Sunday, September 09, 2012

Catching Up

Clouds sparring before a major storm. See the bear on the left and the lion on the right?
Though autumn is one of my favorite times of the year with its cooler temperatures, its winding down feeling, and its gentle introduction to a harsher season, it still makes me melancholy. Fall feels like a time of loss, of saying goodbye, of relinquishing ties to some nebulous entity that inhabits the spring and summer months.

This summer was one of extremes. High heat and humidity undid even my most valiant efforts, sending me to swoon on the sofa rather than tackle the tasks I'd set for myself once I was officially retired. It was even an effort to stand still for fifteen minutes of an evening to water the little garden plots I'd been so hopeful about in the spring, though the effort paid off in tomatoes and cucumbers and potatoes, beans and beets and swiss chard, and enough fresh herbs to grace my morning eggs and season many a dinner.

The political arena has been extreme and though I don't blog about it, the sheer craziness of some of the platform proposals has me up at night worrying about the future. I vowed several times to quit the nightly news, Facebook, and the newspaper in favor of lower blood pressure but then some blog entry or comment in the supermarket aisle or phone call from a candidate seeking reelection would send me back to the computer or the TV or the paper to see if what I was hearing was what was really being said. The one good thing that's come of all the media hype is that I've been forced to educate myself by reading as many different versions and fact-checking sources as I can find in an attempt to really understand what's going on. My concensus is that when money is the bottom line, the bottom line makes us bottom feeders. Where's a miracle when you need one?

My new schedule includes three days a week babysitting the Bean while her Mama works another few weeks before the birth of baby #2. Waking to a small voice asking for "Nini" is a delightful way to start a new day. So far I've partaken in a dozen or more tea parties, created some pretty startling clay creatures that have equally startling adventures, taken innumerable walks, read even more books, rediscovered the fun of a sandbox and the thrill of a slide, and figured out the buckles on the car seat.

If I'm slow to visit your site or even slower to post here, it isn't due to lack of interest but to a lack of time. Once Lily is born, it may seem as though I've disappeared off the face of the earth but that won't be so. I'll just be catching up on my sleep!

After the harvest it's just the flowers and me on the patio.

12 comments:

Brian Miller said...

the dozen or so tea parties sounds like fun...smiles....and good on you for fact checking the politicos....teaching a govt class is def opening my eyes to the ignorance of some in this regard...you would not believe some of the things they take at face value...

Anne said...

I feel the same way about autumn, a sweet melancholy. And congratulations in advance on Lily, the new grandchild.

Peter Bryenton said...

You can't keep a journalist down ;-)

You're a pretty useful grandma too.

Kerry said...

Autumn is a unique mix of feelings, isn't it? But I also love this season of apples and pumpkins, old flannel shirts & the possibility of a fire in the fireplace.

3 days a week is a lot of babysitting! Good thing you retired when you did. It sounds delightful.

Friko said...

How absolutely delightful. I love the little voice calling 'nini' bit and the tea parties and the sandbox. And all the rest.

You'll be back writing here but what does a little absence matter when you are doing something so eminently more rewarding. Use the time well, it lasts for only a short while; even the sweetest babies have a habit of growing up fast.

Out on the prairie said...

I hate to give up summer, but once into autumn I enjoy it well. Love the name they have picked, my Lily is a pup, but also a favorite family of flowers.

Steve Reed said...

I think the secret to surviving the political season isn't eliminating all news about politics, but doing just what you're doing -- being selective and reading different viewpoints. Be glad you don't live in Iowa. I can't imagine what a nightmare that must be right now.

Pauline said...

Brian - yes I would. I have to deal with people here in my small town who ride with the emotion but don't ever check the facts.

Thanks, Anne. We're all excited. the births of 3 of my grandchildren in October help me celebrate autumn even through the melancholy.

B - I try :)

Kerry - I love a lot of things (all you mentioned) about autumn. I guess I've always associated the season with the loss of summer rather than gain. Time for an attitude change ;)

Friko - I like the way you think :)

OOTP - me, too, on both counts

Steve - if we don't sort the facts from the rhetoric, we're doomed. There's some pretty nasty stuff being bandied about.

Barbara Shallue said...

Enjoy those tea parties. I know you know those are the true treasure in life! How wonderful you have that time with them. I'm with you on the heat and the politics - I have to double check everything I read, too. Blah!

Pauline said...

Barbara - too soon the tea parties are a thing of the past. I'm making sure I enjoy every minute of them!

Murr Brewster said...

I love the wind-down of summer, now, but it took years to get over the disappointment of summer vacation being over with. That's where the melancholy came into play, because I do not love hot weather.

Judith said...

Whoa, Pauline ---what a great lot of stuff going on! The Bean is the fairest product in your "garden" (they don't call it kindergarten for nothing), but you've got a lot of other beautiful things growing there as well, vegetables, yeah --- but also photos, observations, meditations, and frustrations. Big garden for a big-hearted lady.