Thursday, October 05, 2006

Fall Feasting

Posted by Lois

Autumn has arrived, all crisp and clear, turning the leaves startling shades of russet and red and sunflower yellow. Swans are heading south--flying so low I can hear the heavy beat of their wings as they sweep over the pastures, and blackbirds are gathering in raucous flocks. Nature is putting on its post-summer finale, and it's breath-taking.

The whole spectacle makes me want to wail like a spanked toddler.

Why you ask? Cuz it's the end of summer. The kids are locked away in institutions some refer to as higher education. The horses have lost their glossy spring coats, and I'm packing tonnage back onto my thighs.

I hate packing tonnage onto my thighs, but up here in Viking country, a womans gotta have some meat on her bones or she won't last 'til the spring thaw. At least, that's the excuse I'm using this fall. That's why I'm eating as if I'm anticipating a seven year drought. It can't be the fact that it's harder to get my lazy butt out on the road when the weather cools off or that I love lasagna more than life. And it certainly can't be that impending winter gets me down. That would be idiotic, because winter comes every year whether I want it to or not. And since I'm originally from North Dakota, the only contiguous state colder than Minnesota, I should have learned to buck up years ago. But alas the world has turned breathtakingly beautiful and I'm getting maudlin.

But maybe I'm like this with everything. Writing, for instance--I was putting in fourteen hour days, frantic to get this book done. But when I put it in the mail wham it hit me--post-literary depression. Hmmmffff.

Life's a roller coaster ride I guess, with lots of ups and downs, and I suppose the downs are always going to be scarier than the ups. But sometimes it helps to hear other peoples stories.

So what brings your fun ride screeching to a halt? And what, besides eating your weight in complex carbohydrates, do you do about it?


Betina Krahn said...

Lois, m'dear. I gottcher back on this one.

What always got me was those long patches of Midwestern gray winter days. . . sometimes three weeks between glimpses of sun. And I'm a sunshine girl. Have been since I was old enough to say "Daddy, will the sun shine today?" My solution. . . move to Florida. Yes, it's pure avoidance, but it works for me.

When I lived in Minnesota during the winter I bought full-spectrum lamps and turned them on full blast each morning; it helped. But not as much as a morning walk in old Sol.
(There's a company in Cleveland that specializes in full spectrum lighting.)

Of course, there are the Florida summers to deal with. sigh. But at least they're mostly sunny.

The best place in the world to live sunny-climate-wise. . . probably somewhere in Colorado. 320 days of sunshine a year. Research courtesy of Tami Hoag, who had a similar problem with winter gray and moved to Virginia(which isn't bad), then finally to Santa Barbara CA, where she finally found climatological nirvana.

Also, I find I do much better with the writing when I'm out and among people a bit each day. Filling the well, I guess.

:) Betina

scrapperjen said...

I love your explanation - would that count for Illinois too???? :D

What brings a screeching halt...? Hmmm.... I guess that would have to be probably something catastrophic (a serious injury or illness). Due to past circumstances at our home, we try to stay very positive and happy as much as we can - life is too short!!!!!!

BUT, in answer to your other question, eating is usually my solution to the "fun ending". It seems the easiest thing and momentarily satisfying. :)

Have a wonderful day! HUGS and smile!

Betina Krahn said...

Jen, yep, Illinios, too. Though it's probably not as bad there as in some other states. Some of the worst winter gray is in Ohio, where I went to high school and college.

And food? Hey-- nothing says comfort like tomato soup and grilled cheese or a big chocolate chip cookie and milk. These days I have to watch the carbs and sugar, so I occasionally turn to Lindt's 85% dark chocolate, which is a bit bitter, but the chocolately flavor will knock your socks off.

And did I mention what a picker-upper water is? Floating, lounging, bathing. . . a nice warm tub and a candle and a good book. . .

Life is good. Thanks for dropping by, Jen!


Helen Brenna said...

Nothing makes my life come to a screeching halt as fast as a problem in my kids' lives. A fight with a friend, issues with a teacher, a break-up with a boyfriend, whatever. Trauma and drama! My life's on hold.

I'm not sure if that's good or bad, probably both.

Casseroles are my comfort food! But usually the only thing that helps me feel better is working out and a good long stretch.

Laura Vivanco said...

So what brings your fun ride screeching to a halt? And what, besides eating your weight in complex carbohydrates, do you do about it?

Lots of stress is not good for me. Playing minesweeper and solitaire on the computer for a while helps. Sitting down with a good romance and a cup of tea is even better.

anne frasier said...

i'm considering moving to florida or georgia. i would like to be able to walk to coffee shops, but i also need to experience a sense of place and history. all suggestions welcome.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh boy, Anne, you want suggestions?

San Fransisco would be fun. I think I could live anywhere from Virginia down through Georgia, but I think Florida might get too hot.

Never been to New Mexico, but I've heard it's beautiful in the northern parts.

So many places, so little time.

Betina Krahn said...

Anne, New Mexico is wonderful around Sante Fe. . . Atlanta is great. . . Tampa and the west coast of FL are wonderful, except in hurricane season.

Personally, I love Virginia, Tennesee and western Kentucky. But I doubt I'll ever get to live there. Family now has a claim on my geographicity. (?)

But splitting time. . . that has appeal.


Debra Dixon said...

Lois-- Amen, sister! I believe in the restorative powers of complex carbs. Unfortunately. :/ I do like winter though. It's a bit different down here than the winter you have. I love a crisp fall day.

What brings my productive workday to a halt is rebellion. I just occasionally decide I'm working too hard and refuse to work for a bit. Very immature but effective in terms of relaxation and recharging.

Debra Dixon said...

Anne-- Move to Georgia! Fabulous place. Lots of writers. Can't throw a rock without hitting one. However, Georgia can be hot hot hot. Might make the walking a little dicey depending on where you're looking.

Nicole said...

I do love fall, but as it gets closer to winter, I start to feel more of a hibernating mode...haha. In Michigan the winters can be pretty brutal as well.

Jaye Wells said...

Anne if you want Georgia and history you can't beat Savannah. Or if you're willing, Charleston in SC. Charleston is one of my favorite cities.

anne frasier said...

oops. i kind of hijacked lois' post. i've heard charleston is nice. i'll have to visit there. i've been leaning toward savannah for a few years, but i also like northern florida. i lived in santa fe years ago -- and other areas of new mexico. beautiful country! but i do love the humid decay of the south. don't know why.

lois, you can have your post back!!

anne frasier said...

oh, and that is an amazing photo. you can feel the warm sun and the cool, fall air.

Michele said...

Oh, floating, Betina! I wish I had a pool in the basement just for that purpose. Someplace to sink into and float away the troubles. Maybe next house! :-)

What stops me dead in my tracks? Hmm, had to think about this one. I blame my lacking compassion for probably getting through life on a more cheery ride than others. I am compassionate, to a degree, but if you've got a cold, don't get too close to me! :-)

It's colds and flu that stops me. So I'm looking up the number for the clinic right now, and scheduling a flu shot. Did it for the first time last year, and let me tell you, that was a miracle worker! Will never go another winter season without it.


Helen Brenna said...

Nicole, I'm with you on that hibernating business. I love getting my sweaters out in the fall - it's such a nice change to put on jeans instead of shorts. But it gets a bit old come February!

I better put the sunny weather buy in my kids' ears now, huh? I'll probably end up following them around the country!