THE SEASON TO CELEBRATE
It’s that time again, and I don’t like it. I don’t like the cooler temperatures, I don’t like the shorter days, and I don’t like the thought of cold weather returning. Call me crazy, but I am in my element when the mercury is in the triple digits.
I have tried for over fifty years now, but it does no good to be upset about it. Fall still comes, and behind it, winter. I try a little harder every year to embrace it, and I think perhaps, I may be just a bit more successful each year.
I am sitting on my porch at 8:40 p.m., feeling the cool breeze. It is 69 degrees, and I cannot deny that it feels nice. But with the cool evenings and mornings come the cooler days. We have had temperatures in the forties this week, and rain for four days straight, no sun.
The backyard pool must come down, and this breaks my heart.
However, I am seeking out the other joys that arrive only as summer begins to depart. Like the sunflowers. For about two glorious weeks at the end of August/beginning of September in Kansas, our state flower is in full bloom in the wild.
This year, my husband planted some in our yard, so we have our own personal blooms to savor.
I cannot deny that I immensely enjoy this part of late summer. When it becomes obvious that summer will soon wind down, the state flower steps it up and shows off its unparalleled beauty to remind me that nature’s splendor remains in other ways. I simply needed to take another look.
Not that sunflowers aren’t beautiful and grand, but Gail and Suzanne have other, more exciting reasons to celebrate.
Gail was together with her four children and her two grandchildren two weeks ago. Her second-born lives in Michigan, and their visits are not frequent enough. Her grandsons live there with their mother, so these visits are an incredible highlight for all of them.
But Gail, as you already know, can make a celebration out of pretty much nothing. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad day or a wasted day in her life. She chooses to let the bad roll off her back, and focus on the good.
I want to be like her when I grow up.
Both Gail and I have been married for twenty-plus years, and have lived in our homes that long as well. Both our husbands and our homes are nothing new, but they are tried-and-true, and we are still very much smitten with both. There are no big celebrations planned at this time, but there is no need for any. Every day is a gift to be savored.
Suzanne has quite the opposite news. She is getting both a new house, and a new husband. This is super-exciting news not just for her, but for Gail and me as well. Her husband-to-be got a 127% approval rate from both of her sisters, and while Gail has not yet seen her new house, I gave it five stars. My husband the builder gave it five stars as well when he checked it out for her. (This never happens.) Guys aren’t much into approval rates, but I know he finds his future brother-in-law at least as favorable as the house.
In the interest of her limited self-disclosure, that is really all I can tell you, and that’s enough for you to know she has a lot to celebrate right now.
If you recall, one of our mother’s many nuggets of wisdom she shared with us was this: Always have something to look forward to.
In this year of COVID, our excursions have been greatly limited. Last weekend, however, my husband and I ventured out to western Kansas to see some of our Sunflower State’s natural beauty that we had not yet taken in.
Topped off by an overnight stay at Gail’s house—along with patio sitting, we had a lot to look forward to last week, and none of it disappointed.
This week, I am anticipating a long-overdue trip with a dear friend. No details at this point, but suffice it to say that even though our backyard pool came down already, my time splashing in the sun is not done yet for this year.
Two years ago this fall, I featured a group of six sisters we know who take annual sister trips—all six of them, which makes us look like amateurs, which we are. This week, they have been celebrating in Michigan, very close to where Gail’s daughter lives.
May their annual celebrations continue to inspire us, and hopefully you, too. They set the bar high for making it all work, but when family and fun are priorities, they show us that the sky is the limit.
I am sitting on the porch again, this time I am savoring the sunshine and 80-degree temperatures. The weather is simply splendid, even if it lacks perfection by 20 degrees in my book. The humidity, however, is a breathable 44%, and I cannot deny I do love that part.
I am working harder than ever to savor every beautiful day of the fall, even if I know that means the cold will be here soon. I am working on savoring the cold days, too. Life is too short and too beautiful not to at least try.
Kansas has four beautiful seasons, and each one is distinct in its gifts. The hardest gift for me to accept—no matter which season—is the blessed/cursed Kansas wind. Gail and Suzanne call it blessed, I call it cursed.
Suzanne’s new house is tucked away on an almost-secret street in our small city, surrounded by trees. I don’t think she realized until I pointed it out to her that she would not have full benefit of the wind. This may have been a small downer for her, but the wind, along with all the other simple things to celebrate, are always able to be found somewhere.
Sometimes, we just have to look a little bit, and sometimes, we have to look at them differently in order to call them celebrations.
But they are always there.