Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Winding Down by Janice Carter

The signs are everywhere on Garden Island, where I write and spend my summers, but I'm trying my best to ignore them.  Golden rod rampant in the meadow; apples already ripening in the orchard.



Rafts of ducks - the ducklings now indistinguishable from their mothers - drift along the shore throughout the day, feeding and feeding.  Prepping for their fall leave-taking.  The bees are working harder than ever, frenzied by the abundance of golden rod, and our honey harvest, ongoing since June, has 'ramped' up.

Gardens are overgrown as plants and vegetables are desperate to spin through the fruit to seed cycle as quickly as possible.
                                        Whoa!  Too much time writing instead of weeding.

The island itself is quiet these days too, as many cottagers are resident only on weekends while others, driven by the heat, stick to the water, avoiding the 'hot spots' of lane and meadow.
Yes, it's that time again.  End of summer.  When I was still a teacher, my late August nights would be fraught with back-to-school dreams.  Sometimes nightmares.  Yes, teachers get them too!  But retirement has eliminated all those anxieties and late summer winding down is simply that.  A segue to autumn and so on.  Seasonal changes are refreshing, in spite of their constant reminders of time passing.  And I no longer want those reminders!
             Before long I'll begin the packing up and carting off to the city of many of our belongings.  The hens will go to their winter home, care of a farmer and his young son on Wolfe Island.  The small herd of deer will wander freely - and blatantly - up and down the lane and through abandoned gardens.  The chipmunks, despite our best efforts, will find ways to sneak into the cottage to hide acorns and chokecherry seeds in our shoes and under our pillows. (No kidding!)
            Another kind of beauty fills the island in autumn and I'm looking forward to it.  Winter?  Not so much.
                                         Our family walked across the frozen St.Lawrence one winter.
                                         Once was enough for me.
     

 Once in a while, on a stormy day in the city, I'll dream - just briefly - of the next season, the next sunset on Garden Island.


20 comments:

  1. This sounds so lovely, and like a perfect setting for a book...

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  2. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your cottage with us, Janice! Enjoy the fall . . . before winter arrives.

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  3. Beautiful pictures. Looks so peaceful there. Here in Tennessee the leaves are already turning color In places and drifting down and the deer are everywhere. Saw twin fawns just the other day. Fall is in the air.

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    1. Our leaves are falling due to the dry summer we've had. Hopefully there will still be plenty left to change colour come October.

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  4. Yes, thanks Kate. I plan to take advantage of every minute of it!

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  5. I'm laughing that you had nightmares. Me too. I'd dream I was in front of the class in my pajamas and hair in curlers. Neither of which I had, but just the nightmare of not being ready. LOL.
    Loved the photos of your island paradise. Yes, I've been noticing signs of fall also. Where did the summer go? Thanks for sharing that with us.

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    1. Those pajamas in public or the classroom (!!!) must be universal. Haven't had one since I retired. Lol.

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  6. Last week I dreamed that I walked into my old elementary classroom and over the weekend they'd needed my room for something and had taken all the furniture out. Instead of seats, a giant bed was in the middle of the room and then there were all these drama props. Not even room to walk! I rushed down to the principal to complain. The principal was my brother-in-law! I woke up fighting off a panic attack LOL Yeah, it's funny now but it wasn't funny then. ARG

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    1. Too funny - in retrospect, of course!

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  7. What a beautiful place to spend your summers! And what a great place to write!

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  8. Your photographs are beautiful, Janice! Here in North Carolina, we're still sweltering with heat and humidity. I'm looking forward to some crisp cool mornings come late September. I have a recurring dream that I'm back in college, but I can't find my classes. I always wake up feeling so stressed.

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  9. Janice, lovely photos and progression of season thoughts. I love fall most of all. Your sunset photo was beautiful.

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  10. I'd love to spend my summers there! I know you hate to leave. The only nightmares I have are the ones where someone is trying to kill me. :-)

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    1. Oooh, creepy. I get those chasing ones, as in tigers or wieird people.

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  11. Janice, thank you for sharing your beautiful island with us. Here in the Pac NW a few leaves are beginning to turn and the mornings are cool, signals that fall is on the way. But that's okay, because it's my favorite season.

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  12. Thanks for all the photo compliments but mostly undeserved. Too easy with my iPad mini! And interesting how many love fall. It can be a refreshing change, especially from a hot dry summer.

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  13. So beautiful. Is that honey in the jars? Just the photos of your island make me feel peaceful. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Yes, mid-summer honey whose rich amber colour came from lots of island wild flowers and apple,blossoms.

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    1. Yum. A visitor brought us a jar of his honey. I don't know if it's because it's raw or the flowers his bees visited, but it's especially tasty.

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  15. Loved your post, Janice. Very evocative. I'm experiencing the same sensations in my "summer home."
    Cynthia

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