Fall has finally arrived here in northern Florida. Our mornings are starting out with cool temperatures now safely under 60 degrees. The air conditioning in our home is also switching on far less during the day too, which is is a welcoming sign for my wallet. This is the time of year when I can figuratively tell the local energy utility to go stuff it. I get tired of the weekly emails I receive from them, inviting me to enroll in their 12 month average budget plan. A handful of times between now and next June, our electric bill will lower to a nearly 50% reduction from the hot months because of milder upcoming temperatures.
In practical terms, this all means that I’ll have more cash to afford vinyl offerings sold by like-minded Discogs collectors and sellers. And here you thought the upcoming season was only about the changing colors, warm cider, mistletoe, and holiday cheer, didn’t you?
Speaking of music collecting, have you heard of the revival currently happening with cassette tapes? Seriously?! Cassettes???! Good luck to that is all I have to say. What I specifically remember about them is that they were like the proverbial lone sock sitting by its lonesome in the top dresser drawer: I was always losing either the case or the tape itself, with one of them usually melting from being exposed to the hot sun while sitting on the passenger seat of my car all day. And don’t even get me started on the lousy sound quality they had even if you kept them in pristine condition.
Sorry, where were we?
Ah yes, the fall.
At the moment, the tropics are eerily quiet, giving all who live here a hope that maybe, just maybe, we’ll make it to the end of November without a major storm.
Also currently quiet right now is the coronavirus. It’s still sadly all around us, of course, because there are an estimated 70 million people in the U.S. who remain defiantly unvaccinated. But at least here in Florida, in what was formerly the country’s epicenter for the Delta variant, infection and hospitalization rates have all plummeted. For the first time since early July, there is an illusion of normalcy again. What does this all mean exactly? I have no idea. I suspect rates will rise again, playing whack-a-mole with our collective conscience depending on where one lives.
However, with a degree of cautious optimism of late, the missus and I have been slightly more adventurous. We initiated yet another return to our gym, dined in a few restaurants, and even — GASP! — went unmasked inside a neighbor’s home. Gorgeous even joined a small weekly knitting group. Your humble blogger attended the local record fair, the first one held since prior to the pandemic. It was done outside on a beautiful sunny day with most people kindly wearing masks. Check out their cool, retro-looking advertisement for the event below.
And our adventurism apparently knows no bounds: Later this week we’ll host our first out-of-town visitors since 2019. Gorgeous turns 60 this coming Saturday (everyone in unison please shout “Happy Birthday, Gorgeous!“). To mark the occasion, I thought it would be a nice idea to surprise her with a visit from her (fully vaccinated) daughter and boyfriend. After a series of epic-sized emails from me to both of them in Chicago, where I now admit to going a little overboard, dotting i’s and crossing t’s to construct the perfect birthday surprise, we settled on agreed-upon dates and airline flight times.
Then, I had a complete change of heart and completely jettisoned the surprise element.
Why? Well, my official stated reason is that making it a surprise deprives Gorgeous of all the anticipatory excitement in preparing seeing her daughter for the first time in two years. Which does happen to be true, BUT… between me and thee, I also realized just how much work I alone would be saddled with in having to take care of all of the prep work required in having houseguests. Specifically, I’m speaking of all the cleaning on the sly. So, I actually had the chutzpah to renegotiate with said daughter and boyfriend, the earlier agreed-upon terms of their arrival. (Hi, A & D).
And I got away with it!
Gorgeous is bursting with joy, her daughter and boyfriend are relieved that emails from me have finally stopped, and I’m now only looking at 50% vs.100% of the cleaning. Pretty sneaky, huh? What I lack sometimes in actual sincerity, I make up for with unbridled charm.
In other news, fall has also brought on some small moments of discovery right in my own home. Exhibit A, the plant which sits on the floor in front of one of our living room windows. It has sat there for months now, but I only recently took a good look at it and spotted what I was convinced is disease around its leaves.
“Hey!” I shouted to Gorgeous. “Did you know your plant here is sick?“
“What are you talking about?“
“Its leaves are infected. Look, they’ve all got holes in them.”
[audible sigh heard] “That’s a Monstera. It’s supposed to look like that. It’s also called a Swiss cheese plant.”
Shame on you Judy at New England Garden and Thread. I count on you to teach me about plants, and you’ve never blogged about the Monstera.
In other random news, two grocery items caught my eye recently which I feel compelled to share:
Box wine has apparently gotten high brow! I’m still dubious…
And finally, I’m really wondering exactly who buys this particular product…
Enjoy your fall wherever you are. Time to finally put out those sweaters and sweatshirts, get your booster shot if you’re eligible, and please do let me know if you try any premium box wine.
Until next time…