Ah, yes, fall. Sweaters at the ready, school busses on the roads, pigs flying¹, and an early frost is on the pumpkin. Okay, the pumpkin part is merely poetic license. It’s 75 degrees outside right now as I sit here typing. Still, it’s fall here in Florida. The leaves on some of the trees have indeed turned color, and we’ve had a handful of cold mornings already with temperatures in the 50’s. Yes, 50’s!
If I wiggle the antenna just a smidgen, I can hear violins of sympathy playing in northern states.
All the same, we are experiencing weather changes here in St. Augustine that are a contrast to what we had when we lived in Vero Beach. I preferred the weather down there because it was pretty steady: it was hot and sunny in the spring, followed by hotter and sunny in the summer, and then returning back to hot and sunny for the rest of the year.
For someone whose sole aim in life is for consistency and repetition, Vero Beach was a place of true nirvana for me. However, my lovely wife found it all to be monotonous. She missed — bless her — the changes in the seasons. So in the spirit of true compromise, I moved us a whole two and a half hours to the north. Who says I’m not accommodating?
All during this recent month of September, Gorgeous complained how hot it is here. I kept responding that we’re living further north now, and just as the song goes, a change is going to come. She would look at me warily and mumble something I couldn’t quite make out but which seemed to question my understanding of the gluteus maximus region vs. the elbow.
Sure enough, one hurricane and just a couple flips of the calendar later the weather did indeed change. Twice this week she’s complained about how cold she is. For G-d sakes, is there no way to make this woman happy?!
However, after getting a series of text messages from her sister in Michigan, who offered horrid tales of 38 degree temperatures there this morning (Hi, A), Gorgeous backed away from the earlier remonstrations of doubt and disapproval about where we live. Northern Florida suddenly agrees with her. I even got a “thank you for bringing me here” squeeze during a visit to a beachside farmer’s market today. Score!
Note to self: don’t gloat.
But the calendar isn’t just preoccupied with the change in the season. No, a quick glance at the one on my phone the other day reminded me of both a milestone coming up and some medical procedures.
Leave it to Apple to make it all seem so happy, though.
That doesn’t sound like a very happy birthday to me. I’d ask Siri about this, but she only ever responds with, “Who me?”
So medically speaking the autumn isn’t exactly turning out to be a hay ride over at the farm. In addition to the joy of an upcoming colonoscopy, recent lab and C-T scans show what appears to be a six millimeter kidney stone, plus two additional ones that my new urologist charitably describes as “minor players.” I’m not sure if he was making allusions to film actors or organized crime figures, but it might be fun to be referred to as “Mr. Six” for the next few weeks. I won’t reveal the true measurements if you don’t.
Of course, I could do without any of this happening. I haven’t had a kidney stone in four years, and I was hoping that maybe I could get to at least a decade before it happened again. Most of my previous stones have happened around times of stress or turbulence in my life. I suppose buying a new home and moving probably falls into that category. Even good stress is still, well, stress.
And while all of this is going on, November is also the time when we here in the United States consider our options during what’s called “Open Season” for health insurance coverage. Most of us have approximately four weeks to switch plans or stay in the same one. For the third year in a row I am again making a change. Fortunately I’ve already done my homework to see if all of our new doctors are part of the plan I’m switching us to, and I’ll double-check once more just before making the official switch. I suspect my current insurance will be happy to see me go, what with my hernia repair earlier this year and now these two upcoming procedures. I can’t say I didn’t get my money’s worth.
So embrace the fall.
Autumn is when we can remind ourselves that the falling leaves mirror the changes in our own lives. It’s a time for letting go and releasing those things that have become a burden. For me that apparently would be a kidney stone, but for you hopefully it’s just a garden hose that you’ve been patching up with tape since July. Whatever it may be, embrace the change and enjoy the harvest of the season.
Until next time…
¹ I am actually referring to the flying pigskin of the gridiron. But feel free to conjure up your own variation — there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit being offered lately.