September in the Lowcountry is like a mystery novel, full of twists and turns. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, a surprise ending comes out of nowhere! The month started with hot summer temperatures and the Labor Day holiday spent in the pool with our visiting friends. Then, in the blink of an eye, I found myself digging deep within my closet in search of a longer sleeved shirt! This would be quite short-lived however, as a fierce game of cat and mouse between the seasons got underway, with summer being the victor in the end.
The calendar may say autumn, but around here it’s not quite time to put away the shorts and flip-flops. Hibiscus and Oleander are still in bloom. Trees are still full and green. My herb garden is still thriving with huge basil plants, as well as parsley, chive, green onion, and rosemary. Our ocean water is still incredibly warm. And outdoor activities still result in perspiration.
But my favorite surprise of all is at the farmer’s market. Back in the big southern city, my grief over the end of tomato season would begin in August, knowing that the locally grown sweet and delicious lovelies would soon be no longer available. Out of habit, I once again began my mourning process last month. But, SURPRISE! They are still here! From heirlooms to bright yellow and orange grapes, my fruit bowl remains overflowing with just-picked treats of summer! I did sadly have to finally bid adieu to fresh South Carolina peaches after months and months of enjoyment, but pears stepped in immediately to save the day and are as sweet as I’ve ever had! And beginning now to make its seasonal debut is my all-time favorite, citrus. Oh how I love the smell of fresh citrus!
So, yes, the calendar says autumn…. And there’s no denying that the unavoidable effects of the season are being felt here. Days are growing shorter. A front porch that had been the shady spot all summer is now aglow in sunlight. And a pool that shimmered all summer long now battles the roofline for the sun’s attention. But this season that I once dreaded, as it meant that winter would soon be calling, has a whole new meaning now. Autumn here is just an easier, friendlier extension of summer. And in my book, that is a very happy ending.