Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Swinging into Another Fall

Orillia's Island Princess tour boat on Canada Day, parked at the docks.
Orillia's "Island Princess"
... fall season that is. Oh, I know ... it's still a little ways off since the start of the season isn't til the 20th of the month, but that's looming up pretty quickly. The older you get, the faster time passes - a fact that I don't like much. When I younger the summers seemed to last forever. Now, they fly by in the blink of eye. Frankly, winter doesn't have to exist at all for me ... that would be something I'd like to see "fly by", but for me it's always the winter that seems to last the longest.

The empty sands of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, in September.
Wasaga Beach in September
I love the other 3 seasons, all for different reasons. Spring is the season of newness; things grow and burst into life, the air smells fresh and clean, the skies are bright and clear, and everything has a freshness that just smacks of youth. I love the feeling that spring brings with it. Summer I love for the sunshine and heat, the carefree days at the beach, and harvesting flowering plants and early vegetables; the sound of seagulls crying and the drone of airplanes overhead as the lazy waves lap at the wooden docks. It reminds me of childhood, and how easy life was back then.

Bright yellow clothes the fall trees and pathways at Westridge Park in Orillia.
Fall at Westridge Park, Orillia
The fall has it's own attractions ... bright and stunning colours clothe the trees and shrubs; the days have an early crisp bite in the air, and the evenings are cool but calm. The early fall still has warm days and sunshine, while the late fall has air that almost always smells of the coming snows. Fall is also when the kids are all studiously back in school, and the popular beaches are empty during the weekdays. That's when I love to walk along the sand in bare feet ... feel the solitude, listen to the birds and the waves, lay on a blanket and read a book, or even doze off to the peaceful sounds of nature. All of these seasons touch me in a different way, and I love them all.

I'm looking forward to fall this year, probably more than other years. Maybe because our summer was unseasonably hot this year (still, I love the heat so I'm not going to complain but it was excessive this past summer) and right now, we're still having unseasonably warm temperatures. I love it, but the heat makes it rather impossible to wear slacks or jeans, or even a 3/4 length sweater. It's been nothing but shorts and tank tops this summer! I love that, but sometimes you just need a change, you know? Evenings have cooled off a little, making sleeping a lot more comfortable (we don't use air conditioning in our house), and mornings are cool but by 10:00am it's warm enough for shorts and tanks again.

Shoreline at Hawkestone, Ontario in the fall.
Hawkestone Shoreline in Fall
Or maybe I'm just looking forward to it because we hope to make a trip to Florida (late October, early November-ish). Florida is pretty new to us. We were there earlier this year (February, March) and although it was the place I wanted to visit the least, we both fell in love with the city of Lakeland, and hope to go back this year (and next year).

The entrance pond at Cypress Lakes Estates in Lakeland, Florida, showing the pond and surroundings.
Cypress Lakes Estates, Lakeland, Florida
From the first time we arrived, being in Lakeland felt like being at home. I don't really know why - the city itself is much bigger than where we live. Our local population is about 35,000 and the population in Lakeland is around 600,000+. The traffic patterns are very different and were something we had to get used to. The time it took just to get groceries was greater than the time it takes at home.  There were many differences between Lakeland, and Orillia ... but we felt as at home in Lakeland as we do here.

Whether we get there or not this fall will depend on the state of my mother-in-law ... she's got needs and my husband and I feel like her needs have to come before what we'd like at this stage. We won't have her forever and looking after someone you love shouldn't be considered a sacrifice, or a duty ... but a labour of love.

Another pond and palm tree in Cypress Lakes Esates, Lakeland, Florida.
Pond and Palm at Cypress Lakes Estates, Lakeland, Florida

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