Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Happened to Fall?

Anyone whose lived in St. Louis for any length of time can tell you that the strangest thing about our city is the weather. On any given day you can go from winter coats, gloves, hats and snow to shorts, tee-shirts and humidity within a matter of hours. For the last few years, we have been deprived of truly experiencing the full four seasons. Our weather tends to go from hot to cold with no middle ground in between.

When Grace was a mere three months old, we endeavored our first pumpkin patch experience as a family. On that particular day towards the end of October, we wore shorts and tank tops. It was sticky and hot and not fall-like at all. It seemed so surreal to be preparing for Halloween in our summer attire. The next three years to follow, the weather stayed the same during our pumpkin patch extravaganzas. Each year it cooled off some, though. By the time Grace was four, we wore jeans and short sleeved shirts. It was still bordering between 75 and 80 degrees, but it was pleasant.

Last year, the weather in the morning the day of our planned outing was beautiful, sunny and warm. We attended Church, went to breakfast, ran some errands, stopped briefly by a birthday party and then headed to the pumpkin path around three that afternoon. We hadn't returned home since leaving for Church and each were wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt. By the time we reached the pumpkin patch, the temperature had dropped by twenty degrees and was barely pushing 50. We froze. Chris and I quickly posed Grace and Alex at our normal pumpkin patch back drops. We let them take in a select few attractions (slide, swings, tunnel) and were out of there in less than an hour. If we would have stayed any longer, we would have all been sick. Plus, I just couldn't take the "bad mother" stares I imagined I was getting from the other parents whose children were decked in warm coats, hats and mittens. We bolted.

This year, the weather wasn't particularly warm, but it wasn't miserably cold either. I made certain that the kids were layered in clothing so they could shed and re-dress as their body temperatures rose and fell. It was by far the most enjoyable pumpkin patch outing yet. I promise to get pictures up soon.

On Friday, I am going with Grace on their school field trip to the pumpkin patch. I keep watching the weather to know how to prepare, but I kid you not it changes everytime I watch it. One minute it predicts sunshine and warmth. The next wind and rain. I can't even fathom what to expect on Friday. Thus far, I've packed everything but the kitchen sink to keep my child and the other children I will be responsible for warm or cool because thanks to the St. Louis weather, it will either feel like summer or winter. There simply is NO FALL anymore. And that saddens me. But, I've learned no matter how hard I try, you just can't reason with mother nature.