After a two year absence, fall has made an appearance in Northeast Ohio again. It had become so depressing, I named the season Flinter last year. Get it? Fall and Winter mashed together. We had snow in October, cold, rain then more snow. The end of October was something to fear, not look forward to. The weather continued right into real winter and straight through April. Endless gray days were the norm.
Fall 2013Fall 2014
Then a miracle happened this year. Fall came back! I can’t stop taking pictures of the beautiful colors, the fall trees and scenery. I had to share. My husband and I have gone to parks to enjoy the sun and autumn-like weather. The tree above (with the title) is from a beautiful park – Holden Arboretum. Below I share a few more from that park.
Now on to Garfield Park – a little closer to home.
And finally my own backyard.
Hope you enjoyed the show! Happy Fall!
When we’re young, most of us want to be rich and famous. We stand in the middle of our bedrooms belting out songs, whether we have the voice for it or not. We dream we are on that movie screen playing the part of the femme fatale or the hero.
As time goes on, we learn that only a small percent of the population achieves those goals. We have to join the real world. Now a new race begins. A new home. The best technology. An awesome car. Things that all seem to cost money.
Life has taken on a new meaning for me, a new way of thinking. Yes, I am thankful for friends and family, good health and my home. But I’m also grateful for the simple things in life. I can look up at the morning sky, feel the warmth of the sun on my face, see the bright blue sky and be thankful. I try to gaze up every day, no matter the weather, and find something beautiful. Dark gray snow clouds create a wondrous background to the bare trees of winter. The sun peeking through the morning mist hints of the day to come. My favorite is those white puffy clouds that look like cotton candy.
I won’t bore you with too many more of the simple things I’m thankful for. Maybe you can add to the list.
Sun sparkling off a new fallen snow
The golden leaves of autumn
A baby’s smile
The first buds of spring
The sound of water lapping on the shore
Sharing a bottle of wine with friends and family
Snuggling with a good book by the fireplace
Holding hands with my husband
Watching my son grow into an awesome young man
The simple things. Give it a try.
What’s up with squirrels in the fall? What’s going on in their little minds? I swear they have a death wish. They dart out in front of a car at a moment’s notice.
I could write a story about them. It couldn’t be a cute little children’s book because there might be a lot of blood and gore like a horror story. Spy novel? Mystery story? Possession? There are endless possibilities. These squirrels aren’t for the fainthearted. They are little daredevils.
My husband thinks the squirrels are doing performance moves, like in the Olympics. They get scored on how well they did. He’s positive there’s a row of judging squirrels set up along the side of the road holding up scorecards.
The strange thing is that squirrels only do this in the fall. They also sit in the middle of the road and when they see a car coming, they don’t budge. They’re like deer in the headlights. Then, suddenly they dart to the edge of the street as if they figured it out. But wait, they turn on a dime and are right back in front of you. Some enjoy the “go, left, no go right, oh, I mean left again” routine. I feel they’re taunting you to hit them. Sometimes they sprint out from the side of the road at the last minute. That move I call the death wish.
In reality, there is an explanation. I just read an article in the paper about this phenomenon. Squirrels travel farther from home in autumn, looking for acorns and water supplies. They are not familiar with their surroundings. When they reach pavement or asphalt they become disoriented. So there’s the truth.
Still, I’d like to think there’s something more going on. When fall arrives, a brain cell ignites, giving the squirrel the ability to harass the humans of the world. They play with your mind, teasing you to hit them and feel guilty for the rest of your life. Maybe they’re hoping for a squirrel sanctuary to be built in their honor. Who knows what goes on in their little minds?
Whatever you think of the squirrel phenomenon, please keep your eye out for the little critters. And maybe next time you see a squirrel in the road, you’ll want to create your own story, your own explanation of Why the Squirrel Crossed the Road.
The trees are throwing up their branches in confusion. They’re saying, “What the?” We’ve had early snows in Northeast Ohio but rarely a late fall. When the two collide, is it Flinter?
The autumn leaves stuck around late this year. In fact, the trees didn’t show signs of changing colors until mid October. By then, we’re usually raking up the bulk of them. Even as I look out the window today there are remnants on some branches.
Imagine the surprise of waking last week to Flinter! The sun was shining and it was a glorious morning. Snow glistened on the lawns and stuck to the branches of the trees. The odd thing about this picture was most trees still had their leaves. It was November twelfth!
Our part of the state was not the only place to get snow that day. The front dropped snow on Chicago and headed east to the Atlantic coast. We all were included in this wintry blast.
Using the seasons in a novel takes a little research, especially if you don’t live in that part of the country. Accuracy, I feel, is important. I always take into consideration that temperatures can be inconsistent year after year, but still want to be true to the climate. Authors have the right to change things up. Cold climates can have a balmy Christmas. It happened here one year. We still talk about the Christmas it was seventy degrees. Other times, Spring may not appear until the first of May. Sometimes we feel it may never stop snowing. Weather is a fickle friend. You can’t always count on it. But this year, was the strangest I’ve witnessed.
Maybe a few more seasons need to be invented. Then we won’t feel so disappointed when the snow falls on beautiful autumn trees. We can just say, “Hey, it’s finally Flinter!” We could enjoy that April snow shower just a little better if it had a name. “Oh, that happens a lot. It’s Snapril.” See? Don’t you feel better already?
Now that I’ve invented Flinter, feel free to use it whenever you like. I hope one day I pick up a book, start to read and the very first line say, “It was a dark and stormy Flinter.” That would make my day.
An end of the summer chore—the closing of the pool. Always get a little tug of the heartstrings, a funny feeling in the pit of the stomach as I watch it happen. If you live wherever there are four seasons, you know what I mean.
People have their favorite seasons and I, like Kate in my series, like summer the best. Our reasons, though, are vastly different. Mine always signaled the end of a school year and some time to reflect before starting another. It was a gift I never took for granted. Hers indicated another year was to begin. Her life in 1927 was about to start again.
Funny how people look at the seasons differently. Some long for winter and the outdoor sports that come with it. Not me. Sledding was as far as I ever went that time of year. Fall is a favorite because of the beauty it represents. Some people drive miles to gaze at autumn foliage or plan vacations around it. Spring hints at new beginnings. The buds slowly appear on the branches and flowering trees burst on the scene.
When your favorite season ends, do you get that little tug? It’s over and you have to wait almost another year until it begins again. You have those three “other” seasons to get through.
This year I’ve made a pact with myself. Find something to love about each one. It’s not too hard with fall and spring given the reasons above. Those are my favorite parts. I don’t want to say the holidays for winter as I know many of you are thinking, because there’s a lot more days ahead after they end. I’m going to try hard to come up with something and when I do, I’ll let you know. It may not be until the dead of winter and I won’t be a happy camper.
For now, I’m going out on the deck and stare at the pool, covered over and waiting for winter. Probably dreading it just like I am.