It’s the warm October Saturdays like this that make me miss summer in Missouri.
School’s back in session, and with it come all the football games and bonfires and falling leaves. Like any good Midwesterner, I love when the temperature drops and it’s time to break out the flannel and sweaters. It’s the way the acorns are laid so thick on the driveway and they crunch under tires. It’s the way the air smells clean and crisp and the humidity isn’t so thick you could swim.
But sometimes it’s hard to pretend fall is this joyous occasion when everyone knows deep down that it’s the death of summer.
Chicago weather’s been up and down for the past month, and it feels funny going to the Northwestern homecoming game when it’s 80 degrees outside. There are people sunbathing on the beach of Lake Michigan. This kind of weather makes me miss tank tops thrown over bathing suits, the thick wet air of St. Louis in summer. The way the leaves are so thick and full and such a gorgeous viridescent shade. It’s floating on borrowed air mattresses down the St. Francois River, splashing in the pools of Johnson Shut-Ins, taking a running leap and diving into the Little Niangua. I want to go back and hike through Devil’s Kitchen, walk along Cuivre River, explore the ruins of the Ha Ha Tonka castle again. I want the evening sounds of the cicadas and tree frogs, the smell of summer camp fires, the cool mist of early morning in the woods.
And being here in Chicago, it’s warm pavement and falling orange leaves, technically autumn but still feeling like June. Just makes me miss my Missouri summers.