Leaving one recent night after my after-work workout, I felt the briskness in the air that signals the arrival of fall. That sharp little chill focused my senses on the other hints that Mother Nature has been scattering about: the faint lights of school buses in early morning fog, the yellowing and reddening of leaves, and the tangy air along rural roads where in the evening wood stoves are already being lit.
There was evidence of the changing of seasons inside the gym, too. The thinning crowds of determined aerobics enthusiasts — who just months ago clogged treadmills and elliptical trainers in search of a flab-less, summer-worthy body — is surely an omen that winter is coming.
During autumn, all living things begin bulking up, furring up, burrowing down and snuggling into cozy nests. This is a time to fatten up, not slim down. We’ll renew our resolve to eat less and exercise more in the New Year, at the peak of our plumpness and when we once again gaze hopefully for spring on the horizon.
We are measuring our march through this shoulder season by the few minutes of light that disappear every day into the night. The shortened days draw us back inside, while city streets now resemble a patchwork of interior lights. In a few weeks, the acrid smell of burning leaves will waft through neighborhoods.
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But for now, it’s time to savor the remains of a summer that seems stalled in the path of several building fall storms, which are surely waiting for us on the other side of Nov. 7 and the return to “real” time.
Who wouldn’t want to receive an iPad for Christmas this year? We’re giving one away to readers who check out our mobile website and take a short survey. All you have to do is point your mobile browser to www.theolympian.com and click on “Win an iPad.” After completing the survey, you’ll be entered into a random drawing for the hottest new tablet reader on the market.
Another easy way to get to the “Win an iPad” button: use your smartphone to scan the mobile barcode tag on our front page today. It will take you directly to the website.
Before you can scan the tag, however, you’ll need to download the free tag reader software from www.gettag.mobi. It’s fun and you’ll begin seeing these tags popping up in all kinds of places, including newspaper advertisements.
The state’s First Family is turning into the Addams Family for Halloween this year. Gov. Chris Gregoire is dressing as Morticia, and First Gentleman Mike Gregoire is playing Gomez for the 1,500 or so trick-or-treaters who are expected to visit the Governor’s Mansion between 6 and 8 p.m. on Oct. 31. ... Local boy makes good! Clarke Hallum, 11, of Olympia will play Ralphie, the lead character in “A Christmas Story: The Musical!” at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Hallum was picked from hundreds of child actors in a nationwide search. ... Don’t forget to visit the website www.thurstontogether.org and make a donation or set up your own fundraising Web page. Together! does great work in this community preventing youth violence and substance abuse.
George Le Masurier, publisher of The Olympian, can be reached at 360-357-0206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.