We all have ways to mark time on our internal calendars. Mine don't dovetail totally with the actual calendar, and sometimes, I forget my place on the actual calendar.
For me, autumn arrived on September 07 this year. At least I think it did. I like to think that my personal spring, the spring in my brain and den, arrives when the morning sun begins to strike my computer screen as its height in the sky increases. By the same token, I am convinced that real autumn begins on the first day when that no longer happens.
That was on September 07. Or was it?
On the 6th, the sun just caught a corner of the frame of my monitor, so I figured that it would miss completely on the following day. But I can't be sure because the sun didn't bother to make an appearance on that day, or the next for that matter.
So the 7th is my best guess.
Friday, September 18 2020 in the year of our Lord, marked another significant day, but I'd say that it was almost a month early this year.
Largely because I live with a hot woman, we keep the thermostat fairly low in winter. We set the nighttime temperature at 15C/59F and the daytime at 20C/68F. Mind you, the night temperature doesn't always drop all of the way to that low point.
To compensate, we have a heater the the bathroom for naked showertime. We turn it on some minutes ahead of time so that we are not going bare-skinned into a freezing place. This is especially important for me since my showers are almost always preceded by some naked or semi-naked moments while I shave. Having to shave first means that I can't immediately hop under the hot water once I disrobe.
While that's primarily a winter thing, I was taken aback yesterday, for when I awoke, the outside temperature was 3C/37F. I don't know exactly how cold it was in the house because the only thermometer is on the thermostat on the main floor. But I do know that it couldn't be described as toasty in my little den.
This was on September 18. I haven't tracked this, but in normal years, I am sure that this degree of cold wouldn't happen until about mid-October.
But nothing about this year is normal. Is it?
Also on September 18, the dagnabbit butter was hard. My winter habit is to nuke it in the microwave to make it more spreadable. About 12-14 seconds on power level 3 usually does it.
These are reference points to me -- the sun on the computer, the heater in the bathroom, and the hardness of the buttern. Now I need something to help me remember how old I am.
I know that I just had a birthday, and it was good day that registered on my brain just fine, thank you very much. But I didn't think about my age too much. I have been 72 for a year, so I guess I continued to be 72 in my head.
But then, yesterday morning, I had doubts. Was I 72 or 73? I felt like 72, but I did think that maybe I turned 73. To be sure, I did the math. Born in 47, that makes it 53 years to 2000. Now it's 20 years later, so, yup: I am 73.
Did you notice that I employed new curriculum math techniques or whatever they call the new ways? I didn't subtract 1947 from 2020, but used the easy placeholder that is the year 2000. We've all done this all along, but they teach this kind of processing in school now.
Although we tend get our buns twisted in knots when we see the lengthy and convoluted ways that they demonstrate to process numbers nowadays, I think I am impressed by the logic of the steps.This is not an efficient methodology for the real world, but who but those of us born in prehistoric, pre-calculator times, nevermind the pre-computer era does mental or paper math anyway?
Mind you, I do hope that my grandkids learn the older, efficient way at some point. Surely that still happens. Eventually, right?
Anyolehow, those are my ruminations of how I track time, which I am sure you were always wanting to know but just didn't know that you wanted to know.
After I got this post ready yesterday morning while it was still dark, I chanced to look outside to discover that the night had brought our first frost. From my second storey window, I could see it on the roofs of parked cars. I checked the weather channel and discovered that the temperature had dropped to -3C/26F. Ugh.
The forecast for this week does look more seasonable. Thank goodness.