Thank God! It's Fall! It's finally "goodbye" to all those rumpled looks of summer -- the worn-out, plain bone-tired droop of the face and chin, the stringy hair clinging to the backs and ears, the upper lip perspiration and the wet spots on blouses and shirts.
It's "so long" to hazy days and those can't-sleep-because-it's-too-muggy-nights, and the weatherpeople saying "hot, humid, high in the 90s and we break another record."
And the mildew in the basement will finally go, and so will left-over beach sand on the kitchen floor and in the rugs, and those thunderstorms that never materialize to cool off the evenings.
It's "farewell" to all those "Hot enough for you?"s and all the talk about raising tomatoes and let's make squash or zucchini bread from our bumper crops, and tall fables about home-grown beans, and all those believe-it-or-not stories about people who preserve, can and freeze millions of quarts of food from their gardens.
It's "goodbye" to mosquitos that bite and leave welts on your arms and legs, and the bees that sound lazy but sting and hurt. And Calamine lotion, and citronella candles, and suntan lotion and their scents of summer!
"Adieu" to mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes and around the trees, and weeding and poison ivy lurking in the woods. And gone for a whole year as the patio parties where you melt in the heat and get bitten by gnats, and find bugs in your drinks, and the dips turn sour.
"Farewell" to vacations that you think will be fantastic but end up being hard work, and the traffic jams on Friday and Sunday evenings, and the terrible quiet stillness of summer days.
And a special "goodbye" to sunburn and too-fat people wearing too-small bathing suits and shorts.
But, lift up your voices -- it's "hello there" heavy clothing -- long-sleeved shirts and sweaters over them, and wool skirts that don't wrinkle and clothes that don't look like they've been slept in. And look at the dark colors -- purples and browns and blacks and all the super fall colors like green and gold and red and orange!
And the chyrsanthemums are back and so are football and the World Series, and classes in schools.
A special "hello" goes to strong winds and cool days and highs of 75 and low of 52. And fireplaces with the first smells of autumn and crackling fires.
"Welcome back" to heavy reading, and let's go to the theater or to a restaurant in our elegant clothes -- dazzle earrings, pearly pins, three-peice suits, black velvet and white satin. "Hello to pantyhose and heels and boots and white wool coats and strong perfumes.
And let's hear it for cocoa and hot buttered rum and steaming cups of coffee and pot roasts and apple pies and German chocolate cakes. And spaghetti sauces cooking on the stove the whole day.
Hello, chicken soup and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pies. And hot teas in the evening, and the new season of TV. If it ever gets here. And friends who come to talk and laugh and sit in the family room or play games of boggle or Monopoly on the kitchen table.
And "hi" to long walks with the dog, and hats and scarves pulled down tight to avoid the autumn winds. And let's hear it for falling leaves and crunching twigs underfoot. And for Hallowe'en and ghosts and goblins and "Trick or treat!"
A welcome wave to the birds flying south in formation, and to real dinner parties and the dark of the night and the glow of a fire and for scents of cinnamon and cloves and oregano and basil throughtout the house. And to busy street and neighbors who emerge from air-conditioned homes.
"Hello" even to the changing of the closets and the cleaning of the house.
And welcome to unfrazzled nerves, and yes, even to routine and five day-a-week-jobs and schools.
Thank God! It's Fall!