Saturday, September 20, 2008

Slipping Into Fall

Once again, I am waking up to a beautiful summer morning, sitting on the back patio deck, next to the pool, with Suzy, our black lab retriever curled up at my feet.

But this morning is different. This morning I am wearing a jacket.

This morning I had to wipe the thick layer of dew off the glass patio table before I sat down my laptop.

The nights are cooling down. The sun rises later and sets earlier. Not just here in Windsor, but everywhere north of the equator.

But you already knew this of course. It's most likely happening to you to.

Unless you're in Africa, South America, or Australia. If you are, then lucky you.

Because the Northern Hemisphere is slipping out of summer and into fall.

This morning is special as I write this. Because it is my last chance this year to sit beside the pool and write. My beautiful wife Darlene's brother Glenn is coming over when I finish to help me close the pool. We will drain half the water, put in chlorine and algaecide, remove the hoses and crate up the pump. And then we will put on the black tarpon cover that will be the main back yard fixture until May of next year.

In the summer, our back yard patio deck becomes our family room. Everyone gathers around our glass patio table, under the shade of the umbrella, and we hang out together.

So I sit here now and remember all the great friends that have visited here this summer – sitting at the table, taking a cooling dip in the pool, returning to dry off and enjoy cool sips of whatever their summer pleasure be.

Some friends from as far away as Ireland, others from the northern reaches of Ontario, and some as close as next door. Neighborhood kids splashing in the pool for Ashley-Rae's birthday. Barbeques wafting the smells of hamburgers, sausages, hot dogs, chicken or steaks. Darlene's blender grinding down ice to mix frosty thick margaritas or pina coladas. Cold bottles of bear clanking in cheers with friends, or being enjoyed by myself as the reward for a lawn well cut and trimmed.

There is no time in Windsor like summertime.

Fall is nice to though. The colors of the changing trees, the changing smells in the air. The niceness of sitting outside in cooler weather. Baseball playoffs are just around the corner – although not as sweet when my beloved Detroit Tigers struggle to stay three games out of the basement of the American League Central division standings. No playoffs for them. At least not like we expected just six months ago when summer was still a future glimmer still waiting to arrive.

So today I will busy myself with closing the pool, cutting the lawns, cleaning out the gardens, and readying the yards for fall and then winter. No leaves have fallen yet, but some trees have started changing colors already.

It is indeed a beautiful morning to sit beside the pool and write. But as I watch Hoppy the squirrel carrying once green walnuts and acorns back to his storing spot – cheeks bulging as he hops so delicately, accurately, and speedily over the fence posts that line our back yard border – I realize that like Hoppy, I better to get to work to welcome in autumn.

No matter how much I would like to avoid this changing of the seasons, you can't run and hide from fall. Time marches on as this big blue ball we all live on spins continually around the sun, and we are almost to the position in that orbit that is fall.

I guess it's time to uncover the pool table in the family room. But it's still covered with laundry as the warmer clothes are brought out and the summer clothes packed up and away for another season to come.

I wouldn't mind fall so much except that I know what comes next.

And as I have said here before … I am not a winter person.

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