Fall is my favourite season. Yada, yada yada. How many times do you hear that? Sure the leaves change colour with an ooh and an aah. The air is crisp. That dastardly humidity is gone and I’m no longer a soggy mess. That’s a blessing. But this year, more than any other, I’m reluctant to say goodbye to summer. Strange, since I’m always up for a new season … or a day of shopping…or an invitation to dinner. Just saying. Normally, I thrive on change, so I’m puzzled that I’m nurturing that last blooming flower. And clinging to my pink and green flip-flops.
My lack of enthusiasm could stem from the reminder that I have to change wardrobes. This means trying on last year’s clothes. A stressful task. Even though I have been walking a lot over the summer. But that proved counterproductive as an arduous trek leaves me craving food – any kind of food. A can’t-win-for-losing situation.
I’m normally optimistic and upbeat, which at times my friends find annoying. I know, right? Instead of the halfhearted acceptance of summer’s end, I shall dwell on the positive aspects of saying adios. Unlike swimsuits and shorts, stretchy jeans and sweatshirts hide a multitude of issues, my friends. Leg stubble, cookie rolls, and dimpled – not in a cute way – flesh. Sorry, I looked for the word ‘cellulite’ but it’s not in my vocabulary.
Mostly, I feel melancholy about saying goodbye to our gregarious summertime friends from here, there, and everywhere, who comprise our ‘park’ neighbourhood. Verandah gatherings will be no more than a wistful memory. The intermingling. Storytelling. Munchies. And laughter. Always lots of laughter. Not to mention the occasional glass of wine. The change of season will mean goodbye to the reckless ‘let’s take a spin on the golf cart’ dare. Sad to leave all that behind. Snowbirds who abandon their communities each spring will relate.
On an optimistic note, there’s much to anticipate in the coming months. Since we moved in the spring from our longtime home in the country to a small community, we’ve spent little time there. The neighbours we’ve met are friendly. And hopefully we’ll make a few new friends over the winter. Not as easy to do during the snowy months, as many folks are cozied up to their fireplace, and a fair number might be kicking up their sandals down south.
As I think about our new home, I’m feeling keener about welcoming fall. I look forward to spending quality time in our new hometown. Aside from the odd (as in few, not weird) store, we also have a community library that’s open ten hours a week. Only ten hours? That’s okay. I’m gleefully grateful for the facility and the congenial staff. I have this thing for libraries. They’re an integral part of my existence. And even better, the library is within walking distance. Heck, everything is.
Undoubtedly, the new season will bring days of raking and bagging, and more raking and bagging, as trees shed their mottled leaves. This is a plus. Think of it as an opportunity to offer a friendly hello to anyone who walks past our house while we’re bending, gathering, and groaning.
Of course, we don’t have a sidewalk on our side of the street. Not to worry, there’s one on the other side. And I cheerily point out how lucky we are. We will not be shovelling sidewalks this winter! But we can wave through our front window to our neighbours across the street as they shovel. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the friendly gesture from the newbies on the block.