Welcome Cool

I do enjoy this part of commuting around sunrise.

Yesterday, I wore my Pittsburgh Pirates hoodie while talking Maddie for her morning walk. That was partly due to the fact that she wanted to walk early, but partly because the temperature was 52°f (11°c) – 52! We haven’t seen the low 50s since…I don’t remember. The calendar says summer has two more weeks, but after 32 days with the temperature over 90°f, humidity in the 90% range and a dew point that said “don’t leave home without a towel,” I’m ready to kick summer to the curb, in favor of my favorite season – Autumn.

Autumn in New England is the payment we receive for enduring Winter in New England, and this year, I’m tacking on a surcharge for the snow in April and the fact that Florida moved in for the summer. In addition to the heat, we endured rain upon rain upon rain storm, so Mother Nature owes us – big!

There are other signs that autumn is arriving. Under my Pirates hoodie, I was still wearing my West Virginia (WVU Football) tee shirt. I had to choose which alma mater to support on Saturday, Pitt or WVU. Pitt was playing Penn State, and WVU was playing Youngstown State. WVU won 52 – 17, while Pitt lost 51 – 6. Ouch! Some would say that, since Penn State is my home state’s flagship university, I should feel good about their winning, but that’s not true. You have to have grown up in Western Pennsylvania to understand, that you can like Pitt (University of Pittsburgh) or Penn State, but you can’t like both. It’s like New England Clam Chowder vs. Manhattan Clam Chowder – pick one and stick with it.

UConn (University of Connecticut) also lost, 62 – 7 to Boise State. That’s OK by me. To extend the analogy from above, UConn is the Rhode Island Clam Chowder (broth, not chowder) of college football. It shouldn’t be on the menu with the other two. If you don’t follow NCAA football, you wouldn’t know that Pitt, WVU and UConn used to be in the same conference. They don’t play each other anymore, but I haven’t made peace.

In contrast to the cool temps and the beginning of football, there are some negative signs that fall has arrived. I’m leaving for work in the dark, and I’m sharing the roads with school buses. So many school buses! Worse than school buses are the parents that drive their oh-so-special kids to school. I know, I’m skirting the wrath of a few folks here who have school-age kids, but I’m assuming that you are not jacki (my plural form of jackass). My favorite MoOSSC (mother of oh-so-special child) is the woman who parks next to a stop sign while waiting for the bus. I have to go around her, effectively blocking the intersection in order to see if anyone is coming. If there is, and if they were hoping to turn, I’m in the way.

Please don’t lock the gates!

One disturbing sign, literally, is the one at the newly renovated entrance to Great River Park. The park is open from dawn to dusk, and the new sign lists the precise times that the park is open and the periods when the gates will be locked! I am not fond of the idea of driving up and finding the parking lot closed. That will rule out the possibility of Hartford reflections in dark water.

In the category of things that cross the line between seasons, are the construction project we’re working on and the yard/garden we have to work on. Construction is moving off the roof and onto the walls. I have just barely started preparing the walls for the vinyl siding that will be applied this fall. The grass in the yard – I can’t bring myself to use the word ‘lawn’ – would normally be just coming back to life after having been burnt to a cinder in August. This year, it’s green, growing and demanding to be cut, whacked and trimmed out of places it shouldn’t be. Places like the cracks in the driveway and along the edges of the sidewalk. That grass has to go, because it will prevent an easy pass with the snow-blower – which I just now remembered has to go in for a tune-up.


  1. Jacki, I love that! I wore a warm shirt yesterday and it looks like today’s going to be the same. I love fall! Next steps are the colours, I can hardly wait. Unfortunately it leads into that next season that is not a favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad your fan of that word, Pam, it’s one of my favs.We have a few trees that are starting to show some color. I don’t know whether the hot and wet summer will make for better color or not, but I hope it’s nice. We won’t talk about that other season…not yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t even look at that snow blower. Brrrrr…glad for your cooler morning temps. Hope your real favorite teams make you proud. Seems your work list just keeps recreating itself. Good luck with the new projects. What? No reflections? Maybe you have to climb that fence. 😂I totally get the mothers of oh so special kids complaint.
    LSU won this weekend. Saints let it go. 😏Have a great week, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’ve had the cooler nights since Wednesday or Thursday of last week…after the torrential rains ended. It’s been great sleeping weather, so hope you enjoy the deep sleep that can bring. As for the dark, I’m not fond of waking up to it because I want to SLEEP instead. The positive is the sunrise, which is occurring how as I’m headed to work. It’s the one thing that makes the dark wake-up worthwhile.

    Enjoy your Monday, your week and the cool days ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary. You’re right about seeing the sunrise on the wat to work, that is a bonus. Unfortunately, my office faces west, so once I start arriving in the dark, it’s not going to be much fun until spring.

      I hope you have a good week. We are looking at a big bunch of rain.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! Today we were treated to Maddie, MiMi AND MuMu. Love it! Got a kick out of the shot of the sprinklers…..can’t remember the last time I saw one on. Or more to the point, the need for one to be on.

