With the risk of sounding like the First Lady on her wedding night, trapped under a canopy of soggy golden waves, I am compelled to ask October, our beloved Minnesota showman, “Is that it?” And perhaps offer the commiserating follow-up comment, “I feel cheated.”
For the first time, Melania and I are on common ground. I’m not surprised to confirm – it feels terrible.
And while I don’t pretend to understand the fortitude required of the First Lady in private spaces, I can appreciate the disappointment which accompanies an unrealized dream.
The political and weather forecast is dreary. I don’t know which rain is more miserable to watch from my couch: that of the recent low-pressure system, or that of criminal subpoenas. Both have made me appreciate the medicinal benefits of a strong drink and Little House on the Prairie re-runs. I wish our President’s behavior could be corrected by the local wisdom of a city council in Walnut Grove. I imagine a nice long stint as a farm hand would offer some valuable lessons about honest work and honest people. And, for personal reasons, I just want to see him fumble with the latches on overalls as he runs for an outhouse.
I don’t like it, but, I find myself feeling bitter. Election season used to arrive in waves of excitement, peppered with sound bytes of progress and leadership and hope. Now the political landscape is saturated with a persistent rain of collusion, ineptitude, and arrogance. The rain feels colder each time our President sends out a tweet.
I’m beginning to feel like we have lost a bet with Mother Nature as I have spent more time under umbrellas than apple trees this October. Because, I refuse to pick pumpkins in an icy thunderstorm (but, I would eat an entire tray of fresh apple doughnuts in the middle of a hurricane without flinching….). And a color hike in the woods is less gratifying with the accompaniment of “squish” instead of “crackle.”
Was my ride to and from work on Monday supposed to constitute our beloved MN Fall? If I had known the window was so small, I would have rescheduled that conference call and booked a hayride, decorated the front porch, roasted pumpkin seeds, mulled wine and baked apple crisp in my flannel nightgown before noon.
Please, October, don’t fail us now. In the wake of a political hurricane, we need the steady warmth of your glow more than ever. We need something sweet to come out of this dark season.
“I wonder if they serve Impeachment Pie?” I said as we walked into the apple barn this weekend.
“Mom, we are in an apple orchard. Can you please stop talking about peaches,” my nine year old scolded.
It’s a struggle to disconnect- especially with all the low hanging fruit available.
But, if the falling leaves teach us anything it is that all of it, the good and the bad, is temporary. We are not guaranteed the Octobers of our childhood nor will these cold rains continue indefinitely. We are made to both, enjoy and endure- no matter what hand we are dealt.
Marny Stebbins lives in Stillwater with her husband and four children. She is a staunch believer in early bedtimes, caffeine enhancement and humor therapy.