It is time for my 4th annual I hate Florida because we don’t get change of season post. If you have been following my blog long enough you have probably been anticipating it, it comes every year right around September/October when pumpkin spice everything comes back, friends in other states start posting about cooler weather, and I see photos of leaf change pop up on my feed.
Every year it is the same thing for me, complain about the heat in summer while rejoicing in the rain, wail and moan about my not getting to experience autumn, long for snow in winter and then visit Chicago long enough to realize Florida winters are waaayyy better, and then feel like the luckiest human on the planet to be experiencing the beautiful weather between late February-late April. I am very effected by the weather/season change – or in Florida’s case, lack thereof.
I have felt my autumn blues coming for a few weeks now.
Last year Todd and I took so many trips north in the fall that I had virtually no Autumn blues, I was singing a much different tune actually. We stayed in a beautiful cabin with Lucy in the mountains, picked apples, drank cider, played in a river, built camp fires, had smores, hiked.. A month later we were in D.C. seeing the sights, reliving our honeymoon, and taking in the outstanding weather. There was nothing to cry about last year, except for having to come home of course.
This year there will be no trips. No trips in the fall, no trips to Chicago in the winter. I am in internship and time just does not allow. While I am sad that I am stuck in Florida missing out on the change of seasons this fall I am actually kind of looking forward to having Christmas at home. This will be Todd and I’s first Christmas at home together, our first year to make our own traditions.
As my autumn blues really start to set in I will dream about our trip planned for next fall, enjoy little things like carving pumpkins, and hope for cooler weather.
Today Todd and I booked our October vacation. We rented a cabin in the mountains of North Georgia. We had been talking about an October vacation recently and last night the conversation resurfaced.
We were walking home from the downtown area of our community around 10:00, we had been out at the community block party, and noticed there were more stars visible last night than what is usual for our area. We are too close to the city to see many stars typically but last night was particularly clear and the bright ones really stood out. We started talking about taking a vacation to a secluded area where we could really see the night sky and suddenly we were making plans.
I had already done a good bit of research, I had looked into the North Georgia mountains, Charleston SC and Savannah GA. My preference was the cabin in the mountains vacation but I wanted to give Todd options. Our typical vacation involves us in a city exploring and having nice dinners in the evening. I thought something secluded in nature would be a nice change of pace, especially since we will be spending so much time in Chicago in the fall.
When we started talking about it on our walk home last night I did not have to sell Todd on the idea at all, he loved the idea of something remote and quiet. The cabin we booked is two stories with a wrap around balcony that overlooks a river that runs along the back-end of the property. We will be there in the middle of peak leaf season and just in time for the Georgia apple festival that is held in a nearby town. We plan to hike and go to fall festivals and farmers markets and pick apples and explore caves..
The best part is though the cabin we rented allows pets so Lucy will be making her very first road trip. I think that is what really sold us on this particular rental company, it will be so fun to have her with us up in the woods and mountains.
It will also be mine and Todd’s first out-of-state road trip. I am sure it will be an adventure.
Every autumn it is the same thing. I see pictures like this, and this,
and oh my God like this, .
Suddenly I am sad and nostalgic and missing places I have never been. When I was a child and into my adolescents we would take family vacations over fall break from school. These family vacations always took the shape of road trips up the east coast, through the mountains along roads covered in beautiful scattered autumn leaves. That is where the nostalgia comes into play because as any fellow Floridian knows we do not get fall in Florida. Yet somehow every year towards the end of September/beginning of October I begin to feel home sick for a home I have never known. I feel sadness over a loss but it was something I never actually had in the first place. I mourn autumn. I think many Floridians do.I want that to be the leaf covered street I live on, I want that to be my window, my city.
Yes, we have beaches and warm weather year round but we miss out on so much I feel. Like quiet winter mornings when snow is silently falling outside your window, I experienced this a few winters ago for the very first time and I was truly struck by just how quiet the world outside was. It was as if it was in respect for the beauty of the moment, no man, animal or machine dare make a noise that would shatter the moment. We miss out on the color and the feeling of millions of leaves crunching under our boots as we walk through parks that are painted gold before the winter. We don’t know these parks though, these are not our parks. We don’t know the thrill of apple picking season and corn mazes of cool breezes knocking red leaves off of tired trees preparing for winter.
When I was in Chicago two years ago for Christmas I played in the snow with Todd multiple times. One afternoon while the snow was blowing and swirling magically outside we met a few friends for lunch before walking around a quaint downtown area of a small town. At lunch one of the friends was surprised to hear I had never seen snow before and laughed as Todd recounted all of my escapades in the fresh fallen snow. He reflected on how long it has been since he played in the snow and how Todd’s stories of my fun time in the snow helped him to appreciate again. He said I was seeing the snow through a child’s eyes and in that way it is magical and exciting. I still see it that way.
