Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Just That Time Of Year.....

Most parts of North America, turned the clocks back an hour overnight in that annual tradition of "fall back". For some, it is a chance to party an hour later on Saturday night! For many of us, it is a chance to get an extra hour of sleep!

On Saturday, I spent a few minutes resetting my clocks. Given how technology has taken over so much of our lives, it is surprising how many things still need to be adjusted manually!

But more than that, I also spent time reflecting on the seasonal changes...

The last couple of weeks, the sun has been rising shortly after 8AM and setting just after 6PM. With the clocks now set back, the sun will be rising shortly after 7AM and setting about 5PM but of course the days will get even shorter till the winter solstice.

For some reason, my internal clock really hasn't adapted the way it normally does. I was still waking up at about 6AM during the past couple of weeks - whether the alarm was set or not - and I was ready to crash not long after 9PM Yup, I'm sure not the night owl I used to be!

Then there is all the changes in nature...

A month ago, we here in Winnipeg, were enjoying our autumn colours and above normal temperatures. I took several walks to savour that fleeting beauty.

Well, most of the beautiful autumn colours have taken leave of their deciduous branches. Oh sure, there are still a few that are hanging on for dear life but they are shrivelling fast and will eventually fall!

The branches are looking bare and forlorn without their colourful attire but alas, that is the nature of this changing season.

There were many days in October that were above the seasonal norms. Sadly, the reality of this time of year has arrived. Since last Sunday, our temps have barely reached normal.
Reluctantly, the warmer clothes are now at the front of the bedroom closet and I've moved the summer clothes and sandals to the back. The cold weather outerwear is on the rack by the front door. The down duvet has replaced the down blanket on my bed.

When the temps were above normal these past few weeks, there was no need to turn on the heat in my apartment - even though the buildings heat had been on since mid September. When it cooled down a bit, I just closed the windows or put a hoodie on over my t-shirt. When my feet got cold, I put on socks. Some mornings, I did some baking to take the chill off the apartment. I cooked dinner in the oven. I still opened the bedroom window at night to get fresh air for sleeping though.

Silly? Maybe. Stubborn? Yup, but there is reason to my madness! Growing up in an old farmhouse, you got used to being a bit cool at times. The heating systems weren't very efficient and there were always drafts no matter how much we tried to stop them. When my mom took stuff out of the dryer, she'd often drape a warm towel or some piece of clothing around our necks to take the chill off. She also recommended putting ones hands in hot soapy dishwater to take off the chill! I didn't always enjoy that particular method, but it did work!

All of this helped me resist turning on the heat - until this past Tuesday afternoon. I had the oven on in the morning but I had leftovers in the fridge for supper. There was no need for the oven to be on. It was getting chillier so I finally relented and turned on the heat!

It always takes my body a day or two to adjust to the heat being on. Mostly, it feels stuffy after all that fresh air I'd been enjoying - but it also felt great not to be cold! That being said, I still turn off the heat completely at night AND open the bedroom window!
We also had a tiny hint of that white flaky stuff amidst some scattered showers this past Tuesday.

Thankfully, the white stuff hasn't descended on mass as yet! There are, of course, those who dread this time of year and are chomping at the bit for the white stuff to arrive! To me, they are a strange, misguided lot!

Me? I'm happy till the leaves fall - then I start to dread the coming of the white stuff! Even so, if the weather is cool or even cold - a day without the white stuff on the ground is fine by me!

It's not that I truly hate all of the white stuff. A little bit once in a while wouldn't be too bad. It's just that once Mother Nature turns the snow machine on, she tends to leave it on far too long or feels the need to run that confounded machine more often than necessary!

Granted, I didn't mind the snow so much when I was younger. Then again, I also had more mobility back then. Streets and sidewalks were also cleared more effectively as well - which makes a huge difference in one's ability to get out and move about freely and safely.

In more recent years, I've come to pretty much dread the arrival of the white stuff. It may be pretty to look at - at least from inside of a cozy room - but getting out in it is just plain exhausting for those of us with mobility issues. For that reason, I've spent part of the last month or so making the effort to run a number of errands to pick up some of the bulkier and heavier items for my pantry. Aside from perishables, most of the items that I will need for the coming holiday and winter seasons are now safely stored in my pantry and freezer. I've even started the holiday baking!

So, yes, it is just that time of year. Time to say farewell to the spectacular colours, the light weight clothing and the ease of mobility. Time to hunker down for the inevitable onslaught of white stuff . Time to semi-hibernation with books to read, TV to watch and recipes to try!

I am once again, reluctantly preparing for the inevitable seasonal changes!