Bring on the night

It has happened. We have crossed over. We are all now living in the Time of Darkness.

That’s not the lead to a rant about the second term of Bushco (although, at deadline, it does have potential in that application). No, the Time of Darkness arrives as we slide back into winter standard time. Usually at this point in our astronomical travels, it’s not uncommon for hundreds of us in the weekly column game to use the occasion to say a gloopy goodbye to the glories of summer, warmth and daylight. Nuts to that. This year, it’s time to give thanks and praises to the cold, the quiet and the barren, all hallmarks of the Dark Time.

• The ants are gone. I’m not quite sure what they do or where they go during D. T. All I know is, when I drop a cookie crumb on the kitchen floor in July, the little bastards are all over it. When I drop that same cookie crumb in December, it just sits there, powerless and vulnerable, awaiting its inevitable vaporization via sheepskin slipper.

• No more watering of plants and flowers. One nice thing about the Dark Time; it arrives every year at precisely the moment when I want all the marigolds to just quit their damned begging and drop dead.

• D. Time means Soup Season! Soups and chilis and tasty slops from the crock-pot, because soup is better in February than it is in August, and there’s no getting around that. Tip for living large in winter—have homemade soup, bread and wine for dinner five nights a week until April first. You’ll eat well, you’ll eat simply, and you’ll lose 32 pounds by April (assuming you’re not constantly making clam chowder or sausage gumbo).

• The Dark Time is the time for indoor fires. That means a wide range of savory experiences to excite the senses; the appealing aroma of the wood, the satisfying pleasure of getting the fire started, the lively sound of the crackling blaze, the eyeball-smarting release of thick smoke into the room, and the frantic, forearm-scorching search for the handle of that damn closed flue.

• Tis the season of static electricity, which means you can have a swell time zapping people with carpet-revved jolts of index finger thunder and have frequent frizzy, levitating hair as a bonus.

(And for those who are wondering, my heart-on-the-sleeve plea of two issues ago did indeed have a bit of a positive impact. Waddya know. Just goes to show there is still room in the world for a well-timed P.D.A. (public display of affection). Nobody is riding off into any sunsets yet, but I’m hopeful that we’ll carry through to have a high ole time at The Burn next summer. And at least I’m not drinking myself into a somnambulistic stupor at The Strafed-by-Love Club).