It now looks and feels like autumn in Minnesota, with highs only in the mid-40s (4.5 Centigrade). But before we embrace the fall colors, here’s one last look at the summer of 2018.
Thanks to haze from the blazes in California, the sunrises take on an eerie red glow.
So do the roads, which are practically illuminated by fluorescent orange cones in the ubiquitous construction zones.
The lupines bloom, even as the daisies and coneflowers begin to fade.
As if on cue, the oak trees drop their acorns almost overnight. One enterprising young neighbor decides to capitalize on the windfall. Sadly, his supply far exceeds the demand.
Esteban and I go to the Renaissance Festival.
It’s the same as ever: lots of pottery …
… and music …
… and pottery and music …
… elaborate costumes …
… ballerinas masquerading as unicorns …
… ponies masquerading as unicorns …
… audience participation …
… and being wanted by the wenches. (With extra points awarded for the jaunty tricorn hat.)
September brings even shorter days, but — paradoxically — warmer weather. Esteban and I brave the sun and visit the State Fair. To my dismay, we speed through the horse barn and miss the heifer judging.
But at least we get a hands-on demonstration of the restorative power of goats and sheep.
And to my delight, I somehow manage to convince my husband to join me on the Sky Ride (shown below, on the left of the frame).
Never mind that our gondola lists precariously toward Esteban’s side — or that the roofs below us are inexplicably covered in underwear. (Fitting tip: If your bra or underpants fall off spontaneously, try a smaller size.)
From our dangling perch we see — and hear — the Giant Sing-Along. Predictably, the enormous karaoke machine is playing Twist and Shout.
The Sky Ride also gives us a bird’s eye view of the food options. (Schnitzel strips! Corn dogs! Strawberry smoothies! Funnel cakes!!)
But because we have already gorged ourselves on cinnamon rolls, pork chops, turkey drumsticks, fried pickles and mini donuts, Esteban and I resist the temptation.
We waddle over to the Fine Art building where we find a Van Gogh …
… and a snowy Minnesota landscape where no van should go.
It’s only 11 a.m., but the fairgrounds are already at capacity. We call it a day.
On our way out we encounter another man with dubious taste in t-shirts. Good for you, buddy!
Back at the office, a newsletter glides across my desk on its way to publication. My friend and colleague Tom notes that there are no more summer months on the calendar. Unfazed, our client says it’s still summer.
Optimism? Or tragic denial? Either way, I don’t argue.
It went by so fast that in my mind it’s still summer, too.
How is the weather in your neck of the woods?