It's a chilly summer morning in Windsor.
The sky is full of grey fluffy clouds that lead one to think rain could come at any moment. But then the sun pops through.
The coffee is extra good this morning, warm and rich – offsetting the cool breeze.
I do make good coffee, if I may say so myself.
The water in the pool is swirling turbulantly, powered by the filter pump – and I can hear the slight rippling sound amid the chirps of birds and the wind in the trees. And my faithful black lab Suzy lying on the deck at my feet – grumbling as only dogs can grumble as a bee buzzes her nose.
The large elm tree in Ernie's yard behind ours is starting to turn orange and yellow in one of it's corners.
Oh no. Say it isn't true.
Fall is coming. It can't be helped. It can't be stopped. It will slowly emerge, gradually taking over from summer. It has already begun its seasonal invasion.
My little girls have one more week of freedom before school starts. The next weekend to come is the long Labor Day weekend. Then the school busses come out of summer hibernation and begin making their weekday morning scheduled rounds.
I'm not a winter person.
And for that reason alone, I do not look forward to fall. I don't even look forward to Labor Day long weekends.
But there are things about this fall that I am looking forward to.
In the last weeks of September we will implement a pretty cool project into production. We have been working on this fine piece of digital surgery – integrating new functionality into a complex system – since early July. Some IT departments may stage something like this over the course of a year, but we are managing to accomplish it in the short course of two months. And nobody missed their vacation time in the process.
Not yet anyways.
My Detroit Tigers are in first place in the American League Central Division. They have a four-and-a-half game lead over those troublesome Minnesota Twins. The Twins have just overtaken the Chicago White Sox for second place – and they will have ample opportunity to make a run at my Tigers. The Twins always seem to be in the hunt in September.
So my Tigers are keeping me anxious.
The Turtle Club – the infamous little league organization from around the corner from our house – sits quiet now. No screams of encouragement coming from the distant diamonds of the immaculate green facilities – so pristine to me that they remind me of the baseball version of the Augusta National golf course. The green and white wooden scoreboards at the end of each diamond still populated with numbers by hand – no silly iconic Coca-Cola orange digital numbers at the Turtle Club – that would be blasphemous.
And a great season they had as well at the Turtle Club, sending teams out to win various divisions, provincial and national titles. Our boys major team missed going to the Little League World Series in Williamsport by one single game. The Turtle Club is a fantastic representation of Canadian baseball.
The company golf tournament is coming up. I have only played two rounds this summer. What a crime. I actually shot two over par on the back nine of my last round. But my clubs have sat idle – probably wondering why I don't love them anymore.
We have had very few visitors this year. No visits from my mother from Florida. No visits from our wonderful friends Ray and Shell from Ireland. Just the odd pop-over from friends – which were wonderful. Since Tina and Bill moved from Windsor to Miami, our back yard has been silent. They are enjoying the diving and underwater photography opportunities of the reefs and coastal waters around the southern tip of Florida.
No winter for them. Lucky buggers.
Today Glenn and Martina are down visiting from Collingwoord - a little hamlet of paradise sitting at the most southern point of Georgian Bay - a five hour drive on the best of days. But it's too cold to take a dip in the tropical waters of Windsor.
Where has this summer gone? And why does it seem like it just popped in for a short stay of a couple of weeks rather than the normal four solid months of years gone by?
Our beautiful back yard has been enjoyed mostly by our own little family of four. And we have it so nice back here this year. Flowers of purples and oranges and reds and pinks and whites – only for our own enjoyment it seems.
In other years we have had visitors for weeks at a time – adding the holiday flavor to the summer. But this year, we have been pretty much to ourselves. Not on purpose. It just seems to have worked out that way.
In the garage, there is a stack of small pre-cut pieces of wood. When assembled it will be an Adirondack chair meant to sit prominently in the center of the upper tier of the deck that surrounds the pool. The project was started by my lovely wife Darlene – who is intent on building this chair and painting it herself. But now the small wooden pieces will have to be dusted off before assembly. The chair did not make if for this summer.
Maybe if summer could stay just a little bit longer. Just long enough so that I could get sick of it. Just hot enough so I could look forward to the cool breezes of autumn.
But not this year.