It’s this time of year, when the calendar says September but the oppressive heat says Summer, that I start missing Minnesota. When I moved away, I swore I wouldn’t, of course. Who misses endless frigid months of a cold so intense that it makes your lungs sting when you take your first breath outside the front door in the morning? Who misses snow that lingers on and on and ON until the sides of the road are lined with half melted piles of black and brow spotted drifts instead of rolling fields of white? Who misses waiting for the bus, dancing from foot to foot in order to keep feeling beneath two layers of socks and fleece-lined boots?
I’m not that far gone, yet. I don’t miss the deep winter, especially the end of it, when it feels like the summer will be swallowed altogether. What I miss, though, is September in Minnesota. I miss crisp, cool mornings. I miss that snap in the air, knowing that even if it gets warm enough to wear shorts in the afternoon, the days of baking in the sun are at an end. I miss dressing for the fair in layers, trying to decide if the morning chill will give way to shorts or only to jeans. I miss the early onset of chill, walking over crispy, frosty grass, wondering when the first hard freeze will show up for the year. And, most of all, I miss searching for a sweatshirt for taking a walk outside instead of searching for a water bottle and tank top.
I don’t regret moving to North Carolina, but I think I’ll always miss September in Minnesota, while I watch the thermometer hang in the 90s. My body thinks it’s Fall, even if my surroundings prove it’s still summer. So, I’ll admit it. I do miss Minnesota.