It’s officially fall! I’ve stocked up on seasonal scents for my home at the annual Bath and Body Works sale and spent Monday evening hauling out Halloween decorations from the garage before even stepping foot into the house. I needed to have the decorations up before October 1st for my own peace of mind. Still fitted in dress clothes and shoes I climbed to hang decorative lights, dust faux pumpkins and primp everything so it would be just right.

Lately I’ve been running myself ragged trying to accomplish everything that I’ve committed myself to. I’m afraid of disappointing or letting people down.  I promised myself that I wouldn’t put up any decorations until the yard was 100% clean so the day before I took on the task on by myself. I weeded the yard, raked the gravel in a zen fashion, shaped the hedges with the hedge trimmer and then collected and disposed of all the clippings. Sunday’s chores gave me a sore body and sunburn. Monday’s decorating gave me mosquito bites all over my legs but I felt accomplished and that’s all that mattered.  I took a moment to quietly observe and silently thank myself.

Fall is a wonderful time to reflect. As the leaves change color we are reminded that life is beautiful. Transformation can change the way we perceive our environment. I felt the chill of the changing season this past Saturday night as I sat under the stars and visited with my 89 year old grandmother. We conversed about many things that night her and I. She asked me if I still had dreams of traveling the world which led me to tell her about my summer. I visited Ireland, Scotland and England. And thanks to modern technology I was able to share photos and video clips with her. She gazed at the brightly lit images with a sparkle in her eye. Hopefully she felt proud that maybe I was doing something she always dreamed of doing . I looked at my grandmother with lots of gratitude for being such a amazing woman. She’s courageous and tough but lived in a different time and didn’t have as much freedom as I do now. I’m brave in a different way in which I’ll accept a challenge and move mountains to make it happen with very little to stand in my way other than personal determination. She has encompassed a courage that is more refined because of circumstances and because of time she has lived through. I’m not sure if I’d be able to survive with the kind of courage and strength she has if I had to live through what she has.

I volunteered to drive her home. She sat passenger in my car as I explained that I had to send her walker home in the back of my sister’s car because my trunk was very small as a result of my car being a hybrid. The hybrid battery consumes much of the trunk space. I struggled to explain in Spanish how the kinetic energy and momentum was used as a generator to produce energy for the battery. I don’t think she cared as she just smiled and looked at the screen on the dash. I imagined her sitting passenger, making sandwiches to feed my mother her 3 siblings who sat in back of a small car en route from Arizona to California with no AC or seatbelt requirement circa early 1960’s. It was a different time for sure.

As the days get shorter and the leaves fall from the trees I can’t help but be reminded that our time left together is limited. Frances (Nana Panchita) and I are the same but we’re also different. Each day that passes is an opportunity to learn something new and with the end of a season comes the birth of another.


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