Thursday 29 September 2011

Good Times...Good Times

Well, there have been a couple of sure signs today that summer is definitely over. First, there has been a constant cool wind all day that is strong enough to strip the stain off of the fence. Maybe I should stain the fence before winter. I would, but I don’t think that I will have enough time before the snow flies. It can wait until next spring then. Second, I took the air conditioner out of the window. Now, that isn’t a very accurate indicator, because I am inherently lazy and often it will come out just before the US Thanksgiving. It is out and now I am ready for the leaves, frost, snow tires, large heating bills and small monsters banging on the door demanding candy.

This morning during our walk I was thinking about the changing seasons. I had a fair amount of time to think as I was trying to find Buster’s droppings which somehow he hides under leaves. I try to give him his privacy, but with all of the leaves I kind of have to watch where he goes. It is easy in the summer, and the steam is a good indicator during the winter.

The kids are back in school and the roads are positively packed with moms and dads dropping their little darlings off at the high school. I really can’t believe how many kids get rides now. I know what my old man would have said if I had asked him for a ride, but those were kinder and gentler times, and the fears that parents have now do have their impact. I personally don’t think a ten or twenty minute walk the first thing in the morning is a bad thing. Times change I suppose.

Our leaves are changing and they are quite beautiful. We don’t get the rainbow of colours that the eastern part of the country does, but to see a hillside or forest in different shades of yellow, dotted here and there with the bright green of evergreen trees is truly something to behold. The bushes give a splash of red every now and then. If you saw a painting of this, framed by the pale blue sky, you would be sure the artist only had three or four colours. Just stunning!

I miss the smell of leaves burning in the fall. I guess that being responsible stewards of the planet we shouldn’t have thousands and thousands of fires burning in every city and town across the country. It was great though! I can remember my brother and myself spending a couple of hours raking leaves into a pile and then jumping into the pile and having a leaf fight. By the time we were finished, we had to rake the leaves up all over again. Once they were in a large pile, dad would set them alight and we would stand by with rakes to keep feeding the flame. These weren’t fires in the traditional sense; as there was very little flame but tons of bright white smoke. I can remember we once got to use an old blanket to send smoke signals just like the Indians did. The Indians must have been the original doctors, their writing was indecipherable! It was fun though. I think I will see if Google can tell me if there was a code or if just setting a hillside on fire meant “Here comes Whitey!”

My grandmother was of the belief that if you burnt off the dead grass in the fall, the following spring it would come in thicker and more luxuriant. I don’t know about that, but what it did cause two of the neighbour cottagers not to talk to us for a season or so and I had my first up close look at a fire truck while my uncle Bill swore at my grandmother as the Flesherton volunteer fire department was saving his barn. I can still see my uncles bright red face when gram told him “Just think how nice that field will look next year Bill! That old barn is an eyesore anyways. You should stop the firemen!”

Good times...good times.

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