It’s a beautiful, sunny 70-degree day as I begin to write this and I’m excited about the weather forecast bringing more of the same for the rest of the week. Just a few days ago, I broke down and turned my heat on for the first time and dressed in jeans, a sweater and socks and shoes for the first time in months.
It always feels so constrictive to me putting those warmer clothes on for the first time after a summer of shorts and sandals. But I was also glad for those cooler days because they have made the colors start to pop on the trees. I always get thrilled by the beauty of the changing leaves — the deep reds, golds, oranges — even the brown against the vibrant colors has its own beauty. I love the contrast of beige or gold wheat or corn fields against a backdrop of forest green pine trees.
I love all the fall décor — corn husks, pumpkins, scarecrows, straw bales, bushels of apples, etc. I have a loose theory, based on people I know, that we tend to favor the season of our birth. I love the fall — the sights, the sounds of crunching dried leaves, geese flying south and dried corn stalks rustling in the breeze and the tastes and scents. My December-born son used to love the winter although now he resides in Arizona. My January-born grandson loves the winter and some summer-born friends like summer best.
But then I mess up my own theory when spring comes and I’m just as giddy over the new green growth and flowers of spring. I’ll blame that back and forth on my astrological sign — Libra, the scales, always looking for balance. I’m not into horoscopes but I somewhat believe that the astrological sign we’re born under generally may have some impact on personality traits.
With the great weather this week (if I can get caught up on some things), I’m hoping to get out and enjoy it — take a walk, get the grandkids and go on a hayride and to a pumpkin patch. There are several things I enjoy doing in the fall that I’m still capable of doing and one of them is getting out and taking photos of all the beauty of nature.
Getting the fleeting glory of vibrant colors captured because, as we all know, all it takes is one heavy rain and wind storm to knock them all down. My favorite is when we have extended seasons of fall color — when the temperatures warm up in the day; cool down at night but heavy rains hold off.
We have lots of birthdays this month too. Emma is almost an October girl as her 4th birthday was Sept. 30 and we got to Facetime together. Mine is next week, and Kyley’s 4th birthday is less than a week past mine. Our new baby, Isabel Christine, is due Oct. 27.
I’m not sure exactly how I’ll be spending my birthday this year but, just like most everything else for most of this year, it’ll be somewhat impacted by COVID-19.
One long-standing tradition I’ve observed for more than 20 years now is being forestalled this year because of COVID. Regular readers may remember my “birthday buddy” and me — former co-workers at Goshen Public Library — have gotten together every year for lunch to celebrate our shared birthday. Some years we didn’t get together exactly on our birthday because I was out of town or she was, but we’ve both been committed to keeping that tradition.
We came to the decision today that it’s probably not best to dine indoors in public this year. We’ll still celebrate each other — just not in person this year and, as I said to her in my email response, “Hopefully, God willing, we’ll be able to resume our birthday lunch next year.”
As I’m writing those words, a doctor from the Center for Infectious Diseases is on the news and just declared, “This is a COVID year and nothing will be the same.”
Now that fall IS here, the not-so-glorious part of this fall is that above statement and we all need to keep that in mind. As things are forced more indoors and windows and doors close, we need to remember that, as much as we all want to get back to our normal lives pre-pandemic. I think we’re all exhausted, fed up and Zoomed out but we have to hang in there and keep listening to public health officials and resist the urge not to social distance. The sooner we do, the sooner life can go back to normal.
When we become frustrated, maybe we can just repeat the mantra, “This too shall pass” and thank God for every day we get to spend in the glory of his creation on earth — displayed in full color these next few weeks.
Denise Fedorow is a columnist and correspondent for the Goshen News. Readers may contact her at [email protected]. Follow Denise on Twitter @DeniseFedorow