Coat/no coat

“Coat,” said the woman on the parking garage elevator on Monday morning.

“Yes,” I said. “I decided to put it on after all.”

She had passed behind me while I was extracting my work bag and lunch from my trunk. I had taken off my coat for the drive in and left it in the trunk, then, when I got out of the car, decided to put it back on. I thought she was referring to the voice in my head that, all morning, had been muttering, “Coat? No coat? Coat? No coat?”

“I thought about wearing mine today, but it’s not like we actually need them yet,” she said.

Apparently, she found joy in mocking those of us in the Early Coat-Wearers Club.

“I just couldn’t bring myself to get it out of the closet,” she said, continuing to talk as we both stared at the elevator doors. “But you’re smart.”

“Really?” That was the kind of comment to which I could bear to respond.

“Yes,” she said. “The temperature’s supposed to drop all day. By tonight, you’ll probably need that coat.”

The coming temperature drop has been on everyone’s mind this week. Over at An Iowa Garden, Don posted about the cedar waxwings that descended on
his garden
, harbingers of the early arrival of winter. I’m with Don…trust the weathermen, but verify by watching nature. Even this former city girl learned that fact, way back, from the farm-heritage side of the family.

I expected to have to come up with an alternative–tae bo,  to walking outdoors this morning, but the drizzle that started last night had given way to a blustery sky. That bluster only increased through the morning, and by the time I went on the hunt for lunch food, leaves and debris raced through downtown Cedar Rapids toward the river as if they were late to an appointment. There might not be moisture out there, but the thick cloud cover and the wind, that cutting kind of wind that only appears on the front edge of a cold front, is enough evidence to me that we’re past the stage of a simple frost.

The words “hard freeze” were in the forecast for tonight. The local weathermen have been acting like kids on December 23 ever since the evil s-word showed up in that same forecast.

“It’s not snowing yet,” I said to Steve this morning.

“It’s not going to snow today,” he replied.

“Says who?”

“Says please?” he said.

Snow or no snow, the voice in my head and everyone else’s today has been clear: Coat. Absolutely.


8 Responses to “Coat/no coat”

  1. 1 Megan October 11, 2006 at 11:34 pm

    You are SO right about that! Wow – I was pelted with flying leaves today and trashcans kept leaping out infront of my car as I drove around. Good Luck keeping warm!

  2. 2 Pamela October 12, 2006 at 9:45 am

    “leaves and debris raced through downtown Cedar Rapids toward the river as if they were late to an appointment.”
    Genie, I’ve never read a better description of the coming of winter.

  3. 3 Lydia October 12, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    I love this time of year! Here in Rhode Island, the leaves are falling, but I’ve still got a few herbs in the garden. The cooler weather is invigorating….but I’m not ready for snow, either!

  4. 4 susan jankolovits October 12, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    I’m in Northern NJ but my son is in Grinnell College. I don’t envy you the current cold temperature – but the Cedar Waxwings would be thrilling to me. I’ve only seen them once, much later in the season in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. They’d lit on a yellow crabapple to have a party. My friend had a single Hawthorne tree which they would visit every February. Everything is cleaner, brighter and more vivid in Iowa – but I sure do hope my son has his coat. I would love any roses that survive Iowa winds and summer humidity. I maintain a rose garden with Master Gardeners and can use help.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener October 12, 2006 at 7:54 pm

    Megan, yeah, the flying trashcans of Iowa City are a menace!

    Pamela, thank you — that is so sweet! Thanks for dropping by.

    Lydia, cooler weather is invigorating, definitely, but cold weather…brr. Enjoy your Rhode Island Fall!

    Susan, unfortunately, my very, very limited expertise doesn’t extend to roses, but I hear great things about Knock Outs and their various cousins…have you tried those?

  6. 6 Janet October 12, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    My stepmother was telling me just today that the chickadees have arrived in Saskatchewan – a month early.

    Is there something you can do about the font size for the comments? I can’t even tell if I’ve got typos or not.

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener October 12, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Janet,

    Unfortunately, that’s the one drawback of this theme — the rest of the font size is better, but the comments come out teeny. The only solution I’ve found is to increase the text size via my browser by one level. In Firefox, I go to View–>Text Size–>Increase Size. I’m not sure what it would be in IE, but I’d be happy to check into that, if that would be helpful.


  8. 8 Janet October 13, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    It’s OK, Genie, I know how to do it. But I have to up it two levels, which makes the other text really large. I’ll survive. Nothing you can tweak in the HTML codes, eh?

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