    Fall is my favorite season. Not too hot. Not too cold. Amazing colors of the foliage. Windows open. But, it’s the season that follows I dread. Sigh….

    That last photo of the squirrel descending the tree looks like a Hallmark card!

    Hope today starts a great week for you and the Editor.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. I keep trying to get a picture of MuMu that isn’t a little blurry, but she keeps adjusting so I can scratch the part that itches most. She is an adorable kitty, but very demanding lately.

      I took Maddie outside, and when she saw that the patio had been cleared of summer’s infiltration, she pulled me the entire way. She put her nose on the bench, as if to say “you sit here” and she turned and plopped on the pavers. I had told The Editor that she probably wouldn’t notice – what do I know?

      I think we need fall, this year more than any other in recent memory. I hope you have a great week.


  5. This weekend was a chilly one indeed – and quite frankly, a welcome respite from the humidity. We even had to turn the heat on in the house, although we will be back to the humidity again later this week.

    Yes, autumn is a beauty and I look forward to it. Now if only Mother Nature would make it longer – perhaps chop a big chunk off winter instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The weather is more and more unstable these days. But at least you can still plan with the seasons. Over here you never know whether it’s going to be sunny or rainy. It doesn’t matter what the weather people say. The weather just does what it wants. It seems to have have grown a mind of its own. So you must always carry a jacket in the back seat and an emergency umbrella in the trunk. Just in case. 😁.
    I love those high tension lines. We almost got a job designing long distance 400KV transmission but we missed the opportunity. It went to another company, although we heard later on that they never did it, either. It went to a Chinese company, whose name we never saw in the shortlist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Peter. I always think of you when I include a picture of power lines and transformers. I know at least one person will like them. Designing a thing like that has to be so interesting. I only have a basic understanding of how power gets from generation to my outlets, but it truly is amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right, the excess of each season lads us to hope for the next. I’m praying for fall. I’ll accept whatever winter throws at us, but I’d rather fall lasted until April.


  7. I’m happy that your weather is changing for the better. It certainly has been a challenging summer for many. I’m curious… you go to work so early… do you get off early too, or do you just have a long commute? Although it would be hard to get out of bed before dawn, you are treated to some lovely sunrises.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I work from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm, so I do get out earlier than most. I tend to arrive about 6:15 because that lets me avoid the morning traffic Sometimes, I catch up on blog stuff early, sometimes, I get a head start on a work task and save the blogs for later or lunch.

      I don’t mind the early start, until it gets to the point that I’m arriving in the dark. Right now, it’s fun because I get to watch the sunrise.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan, wish I could see the October Autumn colors! But, coming for my east coast visit next week! Hope the last of the hurricane rain is over by then. Love the pics of your fur baby family. Is that Sammy the squirrel? Of course any pic with a sunrise or sunset is awesome, and any with a tobacco farm. Have a happy week. 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Christine. It’s hard to know which squirrel is which – we tend to call all the “larger ones” Sammy. We have some skinny ones as well.

      I hope we settle into some decent September weather before you come back. At least it looks like you won’t have the heat to contend with.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You almost sent me into cardiac arrest showing the snow blower. :-) The temperatures and the sun rises and sets have sure taken a turn. It’s fall for sure. We were working on putting on a storm door today in preparation. DIY projects sure seem to take longer as one gets older. I wonder why that is? :-) Hope once we get past some of the rain you will have cool weather for your siding project. I had to laugh about your chowder and college analogies – right on. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. Good luck with the storm door. You certainly need it today.

      The snow blower needs a tune up and a (hopefully) minor repair. Not a DIY job for me. I was going to take it today after work, but it’s pouring.

      I’m glad you’re not a fan of RI Chowder.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Being from Maine, I am firmly in the New England clam chowder camp. Chowder does not have tomatoes! No way, no how.
    And we’re looking forward to a nice long fall as well. After that awful steam bath of a summer, we deserve it before we’re up to our butts in the white crap!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am so ready for autumn. Florida has moved back here….still. The white pants have been washed and put away. This northern girl still abides by the ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule. Gal wore white pants to work today–I about died. It is pretty darn dark for Maddie’s walk…..but that is one day closer to fall. MuMu and MiMi–I get such a kick out of those two–so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Blending in squirrel is a great shot. What a pretty picture!
    I do not want Manhattan clam chowder. New England all the way! I don’t care about the PA schools. Well, a lil, because when you get in but your parents want to still have money, you can’t go, lol, but it’s okay, really cause it all worked out well and I’m not 17 anymore and I, too, like having money while my kids are in college!
    No one around here should drive by the schools unless they’re going to schools, because it is atrocious. We are a real community, ie, built up post-war, and so we have three schools in one block. A policeman has to operate the stoplight box every morning, okay? It is insane. It is less insane the older they get, but it is insane. I am not offended, cause you know the bus situation here is FUBAR.
    I delight in the fact that I don’t work past dark, even come December, I’ll be out before the sunset. And getting up a o’dark thirty remains The Mister’s gig.
    May the fall be long and mild :D

    Liked by 1 person

    • I odn’t know how it is out there, but we are inundated with Charter Schools and Magnet Schools. Sometimes, I pass 30-35 school buses on my 17 mile commute in the morning. I go home a “back way” and I only run into about 6. I scratched one back way route because, once they let those of us who are in by 7:00 to go home at 3:00, it’s bus time and that route goes past a school.

