Picnic and pumpkin cake

Another beautiful Sunday here in Vienna.  The last few weekends have been like this, and each time, we think it’ll probably be the last one.

I’m holding out hope for yet one more, because I was sick again today and missed out on enjoying the beautiful autumn weather.  I didn’t leave the house.  I didn’t do anything, except sleep and occasionally attempt to keep my children from meeting an early demise.

Dan did a great job of wrangling everyone, but I’m also incredibly grateful for our downstairs neighbor.  She called up earlier and invited us all to join her family for a picnic in the park and some of the cake she was baking.  I was too sick to go, but Dan and the boys took her up on her offer.  From all accounts, they had a great time (and they even brought some cake back for me — yummy!).  They ate cake, my neighbor’s oldest daugher played endlessly with Benjamin (and a little with Liam) and Dan got to chat with our neighbor.

It’s always a bummer to be sick.  Worse for it to be on the weekend.  Worse for it to be on a beautiful day.  Worse for it to interfere with plans I have with the kids (we were planning to go to the zoo today).  It was really nice that my kids got to get out and enjoy the day, even though I was stuck inside.  With any luck, I’ll be feeling better tomorrow!  And with an extra bit of luck, next weekend will be beautiful, too.

Fall is in the air

Appropriately enough, given that autumn arrives this week, fall is definitely in the air here in Vienna.  It’s still warm during the day, but the cool air descends quickly once the sun goes down . . . which is happening earlier every day.  The air is crisp, the breezes are cool, the nights are chilly.

The residential heating in Vienna is controlled in a central location, and it hasn’t been turned on yet for the fall (reminds me of my college days).  I don’t mind, though — after a summer of being too hot a lot of the time, I’m rather enjoying bundling up in warm clothes on the few cold days we’ve had so far.

I love the feeling of cool autumn air.  I get absolutely giddy about it.  I went out to get a cup of tea at Starbucks this evening after Dan got home, and walking down the street, I was nearly skipping.  I can’t help it — I get excited about the coming fall.  I love everything about it — the cooler temperatures, the early evenings, the sunlight in the autumn, the pumpkins, the celebration of harvest, Halloween, warm apple cider and warmer clothes.  I love it all.  I am excited that fall is coming, and I’m curious to see how it’s different here.  I know there will be things from home that I miss, but I also suspect that the Austrian tendency to truly celebrate the season will make for quite an experience.

Autumn in August

I love the fall — it is, without question, my favorite season, and always has been.  But, I wasn’t really prepared to greet it in August.  Waking up this morning, there was a definite change in the weather.  We’ve had cool, even chilly, days throughout the summer, but this feels less transient — this feels like fall.  Our other cool days have been gray and rainy.  Today was bright and sunny, but crisp and cool.  At the warmest part of the day, it was a little warm in the sunshine and perfect in the shade, but by this evening, it was chilly even in the sun.  Feels like October to me.

Maybe we’ll have a really long fall that fades gently into a snowy winter (because that would be GREAT).  Or maybe it will feel like January here by the time we get to mid-October.  The light is changing, the weather is changing, the wind is changing — I think summer in Vienna is winding down.

The light is changing

I was outside this evening, around 6:00, and everything looked just a little bit off . . . like when it’s about to storm, but it wasn’t.  The sunlight was different — it was subtler.  Instead of bathing everything in bright light, it was just subdued enough to highlight and illuminate instead.

Fall is coming.  It’s still July.  I think we may have a long, dark winter ahead of us.  I see a time, in my very near future, where I am kicking myself and eating every word I said about the long, hot days we’ve had so far.

On the plus side, the kids are sleeping later, and we’re getting them to bed earlier.  And I love the fall, so if what we get is a long, drawn out period of beautiful light, warm days and cool nights, that would be absolutely fantastic.  Today was absolutely beautiful — it was about 70 degrees as a high, and very windy — I actually ordered a hot tea at Starbucks and drank it inside, because it was too cold and windy outside for me to really enjoy myself (although I did try for about 20 minutes).

It’s JULY.  Oh, dear.