Friday, Fall, and Florence

Dear Friends,
What a past couple of weeks. As most of you know, Hurricane Florence devastated many parts of the state that I call home. Yes, my area was spared of significant damage, but just like an entire family hurts when one of its members hurt, the residents of a state grieve when individual communities grieve. There will be a lengthy rebuilding process–not only in terms of infrastructure but with the rebuilding of hopes and dreams of the people. It takes a lot out of you when you lose things. Yes, even material things. At the least, you are inconvenienced for a very long time. You can be both grateful for surviving a storm and mourn for the losses at hand. We are used to this as humans. Please continue to donate, pray, and help as you are able. Here’s a story from Florence that will warm your heart, but also help you be more aware of who and how these monstrous storms devastate.

eye of the storm image from outer space
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s Friday! And Friday used to not mean too much to me. I never could understand the TGIF hype. I loved my job, and would’ve gladly worked right through the weekend. Mostly because my husband worked every weekend. He also worked every day and every night. He owned a small towing and recovery business that was 24/7/365. After realizing he was spending all of his time in a truck and missing out on much of “real” life, he sold his business. We live much more simply now. And we both look forward to Friday! I’m a freelance writer, so I work most of the time, but I set my own schedule. I LOVE THIS. Our weekends are set aside for long hikes through the woods, eating lunch at our favorite Greek restaurant (Kipos in Chapel Hill), and enjoying dessert at our happy place–Foster’s Market in Durham. So yay!! It’s Fri-nally Friday! TGIF!

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And the best part of this weekend: It is the beginning of Fall. My favorite season. You may have noticed I have been mostly absent with blog posts. I’ve tried to stay up with the ones I follow (yes, I am running a minute behind. Sorry.). I’m not a liker just to be liking. The blogs that I follow faithfully are blogs that I enjoy reading. I will catch up soon. Here’s the thing: it has been too damn hot and humid this summer. I’m not sure how many more summers I will be able to stand with this heat (#climatechangeisreal). It zaps me–my energy, my motivation, my ability to be around people. It’s hot. I wondered if there was a summer equivalent of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), so I looked it up. Yes–according to the Mayo Clinic SAD can affect people with any seasonal transition. Now that I can see autumn is on the horizon, I’m beginning to breathe a little sigh of relief. 

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My photo taken at Lake Pine, Apex NC autumn 2017.

Enjoy your Friday, everyone; but especially enjoy every day. Find your happy place and share it with those who make you happy. Eat dessert. Enjoy life.

As Annie Dillard says,

“How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.”

A few Fall-ish words that I’m reading:

“To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it. It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall.”-Ann Patchett 

Fall Song by Mary Oliver

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering backfrom the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries – roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay – how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

 


30 thoughts on “Friday, Fall, and Florence

  1. I am thrilled for Fall to enter! It is my favorite season. Nice post and glad you also survived Florence. My oldest, dearest friend from Harrels was not so fortunate, but she and her family have come through like the champions that they are. They have a house and a farm and bit by bit they are putting it back together again. I lost during Floyd, but what I gained was more. You learn what is the most important and because I had to think about what I could afford to leave behind, I planned accordingly. I’m fortunate for having that opportunity to decide. Yes, some preferred memories were lost, but what I kept and gained was priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post, as all of your posts do, send my thoughts in many directions simultaneously. Fall is also my favorite time of year. I have been thinking a lot about it recently. And I feel full of energy in a way I certainly didn’t two months ago. My father had his own architectural business, and when my brother, sister, and I were in our teens, my mom became one of the accountants at the firm. I always say to people I never saw my father growing up. Fortunately for my parents, they were both able to retire early, at 60, and they had more than a decade to enjoy life as they wanted to every day, before health problems started getting in the way. In some ways I have lived the opposite life of both of my parents, and in other ways, such as work ethic and commitment to what I am involved in, I am very similar to them. Also, I am married to my passion, writing, which I hope I can do until my final day. Enjoy your weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the work/leisure balance is a real issue, especially in this country I would suspect. So many people have to work long hours, extra shifts, and overtime just to pay bills. And also we want things, which aren’t bad in themselves. The question for me is: how much of my life and energy am I willing to give up for this item. Not much because I want time to write! 🙂
      I’m with you on the writing: I hope to have pen in hand when I check out. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cheryl, I was very glad to hear you had come through Florence unscathed and I’m glad you shared that video and story about Robert Simmons Jnr. It is good to have a story and a face and to really understand what people go through. When our hearts open things change. Also inspiring was the news team that decided to follow up and tell the full story – now that is good reporting!

