head Writer
Your Stories on Video
Is it here? Is it finally here? For real? For really real?
I’m speaking about Autumn, of course!
Now, to most of you, this is a pretty big deal. The weather shows a significant change, and the leaves begin to alter their color and fall from your trees. This is rarely the case in North Texas. We will get a hint of cooler weather followed by another unbearable heat spell and it will do this back-and-forth roller coaster bit until summer appears again somewhere near the end of February. It’s horrible!
Actually, the weather in the Dallas area is incredibly unpredictable! I’ve had a few instances at Christmas where me, my brothers, and my cousins could play football in the yard while wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts! On the flip side of that coin, I remember having incredible amounts of snow in early April. It’s always been that way here and it has little, if nothing, to do with the current course of climate change. North Texas weather is traditionally drunk except for June, July, and August. It’s hotter than the rumored blazes of Hell and there’s nothing you can do about it.
What about when the sun goes down during the summer months? Well, my friends, that’s even worse! The humidity holds in that heat, and I remember trying to sleep through triple digit temperatures with a broken air conditioner. The heat doesn’t go away with that bright ball in the sky. It hangs out all night like that drunken, single friend of yours you had in your mid thirties who either never got married or had already been through a couple of divorces. He always ended up sleeping on your couch rather than going home. You all know the guy I’m talking about, don’t you? I believe every circle of friends had one and, if you’re unaware of who that person was, it was probably you!
To be honest, that person was me on several occasions.
Anyway, that’s what it’s like living through a North Texas summer. You want to go to sleep but you know you can’t because your spouse is giving you the cold shoulder for letting your friend sleep on the couch again. The sun is totally gone, it’s pitch dark, and you’re breaking a sweat by taking a simple walk to the mailbox!
For decades, this type of weather was all I knew. Even when I went into the military, I was stationed in either the deep southern United States or in the Southwest. Heat, heat, heat, apart from my time in Arizona. It can get downright cold in the middle of a summer night there but the heat you’d encounter during the next day would more than make up for it. Then, I traveled extensively…
Now, when I say I traveled, I really mean it! I have visited just about every city in every state in the continental U.S. and driven down every highway. I’ve taken these trips during all four seasons and various types of extreme weather. Back when I had long hair, I lost inches of my bangs from it freezing and breaking off in Boston!
I’ve experienced droughts in Seattle, flooding in New Mexico, Summer snowstorms in Wyoming, and heat waves in New York City! Now that I think about it, I don’t believe there is such a thing as ‘normal’ weather anywhere! It is what it is and that’s all! Sure, these places have been given meteorological stereotypes by television and film, but how much of it is true? From my personal experience, it’s rare.
Still, most people don’t realize this because they’ve never taken the time to go there themselves. Authors and screenwriters always roll with the above-mentioned stereotypes because it’s an easy setting. The roadmap for the story is already laid out and they just have to fill in the blanks. I’m not saying that these stereotypes don’t come into play often, because they do, but it’s not the only game in town. Yes, I’ve been sun baked in the desert and waterlogged in the Pacific Northwest as well.
Regardless of what North Texas has in store for us this year, I’m looking forward to sleeping with the windows open at night, cooler evening bicycle rides, and the signs of my favorite holiday, Halloween, soon approaching. I’m can’t wait to see my wife dig out the cold weather clothing and strut it around the local mall while Christmas shopping. Yes, I’m THAT guy. I prefer a well-dressed woman to a scantily clad woman any day. It’s classy. We all have our little quirks, right?
Well, if the chill I got when walking out the door this morning was any indication that Fall has arrived, then I shall be experiencing all these treats very soon. Of course, the temperature was heating us all into the upper eighties by lunch time, but I know tonight that I’ll get a bit of relief when that yellow god we call the sun sinks below the horizon. Who knows? Maybe this year it will even get cold enough around Dallas to where I might break out the fire pit! Time will tell, of course, but I promise to keep my fingers crossed! Roasting marshmallows in Texas requires nothing more than just laying it near the sidewalk most times. What’s the fun in that?
What are some of your favorite fall weather memories? Here at Your Stories on Video, we want to know! Are you one of those people who run to Starbucks at the first sign of chilly weather to get a pumpkin spiced everything? Would you rather slow cook a huge pot of spicy, meaty chili (With or without beans, I’m not judging) to fill the house with its hearty aroma? Maybe you’re one of those Octoberfest folks who can’t wait to empty the kegs and dance the crisp nights away in celebration with friends and family. What does Autumn mean to you? Comment below!
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