Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Bring on the Dark and Cold

To me, there have always been three signs that it's really winter. Three signals that summer is gone, the holidays are over, and we're in for a long, dark, cold winter and too few days off from school.

The first, and most obvious sign, is the end of the yomim tovim. To me, the day after simchas torah is one of the most depressing days of the year. Heck, taking the sukkah down after yom tov is full of negative associations. Growing up, taking the sukkah down represented all the fun of the yomim tovim and the days off being over; now, it would be school, school, and more school, all the way till Pesach. And going to shul and seeing the navy blue p'roches for the first time in weeks made me feel the same way.

That's come and passed. Besides, now that I'm done with yeshiva, I still have to work on chol hamoed, so I don't really have that feeling when the yomim tovim end.

But my two other signs of winter have both occurred over the past 48 hours:
the end of the World Series, and the changing of the clock.

I think one of the reasons I never really got into football was my associating it with those dark and cold winter Sundays. I also hated Sundays growing up, so that certainly didn't help the cause.

To me, baseball is all about summer, nice weather, and the approaching end of the school year. I think of Bob Murphy talking about the beautiful weather, and watching the clear sky over Shea or Fenway. Positive associations. And those positive feelings last till the depths of October. As long as baseball is being played, even if Placido Polanco is wearing a hooded t-shirt underneath his jersey, to me, it's still summer.

And then, baseball is over. Time to focus on something else, like schoolwork. And the offseason still feels like forever, even though time moves so much faster as you get older.

And then you change the clock, and the sun sets at 4:30 in the afternoon. Then you have those frantic Fridays. And as a kid, we used to get dismissed from school at 4:30. I hated walking out of yeshiva, on to the school bus, and seeing the sky darken as we headed to my stop.

So here we are, in for the annual long haul. It better be good.


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