Officially Fall, At Last!

Who cares what the solstice says, it’s officially fall by the sounds we heard last night as we opened our windows and shut down the A/C. The high school band from Gretna was playing. We didn’t hear them as much during the month of August when they typically practice very early in the mornings. It’s a beautiful sound. It heralds a change; change of schedule, change of colors, change of temperatures, and a change for me.

Fall is not only “my color,” but it’s what rejuvenates my spirits. Maybe it’s because at 69, I’m in the autumn of my life? It is because I like the restful time that comes with fall, the leaves teaching us how to let go, and the colors reminding us what an artist God is. I appreciate all I see and sense. The crunch of a crisp apple, the smell of cinnamon, the taste of pumpkin, and the chili cooking on the stove while the game is on TV.

Living in Nebraska nearly my whole life, talk starts of how early it may snow, hunkering down with fleece blankets by the fire, and how early it gets dark. Once daylight savings time ends, it will get dark before 5 p.m. between November and the late December days. I don’t like the early darkness, but I’d sure like it if the government would stop daylight savings time. It’s kind of dumb, really. It puts people through a lot of hassle, especially Arizona, part of Illinois (or is it Ohio?), and whoever does not participate.

I will soon be time to trim down the dead flowers, plant some, and put the garden tools away. I was looking through some old paperwork and found a small journal I purchased a few years ago. My first entry was about my garden. I like what I wrote, and will share it here:

The Garden – my favorite place – proof of my labors of love, where I dig the earth, plant, and relieve frustrations and stress.

The Garden – full of singing birds, thanking me for the seed; the scented flowers colorful and brilliant, or green and muted while growing.

The Garden – where butterflies refresh and activity is frenzied – if I sit quietly to listen and observe, not just work and tend.

The journal is for working through your grief after the loss of a loved one. If truth be told, I’m still grieving after losing my dad. He was 64 and I was 37. I looked to him for advice on my business career, raising my kids, and life in general. My kids were devastated. I’m well past his age. All the joy I have now was never enjoyed by him. That’s sad. But then, he sees our lives, and I believe has a hand in things going well for us. His mother lived two years longer than he did, passing at 97. Once, she told me she believes things go well because he has a hand in them. Isn’t that a cool thought? I believe she’s rooting for us, too. Thanks, Gram!

Our group of friends has lost two husbands this year, and that’s so hard to see your friends hurting. And the empty seats at the table are constant reminders. We’ve also lost a friend to COVID this year. It’s a lot to process at times, isn’t it? I know resources are available for me when I need it. It’s also available to others, and I’d highly recommend “The Centering Corporation,” in Omaha, Nebraska. They are the best at what they do. Check their website, www.centering.org.

Have a beautiful rest of the day. I have some fresh air to go breathe. Wish you all could join me! See you tomorrow!