Allison Plean: The waiting game

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It's already started.

I bought a new pair of snowboard boots, I signed up for a merchant pass, and I found 10 bucks in my ski pants. Conversations all around me consist of last minute vacation talk, new Warren Miller films and waterproofing pants.

The changing of seasons is upon us like tent sales. And we have a new high-speed quad Sunshine Lift just waiting to take us on laps of Sunshine Lift Line runs.

Sunday felt like the first day of fall. Growing up in South Florida, I always got that feeling the morning I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - and then had to search through my closet for my one sweatshirt. But I'm not in Florida anymore.

Summer down there used to last all year. Now summer feels like it only lasts three weeks.

As soon as fall touches down in the 'Boat, it's just a ticking clock 'til winter arrives.

The bass player from Little Hercules said it snowed nine inches on the mountain peaks in Summit County last weekend. Now the wheels in my head are spinning. Who's going to drive me to Thunderhead Lift on a powder day? Did I already request opening day off from work? When was the last time I got my snowboard tuned?

This is it folks.

Cherish your days off. Sleep in while you still can. Save every last penny you make during Labor Day weekend and stock up on groceries before the long lines come back. The chill in the air will soon bring cravings for soup, starches and fattening foods.

The free concert series is over, and there's going to be no Steamboat Mountain Brewfest this year to console us.

The Bottleneck going-out-of-business sale just warmed us up for the annual Central Park Liquor sale. It's coming - all of it.

Our party town is about to turn into a party town. We just have to get through the long mud season first. In the meantime, freezing mornings are on their way. So is trying to schedule enough time in the morning to warm up your car without being late to work.

My least favorite thing about winter is shoveling the driveway. And I need to start psyching myself up now to wear a helmet again. But at least pumpkin spice lattes are back in season.

And luckily for us, we live in a winter wonderland. Palm trees and white sandy beaches can't compete with the feeling of a true community and getting a ride to Thunderhead Lift on a powder day. We have it all - except Target. But that's why God invented Silverthorne.

So spend the next two months wisely, because the roads will soon be slippery and you will feel bad if you don't go up on the mountain every day you have off. Skier's guilt is an unfortunate consequence of having a ski resort in your backyard.

I always get sad when summer ends because I know it will be another 49 weeks until it returns. But there is a subtle anticipation in the air, there are new snowboard boots to break in and the winter will soon tuck us into our champagne blanket.

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