Short Season

Mid-October sunset over Pushaw Lake

I woke up this morning to a sunny day with temperatures in the mid forties. In spite of the cool weather I purposely dressed in a pair of comfortable shorts and a short sleeve, v-neck t-shirt. I knew I would have to put on a flannel shirt to take the dog out for her morning constitution, but with unseasonably warm temperatures(mid 60s) projected for the afternoon, I was glad I could extend my short season for a bit longer. Possibly as much as a week or more with above normal temperatures predicted for the period (although rain is likely by mid- week). I love wearing shorts. Growing up as I did in Southern California, shorts were pretty much the standard dress code year round, save for when proper decorum or dress codes dictated otherwise. The West Coast has always seemed to be less concerned overall about what sort of attire is appropriate for specific occasions, although when I was in high school, girls were not allowed to wear pants of any kind to school until my senior year. Shorts were never allowed to be worn at school except for physical education or sports teams. That only served to fuel my preference in casual attire.

Of course the weather in Southern California was warm enough nearly the entire year to make wearing shorts not only comfortable, but practical as well. So I always kept a steady supply on hand in my dresser. Another reason I love shorts is that I can usually buy them right off the rack at clothing stores, not having to worry so much about the inseem length. At five-foot-eleven and longer than average legs, I found it difficult and expensive, if not impossible, to find jeans/slacks that would fall past my ankle making me look and feel like I didn’t fit in because of my height. Most of my early work life was at jobs that required a uniform. That all changed when I was promoted, first to a management trainee program and eventually to Postmaster, during which time I was expected to dress in appropriate business attire. So while I acquired enough dresses, skirts, and difficult-to-find long-enough slacks to wear for work, I would always come home to change into shorts whenever I could. It felt like taking on a whole new relaxed persona away from the demands of the job.

When I retired a dozen years ago and my husband did the same two years later, we made the decision to move to a place that was less crowded and less stressed. We settled on Maine where summer temperatures rarely reach triple digits and winter temperatures can dip below zero. Needless to say, the actual passing of the seasons here is much more noticeable, although it does not always follow the traditional dates for the transition from one season to the next. Winter snows can arrive as early as Halloween and mud season (when dirt roads and hiking paths become muddy and sometimes impassible due to melting snow) can drag on well past the Spring equinox. While I do enjoy the changing of the seasons here in New England as each transition brings with it new opportunities for recreation and exploration, the one I look forward to every year is “short season”.  When daytime temperatures return to the 50s and 60s I move my shorts to a prominent shelf where they will be at the ready for another 6 months or so of more or less constant wear. And all will be right with the world.

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