Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It's Time to Go "Home"

The signs are all around me that is is time to head back south.  Yesterday we played our last round of golf at the course up here.  The skies were gray and it wasn't too warm...or too cold, but it was very wet.  We played anyway and enjoyed the last "air conditioned" golf for about another month.  I always pay attention to the trees on the course, from afar, because I never hit into the trees!  When we first arrived they were all light green with brand new leaves.  Yesterday the apple trees had apples on them and there were bright red berries on other trees, just waiting for the deer and bears to eat them and fatten up for the impending winter.  Fall is in the air and it makes me think it's time to fly...or drive...south.

Fall berries
As we drove home from the golf course I saw the first display of fall colored leaves.  I sometimes wish we could stay here long enough to enjoy the full display of leaf color.  I'm sure one day we will, but that day is not this year.

I can only imagine what it all looks like in full color!
Another sign that it is time to go back is when I start hearing from my friends "back home".  Real life starts knocking on my door or texting me or emailing me, coercing me to reengage.  It seems that everyone else has returned to their real lives and are ready to get together.  Summer in the south really is hibernation season.  All of us either leave town or stay inside and try not to exert too much energy lest we pass out from heat exhaustion.  Fall arrives and everyone gets a little more lively and the schedule seems to fill right up.  I find myself feeling like I am missing out on things back home and this can only be seen as a sign....that it's time to head south.

When everyone else has left the's time for us to go home.  This year a few of us have stayed on a bit longer than usual and it has been a lot of fun!  We really have had a lovely last month here and I look forward to a time when more and more of my friends and family stay longer and longer.  This also means that we will all be older and older which may or may not be a positive.  I guess it beats the alternative, to quote TJ.  I still haven't quite become a local, so as a summer person, when summer goes, so must I.

The garden is just about tapped out!  This may be one of the first times in history that we have consumed most of the garden.  We have done an admirable job of using our resources this year.  We have actually eaten or preserved most of our tomatoes.  Some years we leave before we even have ripe tomatoes.  This year we had a bumper crop and totally enjoyed them!  The garden is starting to look a bit tired and trampled and we have been less than diligent with the weeding.  Must be time to go.

I feel like one of the Von Trapp family singing, "the sun has gone to bed and so must I..." because when the days get shorter and the sun sets farther and farther along the horizon it can only mean it's time to go "home".   So on this final night of yet another wonderful summer, I reluctantly say goodbye to the best place on earth.  It really was a great summer....but aren't they all?
June 2015

Sunset September 2015
When the sun sets over the trees it's time to say goodbye.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Left Behind

I know everyone thinks "staying on" is all dinner parties, sunny days, beautiful sunsets, quiet walks on the sandbars and easy living.  I guess you are right to a certain extent.  What you don't know is the sad, ugly truth behind being the last ones to leave.  There are a few things the ones who stay a few weeks or simply rent a cottage and move on don't know.  The price we pay to "stay on" is.....the final refrigerator cleaning!  There are many jobs that need to get done before you can close up the cottage or the house for the winter.  But the worst, by far, if you ask the refrigerator!
We get to turn this...

into this!
This transformation is not without it's hurdles.  Take for instance, the trash rules around here!  Add to those rules the fact that we have a septic system and no garbage disposal.  What does one do with 4 bottles of mustard, 6 bottles of half used salad dressing, 3 huge bottles of ketchup (I personally think no one should buy a huge bottle of ketchup for a 1-3 week vacation, no matter how much cheaper it is than the small one) and numerous other condiments that have been bestowed on you by those who came and went a long time ago?  You see, everyone hates to waste all those condiments when they leave so they "give" them to the ones who are "staying on".  It then becomes our job to use or get rid of the orphaned condiments.  I personally do not use one bottle of ketchup in a calendar year much less 3 in two weeks!  What to do?

I have decided I cannot let the great condiment invasion ruin my last few precious weeks.  I must detach myself from those bottles and allow myself to throw out their contents...guilt free.  I have the bin of joy to thank for making this part of "staying on" easier for me.  I threw away more stuff today than I have consumed all summer long.  I was shameless.  My green bin now has enough mayo, mustard, relish and salad dressing to last it about a year.  I hope it ultimately turns into some wonderful soil that will help someone grow a beautiful garden, full of tomatoes and cucumbers, to make more ketchup and relish!  I have chosen not to feel guilty about this...and you shouldn't either.

But seriously people... next year when you come for your vacation, splurge and buy the mini size condiments or just borrow from a neighbor who bought the ginormous bottle of ketchup and throw the leftovers away yourself, it's a very liberating feeling.  However, if you have any leftover wine...I will be more than happy to adopt it and dispose of it properly.

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