      I’m glad yo like the squirrel. I love the way they hang on the trees, defying gravity and all.

      Looks like the folks here are solidly behind New England chowder. It is the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The charter schools seem to be dying down. Bubba and Sissy went to a Charter school in grade school, no buses. The magnet schools are ALL of them in our township — they all cater to something, so you can send your genius kid to whatever elementary school pleases your special heart. Most kids just go with the closest, so mine went to environmental studies — hence the farm and zoo. To go to the one for performing arts would have meant leaving the house at 6:30 on a bus and 7:00 to drive, so environmental was just fine. There’s a math and science one just as close, but Moo wanted to go with sister. It’s important to note they all have the same curricula and test scores only vary by income, so, not sure how special any of it is.
        Anyway, on my commute, I have counted, I pass 9 schools in 15 minutes. Five are private. Man, I love city life! I mean that — centralized location and so many choices!
        In Georgia, there were no choices and everything outside of DoDEA was not so great.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wow – 9 schools that close. I drive past an Aerospace Magnet school about two miles from here, and then it’s highway until I get to the town I work in. There’s an Early Education Center there, but I’m driving by before either has the lights on, and I don’t come home that way. I do see kids waiting for buses, though. Seems way to early to be waiting for a bus.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Ahhhh – something about wearing a hoodie that is just comforting – and even reading about someone wearing one is exciting – make that – when the person shared about Wearing it after the heat and rain to soak up cool!
    And I get your point about the teams (and New England clam chowder folks over here at priorhouse – always have been and always will / and did u know my hubs and I had clam chowder (NE) on our first date? With chicken Cesar salad – mmmm))
    Anyhow – the photos – I like the sunflowers and sprinklers most –

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a cool memory of your first date. My ex-MIL promised to make me clam chowder. Then she serve Manhattan style. I should have known,

      We’re getting lots of rain this week, but still cool. It wasn’t that long ago that we were getting rain, but the temps were still in the 90s. I was happy to see the sunflowers put on a good show. We planted lots of them, but most of the seeds got eaten.

      I hope you guys don’t get hit by Florence. She seems intent on ruining someone’s week/weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • well Florence is headed our way – but looking like low to medium where we are (and prayers for those in the path)

        and laughing at the manhattan clam chowder – with the should have known – bah! but it is funny how those things happen and seem to be in the essence of a bigger mismatch.
        and side note – I have never really liked manhattan chowder – and I don’t like gumbo (but always wings – ha)

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh yes the Fall is most definitely here. We went from unbearable 90’s and humidity to boot to a drastic 50’s! Brrrrr …. that’s too much of a drop. I do not envy you whatsoever being on the road the same time buses are. What a bloody nightmare! Sorry but true! Your house looks really good and the grass …. wow, it’s green! LOL Have you noticed that the sun seems to be in an odd place when rising or setting or is it just me? I saw a sunset the other day and it was so far north in the western sky I stopped in my tracks. That aint right. Or so according to me. LOVED your gallery all the way around, Dan. I’m not a big fan of Autumn with Winter right behind it, but I promise to at least try to enjoy it and take some really good pictures too. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amy. I’m glad you enjoyed the gallery.

      Those photos of yours come at a price. It’s always that way, but it always seems to be worth it (at least from the viewer’s perspective). The sun rises behind those power lines – every time I see it. I have so many pictures from the side of that on-ramp, I could publish a book.

      The temperature drop was big, but welcome. I think we dropped into close to normal, from way to darn hot.

      Avoiding the school buses is a constant challenge. I’ve got pretty good routes, to and from work, but I can’t avoid them all.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Your description of the weather is spot on! Autumn really is payback for enduring the New England winter, and will Florida please go away and stay away. No mention of the Patriots game? Gronk was awesome, and why did Hogan miss three passes? I really do think college football is the best, though. Penn State whipped Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The sunrise picture and the blending squirrel are my favorites in this batch! (Sorry, Maddie!) I’m with you on welcoming the cooler weather. Fall is my favorite season, too; I’m hoping we have one, and don’t flip directly from steambath to frigidarium.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s much cooler here now. I’m wearing socks in the morning, and a light jacket to walk #1 GS to school, and I’ve been closing the sliding glass door at night for weeks now b/c it’s too cold in the house in the mornings if left open.

    Yesterday morning He-Man nearly dropped his jaw on the floor when he came out of his office to find me sitting at the computer with my little personal heater going. I was freezing!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Looks like a lot is happening for you. That’s funny about Florida moving to New England. It’s similar to the snowbirds moving to Florida. 🙂 We are glad to have each one to escape the winter brutality up north. Speaking of NCAA football I don’t have much hope for Florida and Florida State this year. I still like Georgia and Alabama though.

    Liked by 1 person

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