Forever restless

I stayed out of the sun when I was young, not because I knew better, but because I’m a Type A personality who gets too restless to lay around and do nothing — Georgette Mosbacher

As one season transitions into the next, I always find myself restless. Certain seasons tend to amplify the restlessness and wanderlust more than others. Depending on how I feel, fall / autumn is the best or worst season for me. More often than not it’s the best season for me.

In winter, I like being cocooned at home and work on stuff like writing, reading whatever I can get my hands on and anything else that might have been neglected when spring and summer rolled around. I hear the acoustic guitar grumbling at me. Not in a judgmental way. Just feeling a little neglected. Sorry, amigo. The restlessness is very manageable during winter.

As winter recedes and spring inches forward, the restlessness is channelled into getting the vegetable garden ready, making sure the push mower blades get sharpened and adjusted. Not to mention the non-home-related stuff I’m annually committed to working on. I’ve always referred to spring as the busy season.

With summer, I do the usual homeowner stuff like mow the lawn and tend to the vegetable garden. But this summer, I wasn’t too keen on one thing. Too much rain from spring to summer fucked up my vegetable garden. I know I wasn’t alone in this frustration. Some folks had the same issues while others didn’t have too many problems. Luck of the draw, throw on the dice, I guess. But do have to say that this was the first year I harvested Saskatoon berries and the apple tree had a very good summer. Still, it was too much rain. There is always next summer for the vegetable garden.

Then there is autumn. I love autumn. It’s when everything to do with the yard winds down and gets prepped for winter. The vegetable garden will be cleared out and the shrubs cut back before the end of October and I get to leave everything alone. Doing all this stuff doesn’t alleviate my restlessness, though. It probably makes it worse. Because I don’t have to tend to the yard or worry about the garden, my brain or my gut, or both, want to get into ‘Let’s get the fuck out of here and do something fun’ mode.

‘Let’s get the fuck out of here and do something fun’ can mean a number of things.

1) Wanderlust has seeped into my bones and I need a break from everything to shake loose the useless crap that has been swimming in my head and reboot, re-focus and reinforce the work I’m doing on my personal projects, for example, my writing.

2) I really need to do the odd fun thing just to break up the everyday monotony. Axe throwing looks mighty tempting.

3) With regards to my short-story-turned-novel, there is a part of me that just wants to start writing again even though I’m not done with the research I need to do for it. I think my two main characters who I affectionately refer to as my boys, are getting a little rambunctious and in need of my attention.

Well, I’m looking to address these three things this fall. I just might be chomping at the bit to get to it which can’t come soon enough.

Channelling the restless energy in the most productive and positive way is the best thing I can do for myself. I don’t do willy-nilly or nothing very well. Leaving the energy unchecked and undirected almost always ends up badly for the other people involved.

Happy camper

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower — Albert Camus

Autumn, without a doubt, is my favourite of the four seasons. With September several days away, there are a number of things that are a given for me:

1) There are a few weeks left of cutting the lawn left… yay;

2) The zucchini are done for the season and all that is left are the tomatoes in the main garden patch, then it’s bring out the yard waste bags and clean out the garden;

3) The garden box still has basil, mint and eggplant growing but I’ll harvesting them in the next couple of weeks;

4) The Goodland apple tree has produced a lot of apples. Yeah, I know… make apple sauce. Problem is I’m not a huge fan of apple sauce. Never a big thing with me when I was growing up. I already gave away one box to a friend and made a big Pyrex dish of apple crisp. Just discovered a place in the city where they’ll press apple cider out of your apples. Hell ya, I’m going there to drop off the apples. Fresh apple cider is dee-lish. Had fresh cider made out of my apples a couple of years ago and it was yummy. But the place that did the pressing had a fire and pretty much took those folks out of the apple cider business. So, I’ve been in a conundrum over what to do with the volume of apples the tree produces. Considering I just discovered this other apple pressing location, I’m excited to have fresh cider again… mmmm;

5) This is the first season I’m growing sweet potatoes and I’m looking forward to harvesting them before the first frost hits. I just have to figure out where to put the planters once the sweet potatoes are done. Don’t think leaving plastic planters outside over the winter is a good idea. Guess their winter home will be the garage.

As this list whittles down, I look forward to the cooler temperatures and the changing colours of the landscape that often marks autumn.

Not much fun running in summer’s heat and humidity but I did it. Throw in smoky conditions courtesy of the forest fires from the next province and it’s a party. Running should be easier with the autumn temperatures. I’m looking forward to a crisp autumn morning for the CIBC Run for the Cure this October.

Although, I’m drawing the line at winter running. Given the injuries I’ve acquired over the summer, I’m not keen on running down paths where there will probably be patches of ice. Yeah, I could attach some sort of traction aide to the running shoes for the snow and ice but I really don’t think it will be enough to keep me from injury.

Nope, it’ll be the treadmill for this winter.

One of the reasons I love autumn is the scent. Seriously, all four seasons have a scent, that something in the air that lets you know what season it is. Everything about autumn is enticing. Marks the end of one phase and the start of another. Crunchy sound of leaves under my feet. Warm colour of the leaves. Earthy not musky. Crispness of the air. Everything smells good.

Mother Nature is stunning in this season. On a number of occasions, she has taken my breath away. If it was possible to have autumn-like weather all year round, I’d be a happy camper.

Waiting for snow and warm winter moments

My favourite season has always been autumn. It signals to me that another productive year is about to come to a close. And better yet, the scenery outside my window changes with the leaves turning colour. Lots to look at and photograph. It also means preparing for winter.

Harvest the vegetable garden. Harvest the apple trees. All of which was done before Halloween.

Autumn also means that winter is coming. In my neck of the woods, the air has decidedly gotten nippier in the last 24-48 hours and the noise level from annual collective griping about the cold weather will quickly become a lot more audible. Gripe first. Settle in second. We eventually acclimatize to the weather and get on with business.

Again, the great part about the cold-weather season is seeing the scenery outside my window transition from autumnal colours to the beauty winter brings. A fresh layer of snow makes everything look clean, pristine and peaceful. But all of that goes to pot once the cars hit the road. At least, if you lived in the country, that winter scene (perfect for a Christmas card) will look dreamy a little while longer. I guess that makes winter my second favourite season.

I love watching the big fluffy snowflakes fall from the sky. That kind of snow is perfect for shovelling. Not so great for making snowmen, though. Heavy, wet snow is better material for making snowmen with, but horrible to shovel. Shovelling wet snow is back-breaking work. Sure, I could use a snow blower but a couple of shovels take up less space in the garage.

I also enjoy listening to the crunch of the snow under my feet as I walk to the community mailbox to get the mail. The sound has a meditative quality to it.

I’m a sucker for winter landscapes. It doesn’t matter if the landscapes are urban or rural. Snow has that ability to make something familiar different. I suppose mudslides and hot lava flowing down the side of a volcano has the same ability but I’ll stick with winter for now.

Once the world outside my front door is covered in snow, I’ll probably take a walk around the neighbourhood and take pictures of whatever comes across my path. After that, I’ll head downtown and do the same thing, too. Walking in a winter wonderland can be great fun. This is the positive after-effect from working on an urban-themed photography project I did this year.

After being out and about on a beautiful snowy day, one of the most comforting things for me to do when I get home, is to have a couple of mugs of hot cocoa or a pot of hot herbal tea, edit some images and do some writing with some great music grooving its way through the house. That would be bliss.

Cold temperatures and heavy, wet snow be damned, I’m looking forward to those moments this winter.