One of the many things I love about my native Tennessee is that we have seasons, and by seasons, I mean weather seasons, not football, baseball or basketball seasons, although I am grateful for those seasons as well.
We have winters that are cold, but not bitterly cold. Once every couple of years or so, we get snow. It is generally just an inch or two or a dusting, and it usually melts away within a day. But while it is here, it is beautiful and exciting. We have a little snow holiday as schools are closed, and the roads are just too icy for us to go to work. However, they are not too icy to prevent us from going shopping or to movies or out to dinner.
And then comes spring which in Tennessee is enchantingly beautiful. The flowers bloom, the valleys and hillsides turn a gorgeous green, and I get the seersucker out of my cedar closet.
Summers in Tennessee are hot and humid, and they are supposed to be. Yankees who move to Tennessee to retire (God bless them!) complain about the heat. But we lifelong Tennesseans put on our shorts, find a swimming pool or lake, jump in, and we are fine.
And then there is fall which brings football and foliage, as the trees go from green to yellow and orange and red.
In Tennessee, you can enjoy the beautiful fall season not once but twice. My wife and I live in Memphis, but we have a little cottage in the Cumberland Mountains. We spent much of October in the mountains. The fall colors peak there in October, and by Halloween the leaves have fallen from the trees.
And then in early November we return to Memphis, where fall is just beginning and will not peak until Thanksgiving.
Yes, in Tennessee we can enjoy not one but two falls.
And then in Memphis this past week, we experienced three of our four seasons in just a few days.
Last week began with a brief Indian Summer. That’s what we called it when I was a boy and the temperature got warm in November. Now we just call it global warming. The highs early last week were in the low 80s, and I was donning shorts and t-shirts on my daily walks.
And then by mid-week fall returned. I had to put on a sweatshirt to keep me warm on chilly mornings.
And then, this past weekend, winter arrived early. The frost was on the punkin with low temps below freezing and daytime highs in the 40s. I responded by building a fire in our fireplace, the first such fire of the fall and upcoming winter. For me, there is nothing more relaxing then to sit in my favorite chair by a roaring fire on a cold evening.
And so the seasons come and go in Tennessee, sometimes in a matter of hours.
As I often say to retiree Yankees complaining about the weather in Tennessee, if you don’t like it, just wait a day or two. It will change!