Apologies to those in Texas and Florida who are, I’m told, still sweltering in the heat, but up here, north of the 49th, the nights are dipping toward 40 degrees, the garden plants are starting to wilt a bit…trees are showing signs of red and orange on the leaves, and my burning bush, which the usual indicator that I should hussle my butt and bring in all the house plants that have enjoyed the summer on the deck, inside. Patio furniture has to be shifted to the garage, outside water taps turned off, windows have to be latched shut to seal out the drafts and horror of horrors….the furnace has been turned on.
I do love where I live. It’s a small blip of a town north of Toronto, traffic is minimal, crime is non-existent. There are enough malls and outlets around that I haven’t ventured into the Big City for a couple of years, and then only to see a play or a baseball game. It used to be at least a once-a-year trek to see all the lights and displays in the store windows, but that novelty has worn off, as has the yearly excursions to the CNE.
Nope. I pretty much have everything I need within a ten mile radius. Well, okay, the David Duncan House is a bit farther, and the Ashley Warehouse Sale is still an annual event, but they’re both located midway between me and the Big City. I think back to when I first started working, back in the days of stone tablets and no computers. My first job was in a big hospital right smack downtown Toronto. It seemed like nothing to take the bus to the subway station, then ride the subway 15 stops, transferring lines once in rush hour, dumping out on Queen Street and walking the three blocks to the hospital. I used to volunteer for the night shift a lot because it was quieter, and back then, a girl on her own could walk down a city street at midnight and not have to carry an Uzi for protection.
Anyone remember the Lilly Tomlin routine where she sat at the switchboard with all the tubes and plugs and wires, and the fashionable little black headset and mouth piece? That was me. I worked the hospital switchboard like a pro and it was fun, because at night you could plug in all the lines and have a 12-way conversation with all your friends. I worked those lines for two years before they changed over to regular phone banks, which took most of the fun away. These days kids hardly know what a telephone is, and very few have even seen a dial-up model.
When I was a kid and the weather was turning, we actually looked forward to snow. Augh. Mind you, summers back then seemed like they were 9 months long because we were outside all the time inventing games and digging holes to China, and spending the day in the forest building forts and playing Robin Hood. There was no such thing as staying inside all day watching TV. There were only three stations anyway *snort*. Rainy days we shlepped to the library and got out armloads of books. Really hot days we walked…WALKED…to the public swimming pool, which was a mile and half away, spent all afternoon cooling off, then sweated our way home again. When fall came, every backyard had a fire to burn the leaves and it was that smell that was the signal that summer was over.
I actually have a bona fide stone firepit out back and its heaped up with plant cuttings etc waiting to be burned. I have to get a fire permit at the beginning of each year, cuz there’s no such thing as just making a fire these days. Try it and you get three firetrucks out the front of your house and the threat of a thousand dollar fine if you do it again. Er…not that I would know that from experience or anything.
Kind of like the time I had a full SWAT team surround my house…
Anyway, just rambling with a few thoughts, looking out the window at the trees starting to turn, thinking… it’s that time of year again.