We are back on FB until the wedding, we are hoping everyone at the wedding will share their photos with us this way. In the interim our friends from IL are writing posts about sweatshirts and warm socks and I am envious. My mourning period has begun once again. Todd and I have talked about the possibility of moving north in the future. Right now it is just talk, not even serious talk, but the truth is he could work in a number of places for his company, they are a national company. I could certainly practice social work in any number of places.. I just don’t like the idea of feeling like I missed out on something in life and every autumn that is exactly how I feel.
Maybe annual fall vacations up north will help with these sorrowful feelings that rise up each year. I can’t say. All I know is that once again I find myself grieving a loss of something that was never mine to begin with.
The weather has finally changed here in Central Florida. Of course all us locals know better than to get excited though, the first bout of cool weather is always temporary. It will come for a day to let us know what we are missing and then it will be gone again returning us to the 90 degree weather we are accustomed. For today, and the last few days, it has been beautiful though. This morning we decided to get up early for a bike ride around town. Before we moved into the new house we rode our bikes all over the east side of College Park. Now that we live on the west side of town it was time to go exploring, we had just been waiting for nicer weather.
It was a great ride. We discovered a lake we had not been by before and all knew beautiful houses we had never seen. The whole time talking together about the vision of our dream home. Last week I noticed Chinese flame trees are in bloom. This morning on our bike ride it seemed as though every other yard had a Chinese flame tree in it. Everywhere were spectacular pink blooms. In Florida we do not get a traditional fall, no real color change to speak of, and this has always been something I don’t like about living here because I feel like I am missing out on something really beautiful. Today on our bike ride I was thinking, “well maybe we don’t get the red and orange leaves but at least we get flame trees”. They are similar to Golden Rain trees which are also stunning when they bloom and because both trees have lantern-like seed pods that fall and spread where there is one of these trees there is usually many.
Last night we stayed in and watched scary movies. I had a long day at work and was not in the mood to go out. Fridays are always busy because inevitably we will get a handful of “stat” patients that cause our schedule to run behind. We don’t mind it, it just makes for a busier day. On the topic of work, it is going great. I am right back into the swing of things and am very happy with the work I am doing.
This weekend we will get some yard work done, I have homework and studying to get through along with the usual chores. That is all fine with me, the week is so loud with ringing phones and constant conversations I look forward to the quite on the weekends. Tonight we are going to a costume party though. Todd is dressing up as a doctor, again. He does not like to dress up so a few years back my girlfriend that works in medical as well got him a pair of the standard scrubs and a disposable stethoscope. This is his go-to costume when forced to dress up. I on the other hand love to dress up, specifically I love to wear wigs. I think they are so fun, I have a bunch in a wide array of colors. Tonight I am doing blue with black highlights and I am dressing up in my candy land costume. I wore it a few years back and have not worn it since. It was custom-made so it would be nice to get a few wears out of it, tonight is the perfect opportunity.
We have had some beautiful autumn mornings of late and evening more stunning have been the evenings. 5:00 is my favorite time of day in the fall, the whole world looks beautiful in the 5:00 light. Todd and I went on a night walk Friday in the neighborhood. It was so pretty. The weather was nice and a lot of the houses on our street were decorated with lights and pumpkins for Halloween. We went all the way down to the lake and sat under the oak tree with the bench and just looked at the city skyline all lit up. While we were sitting there an owl swooped in and perched itself on a branch above us. It was so quiet when it flew up, had I not seen the dark outline of it I would have never known it was there.
The weather has cooled slightly, not enough to get you really excited for the season but it will get there. This Sunday morning is especially beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky, a slight breeze moving the leaves and every couple of minutes I can hear an acorn fall from our oak tree on to the roof of my reading room.
Yesterday Todd and I went to lunch with my Mom’s side of the family to celebrate the September/October birthdays. It was fun. Later in the evening we went to a church carnival with my family to play bingo. Todd and I both won one round of Bingo a piece, 10.00 all together. 🙂 It was fun. Not to get gushy but I love him so much. We have so much fun together and we get each other. He is a good man, I count myself lucky.
Staying on the topic of Toddles, I found out yesterday that I will be going home with him for Christmas! We will be in Illinois for two weeks. I am hoping for a white Christmas. I have never seen snow so I am over-the-moon excited about the possibility! I am just so excited to have a reason to wear all these fun pea coats I have too. We get a winter here but I have never experienced a northern winter. I know it will be cold but I cant wait! I just know I will be day dreaming about from now until December.