Putting summer away

As it does for most people, Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer for me. The seasons have definitely shifted and it’s time to turn the dial to Autumn. Maybe it’s just me getting older, but the seasons seem to be whirling past ever faster.

In my house, the end of summer means I can put away the fan I put on top of my dresser to help me sleep on very hot nights. I’ve shut off the ceiling fan in the living room that has been running nonstop since late June. The thermostat is still set to cool but the A/C doesn’t kick on during the day anymore. I can leave the system off altogether until I have to start closing the windows at night in another few weeks, then I’ll move it over to heat and the furnace will fire up for the first time in months and the house will be really smelly for a few days. Not looking forward to that. By Halloween, I’ll have a down comforter or two stacked on my bed because even with the furnace running and two Schnauzers under the covers with me, I still sleep cold.

Besides putting away all my shorts and sandals and the barbecue, I will clean out the gutters tomorrow and replace the tarp on my shed before it rains. I will also do my semi-annual maintenance of all the doors and windows: wash everything down and make sure they’re in good repair and properly adjusted and lubricated.

When I moved into my house, its aluminum windows were original, so about 30 years old. The tracks were so clogged with dirt, spider webs and insect bodies that most of the windows would not open at all and none would open completely. This is why my first order of business after I moved in was to have them all replaced, and I take maintaining these windows very seriously. Twice a year, whether they need it or not, I remove every speck of dirt from the tracks and then lubricate them with a squirt of WD-40 on a cotton ball. My intention is to keep every window looking and operating just like new for as long as I live in this house.

So that’s what I’ll be spending tomorrow doing: packing up summer and putting it away until next year. Not to worry, though. It’ll be here again in a flash.

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