Life is just that, a constant change of seasons. However, in this aspect, I’m speaking of the literal change from summer, fall, to winter, and then back to spring. I hear about many pipe smokers out there who smoke daily. Yet there are plenty of us who smoke more seasonally than others. Myself, I tend to smoke more from late summer to the end of winter. Why? Not really sure at the moment, so I’ll explore this for myself as I type it all out.
Spring – While many people love spring, I loathe it. Here in the Southeast, spring means allergies. It means being congested to the point I can’t enjoy a good tobacco if it was the last enjoyment I had left. Don’t get me wrong, spring is beautiful with the blooming of flowers, the chirping of returning birds and the leaves coming back. But here in Georgia, those trees and flowers cause so much grief for me that I have to stay continuously dosed up on Claritin until a few weeks after summer hits. And since I’m already having hard time breathing, I don’t tend to want to smoke a pipe.
Summer – Again, being in the Southeast has its rewards here. It’s warm more months than it is cold. With summer here, it also gets extremely humid and hot. Not so much as New Orleans, but close enough. I do; however tend to smoke a little in the summer on my way home from work. Yet, over the weekends, if I can’t find a nice cool place to enjoy a pipe, then I’m not likely to smoke much. I love the smell of the tropic air coming through Georgia, and on some of the warmer days, you really can smell the red clay that we’re famous for.
- Fall (autumn) – This season tends to be my personal favorite. The earthy hues the trees offer really pop out against any other time of year. The temperatures here are moderate, cool in the morning and moderately warmer in the afternoon. Towards the mountains, where I live, I can start lighting up the fireplace on certain nights. Sitting in the sunroom, or in the driveway with a pipe is just pure enjoyment. A light jacket on the crisper days helps ward of a chill, and of course, so does the pipe. I sometimes tell my wife how I love the smell of fall and the upcoming winter in the air. With having more of a tobacco supply this year, I’ve enjoyed some of the differences already with this season. For me, fall is when I tend to play the most. Even as a kid, fall is what I remember as the happiest times.
- Winter – Winter is one of those seasons I truly have a love/hate relationship with. Here, it’s cold, but not too cold. We don’t get temperatures in the negative numbers. We don’t hear about wind-chill factors much, nor do we really prepare for winter weather. If we get hit by a storm, most things will shut down. Even if it’s just a couple of inches of snow. I grew up just North of Dayton, OH, and moved to Georgia when I was seventeen, during a blizzard. I appreciate the difference in climate here. However, if we do really get a storm, it’s worse than many will realize. We don’t get much snow, but we do tend to get ice. Driving on snow is one thing, driving on ice is a whole different ballpark. During the winter, I’m not inclined to go outside and smoke my pipe as much, but I can see myself smoking some on my way home in the car. With the hustle of Christmas, it’s also harder to find the time, unless I just take a pipe with me everywhere I go. For many pipe smokers, this is the season they favor smoking their pipe. It almost seems appropriate as well. Fire in the fireplace is almost a daily thing and the aromas of a fine tobacco go well with the smell of burning wood.
So, I think I’ve found my answer that I’m definitely a seasonal smoker who enjoys a bit of nostalgia that I’m familiar with. I grew up with more colder months than warm, and I enjoy this time of year, even though I cannot stand snow. It’s beautiful from afar, but I really don’t want to be in the middle of it anymore. Another thought occurred to me, this is usually the time of the year, when I would see one of my grandparents’ close friends, Frank and Sandy. They were like a second set of grandparents growing up. Frank used to smoke pipes and I always enjoyed looking at them on top of one of his bookshelves.
So, like several brethren of the briar, smoking in the cooler months just seems to fit my nature. I’m not a daily smoker even in those favorable seasons, but I have found that my enjoyment is enhanced with a time of year I can truly value my pipes with the change of seasons. Maybe in my next post, I’ll explore some of the different tobaccos I have and why I enjoy them.
A few things I hope to blog about soon:
Where and what has this bootleg bon vivant been?
Exploring some different tobacco.
Creating a discussion on some of the different pipe makers – I’m not exactly experienced in this by any means, but I think I might be able to put together something substantial with some help. I’ve been asked a couple of times to give some thoughts on some American pipe makers vs. some of the European makers. This can truly prove to be a challenge.