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The Slice

Posts tagged: Seasons

When do you bring the plants inside?

A) When the weather forecast calls for a certain overnight freeze.

B) When the plants say “OK, we're ready to come in.”

C) When you figure out where you are going to put them.

D) After you get a verdict on their applications from your Office of Admissions.

E) Eleven days after sprinklers blowout.

F) Other.

One good thing about flannel pajamas

If for some reason you have to dash outside in the middle of the night, you're sort of dressed for any contingency.

That cannot always be said of summertime sleeping apparel.

Which is correct?

Sprinkler blowout season equinox or sprinkler blowout season solstice?

Don’t want light jacket season to end

Sure, most people around here want it to be Death Valley hot asap.

But a few of us hope light-jacket season lasts a while longer. When it's over, we miss the pockets.

It's harder to organize your life when you don't have on a light jacket.

Welcome to the final week of autumn

The winter solstice occurs on Saturday.

What might be a good way to see in the new season?

When is the start of mudroom season?

Does it begin when we get the first snow?

Or does the sight of people tracking in leaves prompt you to impose shoes-off rules earlier than that?

Bill Simer and the seasonal “sweet spot”

You know how when you see certain people coming, individuals with a track record of relentless complaining, your reflex is to think “Oh, no, what's it going to be this time?”

Sure.

Well, that's the exact opposite of how I feel when I see Bill Simer headed my way. The sharp-dressed Spokane businessman has an aura of positive energy. I am always, 100 percent of the time glad to see him.

Anyway, we crossed paths in the lobby of the Review Tower this afternoon. And he told me he was enjoying the seasonal “sweet spot” of not having to use the AC or turn on the heat either.

Which brings us to a question.

Are you doing anything right now to control the temperature in your home or are you content to roll with Mother Nature at this time of year?

Coming in Thursday’s Slice

Everyone knows spring started today.

But determining the beginning of a certain other season is a bit more complicated.

When does spring begin?

A) Vernal equinox. B) Easter. C) It began this past weekend. D) Just before that last snowfall. E) It has something to do with baseball. F) When certain adults start saying “Spring break? We didn't get no spring break. Why, back in my day….” G) When you find yourself looking out the window and muttering about your lawn-obsessed neighbor already doing yard work. H) Other. 

Feline weather forecast

Our neighbor's cat always puts on weight as winter approaches.

We've seen it happen for a dozen years or so. She packs on a pound or two in anticipation of her neighborhood star turn as a small snow leopard. Then, come spring, she goes back to her sleeker silhouette.

Perhaps the annual added poundage is partly a result of reduced activity levels. I don't know. She has never shared her workout schedule.

What I do know is that she seems like a cat in a feeding frenzy lately.

This fall she has been demanding snacks with an urgency I cannot recall seeing before.

Maybe she knows something.

Oh, she has always been willing to express herself. And she has a pretty good vocabulary, both vocal instructions and body language.

But usually she is reasonably patient, at least once she is convinced that the food is on its way.

Lately though, it's as if she's got a train to catch.

One conclusion, obviously, is that we are in for a serious winter. And this cat is feeling a hurry-up need to acquire a protective layer of stored calories.

Animals know things.

Don't ask me how. They just do.

So if we really do experience a ferocious winter, don't say nobody warned you.

Please welcome the Winter Solstice

If your calendar says winter doesn't begin until tomorrow, that's because it is already Thursday in the Eastern Time Zone.

One way to note the arrival of the solstice in Spokane is to do a close, careful clipping of your toenails before turning in tonight. That's so your dry, split nails won't painfully snag the bed covers and jolt you out of a dream in which you were talking to Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson about Bloomsday. 

You know summer is on its last legs…

…when you come home from work and there's a phone message asking if you want to go ahead and schedule your sprinklers blow-out.

Advice re: Seasonal startle syndrome

Actually, it might be too late.

You might already have gone to grab a light jacket. And, upon opening a closet that hasn't been accessed much since spring, you saw not only windbreakers and such but also the Big Berthas. You know, the coats you haul out in January or whenever there is a need to wear something with the approximate thickness of a mattress.

This sight jolts some people. It reminds them that not only does summer not last forever but you-know-what is coming.

Silly? Sure. Most of us survive winter, year after year. Deal with it. Right?

But it's also true that many of us know and love at least a few winter wimps.

So if you happen to live with someone who is a bit timid, shall we say, about the seaon that follows fall, here's what you need to do: Make sure the light jackets are not in the same place as the survival-wear. That way, even the biggest frost-o-phobic can reach for something to put on when there's a slight nip without having to confront the cold hard facts of the calendar.

Of course, this jackets/coats segregation is not always easy to accomplish. Some of us, after all, don't have adequate closet space. But that's a problem for another day.

Even before flipping the calendar page

There was another clue about seasonal transition.

Have you been turning your porch light on earlier and switching it off later?

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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