Sunday, September 20, 2020

Tracking Time

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.


Marie Smith said...

The cold arrived here early this year too, temperatures below normal, frost advisories, the whole bit. Yuck! Now Teddy is headed this way. Wish us luck!

Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

Here's how to REALLY realize how old you are, AC ... for me it was on July 18 this year when my middle son called me and said (in a perplexed voice) "Mom, I just realized that now I am 60 !!!

Barbara Rogers said...

Excellent markers of time passing...though the early fall may be influenced by La Nina. I noticed that the sun doesn't smack against either the wall right outside my window, which meant I had to close curtains in order to see my screen when it reflected into my eyes...nor does it come across the front porch into my kitchen when I open the door in the morning to see the plants. Yes...Mabon, or autumnal equinox is this week! Finally time is moving on...and perhaps we shall see the end of this year pretty soon. There are many things I wish had been different in 2020!

Mage said...

It took a reminder from G that I was 79 this year. I had thought I was 78. Oh, well.

Margaret said...

Not that cold here, but definitely not summer temperatures any more, especially at night. I do 70/60 for my household temps. I am often cold, so even in 70, I sometimes wear a sweatshirt. I forget how old I am too sometimes. (but I can always remember my birth year, so that helps)

DJan said...

We are having pretty average September temps and are a long ways away from a frost. I think it will start raining tomorrow or Tuesday and that always makes it feel colder. Today's high is supposed to be around 17C/64F. Comfy inside with a sweater. :-)

Rita said...

We had freezing temps already for a few nights. Bizarre! But I do love fall so much that I have adjusted already. ;)

Red said...

Lots of meandering here. Many people have things that mean time to them. Yes, my kitchen window looks into the gable of my neighbor's house which faces west.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

A little too cold around here just now, but by next Wednesday it is supposed to warm up a bit...I am two years and some months older than you and I do feel that I look at time differently these days. Though I always need to keep trying to understand it! I tried to explain this to my son yesterday, but it was not successful!

MARY G said...

Frost all over the place this morning as I was driving in to town around 8:30. And the moon is rising closer to due south than it did this spring, talking about time markers.
The fall ritual of hauling out the warm shirts and sweaters is about to begin. However, for the first time in 25 years, I can warm up the house by adjusting a thermostat. Post about this miracle to follow.

Jenn Jilks said...

Well, Happy birthday! And another flies by.
When our grandies were here, and we were doing homeschooling, I tried checking out how they got their answers, as they have to write this down, and they didn't like my methods. Sigh.