The summer sun is winding down, subdued by the cooler temperatures of autumn and the holiday season that will follow.
Residents of Pickens County prepare themselves for the change in season with long sleeve shirts, jackets and anticipation.
Meanwhile, wide-eyed kids line the aisles of department stores to stare at the Halloween costumes and the assortment of candy until they are soon replaced by the brighter packaging of Christmas decorations, ornaments and lights.
But must I remind you of the doldrums of winter and the short cold days and the long colder nights that accompany it?
Our daily routines and outdoor activities will all be abandoned, put aside somewhere next to our running shoes and tennis rackets.
And if it should snow, although a rare sight here in the southeast, it will wear out its welcome in just a few hours leaving us imprisoned in our homes as a revolving door of chattering children drip pools of melting snow on the linoleum at the front door.
How I will long for a respite from the winter. Those short stretches of better weather that free us from our overcoats and prompt us once again to go outside.
But by the New Year, I will be entombed by the winter, wrapped in tinsel and packed in a few extra pounds taken on from an endless buffet of colorful holiday meals.
And with all the candy and food threatening a complete renovation to my waistline, a series of New Year’s resolutions will surface only to be abandoned by mid-January.
And if that’s not enough, my favorite NFL team will no doubt find an abrupt end to their playoff ride, and if only to temper the sting of defeat, I will convince myself that there is always next year.
By late February, I will be desperate for sunshine, humidity and the ability to experience daylight past 6 p.m.
Spring will become a distant mirage, a lighthouse disappearing and reappearing between the crashing waves.
My mind will resurrect images of warmer days and other forms of necessary escape so that I may better cope with the season.
As human beings, we naturally aspire for something better, and for me, something better involves beach sandals and sunglasses.
And it is usually an afternoon in late March or early April that the sun shows up, and brings with it longer days, outdoor enthusiasts and a steady buzz of carpenter bees making routine facial fly-bys.
That, my friends, is the best time of the year, but we are all just beginning to take our first step down the gauntlet of winter where autumn signals the sun to make shorter visits, and the leaves, plants and weaker animals respond by dying.
Now some may enjoy the season, the holidays, and the escape from a South Carolina summer in exchange for its winter, but as for me, I would prefer to assume the role of the groundhog, dig a hole, and sleep through it.