I grew up with you. I know you pretty well, after dealing with your subzero temperatures and lake effect snow throughout my formative years. I got used to jumping into the snowbanks when I walked to the school bus stop in the dark, not wanting to be hit by the terrifying city plows. I put up with never having my cute Halloween costume show because of the heavy coat covering it. I was even resigned to you sticking around till May some years.
When I got old enough, though, I tried to quit you. I took jobs in Southern California, Arizona, and even Hawaii. I bought flip flops. I went hiking in January. I didn't miss you at all, I told myself.
But for some reason I kept all my mittens and hats and down jackets. And somehow you snuck back in. I kept migrating back north, even living in Interior Alaska for five years for some reason, in a place where tires got square and you kept your car running while you filled it with gas. What was I thinking?
Now I live in a mountain town where you show up reliably every November or so, if not earlier. You must like it here, because you are usually reluctant to leave. I've gotten used to you, though. Sure, I wish you would lighten up a bit at times. You don't need to be cold and gloomy for weeks on end. You could depart for the polar regions a little sooner. But I guess after all this time, there are days I kind of like you.
Yesterday I got to make first tracks on a frozen lake. Your PR person (the weatherman) said it was supposed to be cloudy and blustery, but instead the sun was out and the snow was full of sparkles. Sometimes I think you do this on purpose: throw in these exquisite days to surprise us, so we stay.
Anyway, I'm not about to break up with Summer; it's still my favorite. But you can be okay sometimes. Sorry for the bad stuff I said about you when you brought the freezing rain over. Let's stay friends.