It is Friday morning and as usual, I am up at 5:30. My daughter leaves for school by 6:20, so I get up to keep her company. This morning, it is 30 degrees out (AOL weather says it feels like 22 degrees). Our heater has been on for a week or so at night. I have piled on the blankets and switched from shorts to sweatpants at night. After a hot summer and a pleasant fall, winter is right around the corner. (In fact, according to the Farmer’s Almanac Winter Outlook 2011, we are looking at a cold and very snowy winter in Chitown!)

It is dark as night when my alarm goes off. I usually hit the snooze at least once because I can’t believe it is really morning. When my daughter leaves for school, it is still dark out. Thankfully, she gets a ride to school so she is not walking to school in the dark. The high school kids are not as lucky. Their bus comes by 6:40 am and the official sunrise is 7:30 am. That’s no way to start the day!

This weekend ends Daylight Saving Time and we change the clocks back by one hour. Some people will argue that it is dark too early. Today the sunset is 5:42 pm. Personally, I would prefer a little more daylight in the morning than at night. It is really hard to get motivated when it is still dark out. What is the difference if the sun goes down at 5:42 pm or 4:42 pm? For us, fall sports are over so whatever we are doing is inside. It is too cold to sit on the deck and have a cocktail. At least we will gain an hour on Saturday night. How often do we hope for more than 24 hours in a day?

Yesterday, I was driving my daughter home from her cello lesson. It was about 6:30 pm, dark, cold and sleeting. We drove by a park where some poor kids were playing football. Ugh! I felt so bad for those kids (and the coaches!). When I got home, my crazy husband was grilling – wearing shorts from his workout and a wind breaker.

Without realizing it, these three things proved my point that the darkness does not hold us hostage in our house. I was still running kids to activities, outdoor sports can be played with the assistance of temporary lighting and outdoor grilling is not just a summer activity. Life still goes on, even if the sun sets earlier.

We are halfway through fall. The cold and darkness are inevitable. Let’s enjoy late fall for what it is. Bring out the scented candles, warm blankets and hot tea. Pull out the comfort food recipes and turn on the fireplace. Get comfortable. It’s going to be awhile.