Luckily, I have not had to ponder over the meaning of Indian summers since moving to Hungary nearly five years ago. Over here, longer periods of unseasonably warm dry weather in the autumn are called old women's summers. Here's the catch - like the term Indian summer used in the US and Canada, I have no clue where the term old women's summer comes from.
Hungary obviously did not have any Native Americans within its borders centuries ago (or proper Indians from India, for that matter), so it would have been ridiculous for them to call warm spells in the fall Indian summers. They did, however, likely have an abundance of old women. Or maybe old women has something to with time - summer starts as a child and becomes an old woman when the leaves start turning, or something to that effect.
Whatever the case, we have had an amazing old women's summer in Hungary this year. Over two weeks of bright sunshine and plus twenty-degree temperatures. It has been absolutely delightful. The only downside is I am still cutting the grass! But it is a small price to pay for the pleasant, dry air and wonderful sunshine we have been basking in for the better part of October.
But all good things eventually come to an end. Weather forecasters are predicting our old women's summer will come to an abrupt halt on Monday and be replaced by more seasonable under ten-degree temperatures and cold, miserable rain. The old women will reach the end of their time and go on to a better place. Unfortunately, they will take their fine weather with them, and leave us with . . . with what exactly? Grumpy toddlers' autumn? Mischievous grade schoolers' late autumn? Clinically-depressed, borderline-suicidal adolescents' early winter?