    You raise an interesting question about a summer equivalent of SAD – after all we are all different and respond in different ways to different climatic and seasonal events. I was diagnosed with SAD when I lived in England in the early 90’s. I became terribly depressed living under those constantly grey or hazy skies, foggy days and nights too numerous to count. I had no clue what was going on with me which didn’t help and SAD was a new and radical explanation……. I noticed when I got back home that it was the quality of the light down here that makes a difference and my health and well-being returned to balance very quickly. Nowadays sudden barometer changes can affect my breathing and heart and I work consistently to keep that organ as healthy as I can without drugs or medical interference. I’ve come to see that the weather helps us monitor our own system of well-being and to become responsible for our health.

    Autumn is my second favourite season, except when I’m actually living in it when it becomes my favourite season 🙂 Like you I don’t do well in long hot summers, luckily for me they don’t get too bad for too long down here so close to Antarctica. I love the long hours of daylight though and dislike when the weather doesn’t play ball with me at the summer solstice.

    Every day is Sunday for me – retirement is such a wonderful gift to have in my life. I feel utterly happy and content and enjoy doing whatever each day brings. No-one wants anything from me any more and I experience that as real personal freedom! I recommend it 🙂 And thanks for the shot of Mary Oliver – always loved!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wasn’t that an amazing story? Thanks for reading it, Pauline. It seems always to be the less fortunate areas that suffer so much with these monstrous storms.
      You are so right about the weather being a monitor for our well-being. A friend of mine experienced horrible vertigo, with blacking out, before the hurricane and the doctors said that barometric pressure was the cause. Weather fascinates me!
      I love your thoughts on retirement—freedom!
      I will likely never retire as a self-employed person, but hopefully I will continue to have work that I love-writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So glad you’re all okay! I love the Lake Pine photo and I’m glad you and your husband are enjoying your weekends. We’ve been plagued with a crazy horde of mosquitos here so, even though I love summer, I’m looking forward to that first frost. Here’s to autumn!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cheryl, Glad you came through Florence alright. Disasters are life changing, and I hope everyone impacted gets the support they need. 1 of my favorite part of Fall is taking walks and seeing how nature is transitioning.
    Happy Autumn!♡

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know exactly what you mean about the relief of autumn and about the relief of Fridays! Though I’m about to go back to work after a couple of weeks off so I’ll definitely be looking forward to Friday this week! My thoughts are with those affected by Florence and I hope that those affected get the help they need.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad you escaped Florence mostly unscathed personally. I know from last summer’s experience with Harvey how utterly devastating water can be even though we, too, were pretty much OK. I have been so incredibly happy to have ditched long, cold winters this past year and a half in Texas, but I do like to head north for a little taste of fall! I was back in Chicago this past weekend, and I got a few pangs about having left a four-seasons climate. But then I remembered that the most pleasant ones (fall and spring) had ridiculously short seasons there, and that the winter boom would be lowered soon! I have always thought you have the best of all worlds there in NC, with real seasons every quarter. Enjoy these crisp, cool, and hopefully sunny days!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was thinking of people is your area weathering the storm. Such devastation, many of us simply can’t iamgine. As for fall, I’m ready for it after the intense hot summer we’ve had. And there’s a rhythm to life which we need with the seasons, which is why I’d struggle in a land where this was minimal! Work/life balance is so important, I agree. We just need enough to live on and a few treats now and again, and the ever present mother nature to draw upon for spiritual sustenance…so sounds like you and your partner have it sussed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there is a natural rhythm to life with the seasons. Isn’t nature so brilliant? As far as living simply I find that the less things I have, the less upkeep I have, and thus more time. I do enjoy treats, but mostly the non-material: travel, food, conversation. Although, a comfy pair of high-quality walking shoes and books are always awesome (and welcome) treats.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reading your blog makes me realize that I spent the summer days inside at the computer. I have no use for the suffering heat and would walk at 5:30 in the morning when the weather was cool enough. The autumn is also my favorite season of the year. Last Saturday at a “Just Friends” mini concert at a fund raiser, I won their newest CD by identifying the beautiful, but melancholy ‘September Song’ my birth month. On Tues. my writing prompt for my writers’ group, I offered “Summer’s Over”. Everyone wrote lovely autumn pieces. Love your photo. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

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