Today we took a little ride mainly to see the gorgeous landscape of autumn in the mid-west! On other years, we’ve driven to Hastings or La Crosse for our “fall leaves excursion” but this year, with a winter storm positioning itself to the North-West, it seemed we needed to get this done or we might not get to go at all! The day was lovely, 73-degree temperatures and relatively sunny skies! We drove to Lake Minnetonka and toured along the shoreline and surrounding suburbs just long enough to get our fill of reds and oranges and yellows brightly set against the deep green pines and remaining trees that either haven’t yet turned, or never turn at all. It was a splendid way to spend a few hours this afternoon.
One cannot go out and enjoy fall in the mid-west without having a deep appreciation for CHANGE, since that is what the season is all about. Changes in the foliage colors is perhaps the most stunning of the autumnal changes but others are certainly apparent. The temperatures are dropping, the days are shorter and the nights are cooler. Dew-points have all but disappeared and soon, the lawn will be strewn with all those colorful leaves.
It makes me reflect on all that is changing in my own life – several things leap to mind. . .
- Relationships are changing – in my house, that’s largely because my husband is losing nouns. It’s all part of his Alzheimer’s disease but, that doesn’t make our conversation any easier. And, this week I learned the neighbors are moving (they’ve lived next-door for 16 years!). They’re headed to a senior-housing center that’s currently under construction. Finally, we attended an October wedding (the daughter of an old friend) and now, I watch my friend re-arrange her parenting style; two daughters “launched” – one to go.
- Priorities are changing – here, that means clearing out all the potted plants on the deck and preparing for the winter’s snows. Putting things away, packing up the colorful summer cushions and anchoring anything that might want to blow away once winter’s winds kick up, the lounge chair, the folding umbrella, and even the plastic urn that held the petunias all summer. What was important in April is superfluous in October – time to pack up the summer and settle into fall.
- And, I have to admit, I’m changing, too – I’m watching my cholesterol inch up above the 200 mg/dL level so, my diet is quickly becoming more Mediterranean and even plant-based in response. I’m watching the pool schedule at the recreation center as temperatures outdoors drop and the nights come earlier – I’ll want somewhere safe (and warm) to get some exercise in the months to come. Finally, I find myself contemplating the end of the year – a mere 84 days away! What will the new year bring? What will it mean? How will I find myself as a full year of retirement comes to an end?
I hope you’re taking in all the changes that surround you – the beautiful ones, the stark ones and even the changes that may give you pause (climate change; stock-market fluctuations; vaping deaths). I hope you’ll ask yourself, “What will the new year bring? What will it mean? How will I find myself?” as a new year appears on the horizon of your life as well.