Washington, D.C. is the kind of city where the in-between seasons -- autumn and spring -- are truncated or skipped altogether. It’s not uncommon for winter to end, segue to one day of spring, and then jump to the hottest most humid April day you can possibly imagine. The transition between summer and autumn is even worse -- one minute your sweltering in 90 degree October days (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating here a little), the next it’s 40 degrees and raining.

But once in a very great while you’ll get a proper seasonal day -- and people like me who grew up someplace else, someplace with a more nuanced sense of seasonal change, are reminded of what fall should feel like. Today is a case in point -- bright yellow sun, orange and yellow leaves carpeting the sidewalks, and cool 60-degree weather. Hell, it even almost smells like autumn -- that mix of cool air and rotten leaves that reminds me of picking apples with my grandfather as a kid (pardon me as I wax nostalgic for a moment ... waxing ... please wait...), or going on long drives to nowhere with my parents.

And wouldn’t you know it -- I had to enjoy it in my office, looking down on all the happy people basking on the street in front of Hopkins, while I was stuck answering email from my boss in South Africa, who even across the ocean can always think of new projects that need to be done. By the time I leave at quarter after five today, it’ll be completely dark -- in fact, it almost already is. In summer time at least I get to sit out front reading while I wait for Pantaliamon to come meet me -- but in November I have to trudge home in the dark. The only positive is I get to peek into the street-side studios of the National Geographic Channel and maybe catch another glimpse of that Egyptian archeologist who’s always on while I wait for Pantaliamon -- they really only open their windows in the winter, and it’s about the only thing I have to look forward to in the dark.

I miss being a kid in Hagerstown, MD and getting the chance to enjoy the passing seasons. I hate that all my time has to be spent worrying about work and school and all these other things that aren’t as important as I pretend they are. I miss the old eroded mountains of home and Saturday afternoons that just stretched on forever. Now everything feels so scheduled.

Pantaliamon and I are in negotiations about having a kid. We imagine we’ll start trying in the next year or so. In that time, I’ve really got to figure out some way to slow life down, to not rush all the time. To be able to enjoy a nice clear fall day for more than five minutes before I have to get back to laying out a newsletter, or banging out pages and pages of mind-numbingly dull HTML code. I’d hate for us to have one of those post-modern kids, swept up in a flurry of work and consuming and television -- all those clock-driven things that control our lives today.

But I’m not sure how to do this. I make plans, but then I break them. Important things need to be done, but it’s funny how unimportant they seem while you’re actually doing them. Yet still they take priority over more meaningful things.