The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Columns

October 27, 2013

Krohn: Falling into despair

It seems many people inadvertently let fall flash past with little enjoyment as they fret over winter coming and get diverted by ramped-up commercial hype.

The first drop in temperature sends what seems to be a growing number of people into despondency as they worry and talk about how it’s the sign that the long, cold winter is at hand. Never mind serious winter is usually a couple of months or more away.

Many race to dig out their Seasonal Affective Disorder light to begin bracing themselves for the long darkness ahead.

For others, fall remains a favored season of crisp weather, splashy color and the sweet, earthy, decaying smells of a dying garden. Or a chance to take to the woods, hunting or not, sans mosquitoes and nettles.

But it’s hard to get outside and enjoy fall when you’re drawn to stores to buy a growing assortment of plastic pumpkins, Halloween light strings and Anthony Weiner costumes, not to mention Christmas decorations, which have been on shelves for weeks now.

Perhaps fall’s angst for many is the knowledge that it ushers in a host of home and yard projects that should be getting done.

I read a story listing the things to do in the fall: clean the gutters, check the furnace, caulk, dig out quilts and wash and fluff them, stock up on candles and flashlights, etc.

I checked on our quilts, but the relics from grandmas and great-grandmas have stuffing poking out and don’t look like they’d handle a fluff, much less a wash.

I went down and looked at the furnace. Still there. Turned on the heat and thermostat and it made some ticking sounds and then blew warm air.

I’m not sure why people stock up on candles and flashlights. With today’s mostly underground electric grid — even in much of the countryside — power outages are usually measured in minutes.

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