Well, I can't say that about the temperatures, but the color of the sky and the way the light and shadows play, I can tell it's definitely here. That and the fact that it's nearly dark by 7:30 now.
I took the boys to a nearby park this afternoon. We were supposed to meet some friends, but they didn't show up. I guess maybe they forgot because we planned this last week sometime. I started to call this morning to double-check, but I got busy. Anyway, when we got there, several school-age kids were running around. Most of them had tags of some sort pinned to their shirts. The 3 teachers sat on a bench in the shade and pretty much ignored everything but each other. Only when a kid came up crying to them did they respond.
The boys were having fun playing in the rocks (pea gravel, the ground cover for that half of the playground) with some of the other kids while I sat in a small shady spot and watched for our friends. Every so often, Caleb and/or Jacob would go running by to climb up the wooden "ship" structure and run through the mazes. Then I saw one of the older kids throw a rock at a boy playing directly in front of me. He hid and watched, then aimed to throw another one. Thankfully the "victim" moved out of the line of fire. About that time Jacob came up to get a drink of water. I told him it was time to go, so we rounded up Caleb and left. I explained to them why I didn't want to stay and suggested we visit a nearby playground that was around the corner. They were excited to check it out since it opened this spring and we hadn't been there yet.
I found a shady spot in the parking lot and we walked over to the deserted playground. (Yes!) Jacob immediately noticed the spongy "floor" of the playground and started bouncing around and chanting, "Squishy, squishy, squishy!" I felt like I was walking on springs! The play equipment is painted in bright primary colors and has all sorts of things on it: a small climbing wall, two slides, all sorts of bridges, and steps and ladders to climb. One of the bridges is slanted and really hard to walk across, so you have to hold on to the chain "rope" above it to get across. Caleb went right on by, but my feet slipped a lot. (I think that had to do with my flip-flops.) Jacob needed help his first time across, but he went easily all the other times.
My favorite part of the play equipment was four vertical poles with circular steps about 2 feet high. The were anchored at the top and bottom, but they swayed one way or the other while you tried to cross. Caleb surprised me by going right across the first time. I went and was a little surprised at how uneasy it made me feel. I went across and back, but no more. Jacob wanted help getting across once. I'm not sure if he went across by himself of not. Something about that part made me think of Survivor.
While the boys continued playing, I sat on a bench in a tiny spot of shadow and watched the dragonflies overhead. The wind was blowing nicely and a few leaves were falling here and there. Everytime the breeze would pick up, I could hear the rustling. So nice, so relaxing... So quiet!
I definitely want to go back to that spot again. It's not a weekend place for us. The few times I've driven by on a Saturday, it's been wrapped up with kids. But it'll be perfect for lazy afternoons after we've finished school for the day. We might even pack up a picnic lunch and take with us. I'll definitely have to invite a few of our friends to meet us there. The boys would love playing "obstacle course" there with friends.