Saturday, September 01, 2007


It's Labor Day weekend here in the United States, also known as Summer's Last Hurrah. So let's say goodbye to summer and hello to the autumn. (People in other climes, feel free to adapt as needed.)
1. Share a highlight from this summer. (If you please, don't just say "our vacation to the Canadian Rockies." Give us a little detail or image. Help us live vicariously through you!)
The highlight of my summer is without a doubt my trip to Alberta. Being able to spend time away from home with two wonderful friends, and be as gloriously lazy as I wanted to be - who wouldn't go for that. More than anything else I loved being able to sit outdoors and be able to breathe the air and not get eaten alive by mosquitos or other insects. It was like summers when I was a child when by midmorning I had my stuff outdoors under a tree and stayed there until suppertime. Mary Jane has a vegetable garden that produced raspberries while I was there; I can't remember another time when I could eat my fill of raspberries. And there was Eddie, the golden retriever puppy, who loved balls and sticks and being with his people. It was the most relaxing vacation I've had in years. And every time I pick up my knitting these days I can enjoy it some more as I work my way through the yarns I bought there.

2. Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not?
Summers here can be pretty brutal. It's been near or over 100 here every day since I've been home, and the only rain we've had was a few showers the day before yesterday. I don't like being cooped up in the house, but I just can't handle the heat and humidity here where summer is at full bore. So I'm always glad to see September come. I know there's still a month of heat, but usually it slacks off at bit. And by October I can work in the yard a bit and enjoy being outdoors again.

3. Name one or two things you're looking forward to this fall.
This fall will have a pretty busy work schedule, so the things I'm looking forward to are work related. I have a couple of retreats coming up. My personal fall retreat will be sometime before Thanksgiving; I'm thinking sometime in November to get ready for Advent. The other is our Presbytery retreat at Lake DeGray; Don Postma is coming to talk about Sabbath, which is a topic close to my heart, so I'm really looking forward to that one. There's a quilter's gathering in October, that I'd love to go to if schedule permits. Otherwise, just lots of classes and projects starting up in the next couple weeks, so work will be back to full speed.

4. Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another? (Cleaning of house, putting away summer clothes, one last trip to the beach)
My transition to fall won't come until October. There's a week in there somewhere where I put the electric mattress pad and a quilt on the bed. I won't really need either for a while, but it's a convenient time to do it, and then they're there when I want them. At the same time I do the wardrobe shift from warm season to cool season, leaving some things behind for the warm days that invariably come as soon as I pull sweaters out.

5. I'll know that fall is really here when __________________________________.
a. The cotton is defoliated. That's early fall, but it's the beginning. When I lived up north, leaves would turn in September, and the first of this year's apple crop would start coming in. Here those things don't happen until later, but the cotton comes at that time of year when I'm thinking fall, so it's a marker for me.
b. I put the dog out in the morning and think "it's chilly today." I'm looking forward to that first morning when the temperature is in the 50's and I'm glad to come back in the house for warmth.

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