September was a glorious month here in southeastern Michigan. Nearly every morning we awoke to crystal clear blue skies, bright sunshine, and perfect temperatures in the mid-70’s. While the garden annuals usually look spiny and yellow by mid-September, my impatiens are still bright, growing, and blooming furiously. I haven’t had the heart to pull them up, even though I’ve interspersed bright yellow and orange mums in the garden for bits of fall color.
But Tuesday afternoon the sky turned the color of a WWII battleship, and rain pelted our deck. The wind chimes were a virtual symphony of sound. The winds of change were blowing. Fall was coming in.
It’s been windy and cool ever since, although the sun has reappeared. This morning my dog Magic woke me up at 3:30 to go outside (he turned 13 this week, and his bladder isn’t quite as sturdy as it once was). We both came in shivering, and cuddled in bed wrapped in blankets and sweaters. I’m STILL cold, and although I’m loathe to turn on the furnace, I may have to do it. Switching that thermostat from Cool to Heat is a major step in acknowledging what’s ahead.
I’m trying not to panic about winter. I’ve always taken the winter season in stride, but the last two were cataclysmic for me. The extreme cold and record snowfalls combined with our inability to escape to warmer climes, coupled with my chronic sinus infections and bronchitis, all give me ample cause for concern about another season of impending doom.
This concern about winter is marring my ability to enjoy autumn, which is usually my favorite season. I finally and reluctantly put away the bits and bobs of summer decor and dressed the house in fall colors - brought out fall flower arrangements and wreaths, scattered candles everywhere, washed the blanket throws I keep handy on chairs and sofas. I loaded a Pinterest board with new soup and stew recipes, and hauled the sweaters out of their storage bins in the basement. I’m doing everything I can to relish this season of drawing in and cuddling close, like Magic and I did this morning, trying to get warm.
I can’t know for sure what this winter will bring, how the weather will be, if I’ll be well or sick. One thing I do know is that the winds of change continue to blow, and I might as well enjoy the breeze.
So I’m filling my days with as much goodness as I can. Reading (We Never Asked for Wings, Big Magic), enjoying some new fall television shows (The Muppets!) and the return of old favorites (The Voice and Nashville). My heart is warmed by videos of my grandson, reading (on his own!) some of the Ready-to-Read books my son cut his reading teeth on at the very same age. Laughing at that same grandson’s phone calls with daily reports of his potty-training successes. Working out my parts for Christmas music, and settling into rehearsals with my friends in Classical Bells. Digging deep into my thoughts as I continue exchanging letters with a friend and fellow writer. Staying close to my husband, enjoying his company and the warmth of his love and affection. And always relishing the comfort of my daily routines - morning coffee, walks with the dogs, time with my journal, reading in the afternoon, having dinner with Jim and watching our favorite shows together in the early dark of evening.
Shoring up strength to stay upright in the winds blowing around me.
How about you? What are you doing to prepare for winter as the winds of change begin to blow?