Autumn Arrives

What an absolutely perfect Autumn day in Canada today. It was warm and a light breeze and the colorful leaves in the trees are breathtaking. I was out and about today, headed to the city, and was driving the beautiful back country roads. I believe that fall can only truly be appreciated on these back roads, where the coulees and hillsides are full of changing leaves and the fields are being harvested by combines driven by people like my husband.  The ditches turn a burnt orange, not from the grass, but from the leaves that fall there. Many times today I thought how wonderful it is to see these fall landscapes in person, not just on a calendar, and these areas are picture perfect in my mind. My neighbor brought me a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers the other-day in many colors. As a florist, fall was always my favorite time of  year for all the many colored sunflowers. Yes the many beautiful  signs of autumn are all around us, but in Canada, another sure sign that summer is over and Autumn has arrived, is the furnace kicks in around 4am. I heard it the other morning as I was putting the baby back to bed after a nighttime feeding.  And as strange as it seems, for me the sound of the furnace means the seasons have definitely changed.

This time of year also means putting away the fans we used twice this summer and hauling out the room heaters.  Are we crazy to live in a country where houses need heaters 9 months of the year, and cars HAVE to have a block heater? Where we complain how hot it is in August and wish we had air conditioning for like one week each year? Can we really justify the price of airconditioning? I have a friend who did! He said it was +33 Celsius in his house this summer for more than two days. Lol. So…. in went the air conditioner, just in time for the change of season.

Yep we live in a country where warm jackets hang on our hooks all year, and I’m still not sure why I bother to put the toques and mitts away for summer. But my mom often says how blessed we are to experience the different seasons, to see the trees change colors, and the fresh white snow in winter, and then the new grass peaking through the snow in spring. The changing seasons in Canada and particularly in our province are beautiful and breathtaking if you take a step back and just look.

When I was young the changing seasons even inspired me to write a poem and I submitted it into a contest. My poem was accepted to be published in a book compiling all of  the winning poems. So I guess you could say I’m published??? I wonder if I could find that book now on Amazon.ca, Wouldn’t that be strange.

Anyway I got sidetracked. I’ve made myself a warm drink and am cuddled in my housecoat thinking of all the beautiful things I saw on this fall day, and then I am reminded of another reason I enjoy Autumn. In my Family it is birthday season (if there is such a thing) In my immediate family there are 6 of us who have fall birthdays. Including, ahhhh, my own! But I’ll just focus on everyone else for now. It really is true that the older you get, birthdays are not such a big deal. Maybe it’s that we enjoy our kids birthdays more as we see the joy in there faces and feel the love in our hearts for what we created. Maybe it that we understand that life will continue around us no matter what age we are, or maybe there are less “milestones” after that coveted 18/ 21. I know there are “big” birthdays, but as an adult, your birthday isn’t about the gifts you get, or the icing color on the cake, or even where you go or what you do, but whats most important is who you are with. Your loved ones, your friends, your family.  I hope that I can teach my own children that it’s not the gifts that matter, but the people who bought them.

Well I’m raising my coffee mug, to a toast, to a wonderful season and hopefully a great harvest for my husband too.  And to his birthday too and my mom’s and my dad’s birthday and his dad’s and, well you get the point. Autumn is a great time of year, even if it means summer is officially over.

From Catwalk to Dance Floor….. well sorta.

Yesterday was a great day. I ditched my mom sweatpants, did my hair and make-up and out I went to strut my stuff on the Catwalk and show off my moves on the dance floor. Now my catwalk may have been a red carpet in a high end clothing store in Olds, and my dance floor a local school gym, but who cares. Yesterday I got to enjoy some time for me.

Ever since I started working a part time job in High School at a local clothing store, Side Street Fashions, I have had the honor of modeling wonderful fashions for the owner Cathy and her staff at various functions. Each year Side Street helps organize a Ladies night and fundraiser evening. Though there was one year I missed because I was 9months pregnant, I still attended the event.  One year Cathy even asked me to bellydance as entertainment part way through the show. What an honor. One year we also had Patty, a “retired” fashion model, show us how to walk. How cool is that? Well the fashion shows are such a blast  and I get to wear fantastic outfits and strut my stuff to fun music on the runway. I realized yesterday that I’ve been doing these fashion shows for Cathy for almost 15 years, so I’m one of the veterans so to speak. That’s funny to think of myself that way.  I absolutely love being part of it, and over the years I’ve learned many things, met lots of great people, gained some friendships, added some great pieces to my wardrobe and built confidence too.   So whenever Side Street calls to ask if I can model, I try to clear my schedule. Then for the evening I can pretend I am 5′ 8″ and walking the runway in Paris. It’s such a neat experience and wonderful opportunity for me to feel like a women. Yesterday was her Joseph Ribkoff sale and showing at the store, so when I got there she said “Just find something you like, put it on, talk, chat, and help people”. How neat is that? So I jumped right in and did just that, even helping a lady pick out something for a vacation.  Fun Fun. And big thanks to my mom for watching my two youngest children so I could be there.

Now my good friend and neighbor also deserves a big thank you, not only did she watch my oldest daughter after school, but she agreed to babysit my other children that evening so I could go dance. Zumba actually!!  So after a quick change of clothes, and a bite to eat,  I dropped the kids off with her and headed over the the local school gym. My dance floor awaits…… And it was fantastic! I moved, and grooved, chacha’d, fumbled over my feet a bit when Rachel added a new move, and had a great time. I like to think I have perfect latin form, lol, but even if I don’t, its a great workout and is a mental get away. I leave there feeling energized and soaked in sweat from head to toe. Both good things if you ask me.

So I am thankful for opportunities to feel beautiful. I thankful for the latin inspired workout. I am thankful for family and friends who help me out, and I am thankful I can strut my stuff and shake it too. It’s days like those that rejuvenate the soul.