Fall ThoughtsMonday, September 10, 2012 by: David Root
Well even though it is still Summer, according to the calendar, there is no doubt that the season has changed. With a low of 10°C last night, and frost in the forecast for tonight, there is no doubt that it is now Fall.
After the amazing summer weather we had, this typical fall weather is a bit of a shock to the system.
I enjoy autumn, usually. Warm days and cool nights, the spectacular colours… what’s not to like? Other than the shorter days and approaching winter, that is.
Still, I find it difficult to let go of summer.
This was a good summer, for me, although it did pass by far too quickly, and I kept myself quite busy. Obviously I have been too busy to write a new column, having posted my last nearly a month ago.
I spent most of July giving driving lessons; four or five a day, four or five days a week, travelling over 6000 km - mostly on city streets.
I must say that, overall, drivers in the Sault are reasonably decent, but the bad ones really do stand out.
I understand that some people want to drive fast, and for them the speed limit is perceived as a minimum. But one can only drive that fast if there is clear road ahead; tail-gating slower drivers generally is frowned upon. Giving slower drivers (read that, people driving at the speed limit) the finger is completely un-called for.
At the end of July and into the first of August I was at Camp McDougall, leading a Junior Arts Camp. (I discussed my experience at Camp in an earlier article: here.)
My one regret was that I was only able to attend the one session of Camp.
I did get to go back out for a couple of occasions: an end-of-year banquet, and most recently a weekend youth retreat.
I have to admit that it was a rather, well… odd feeling arriving at Camp on Friday afternoon. At that point there was only myself and the cook on site.
As I have rarely been on site when a camp was not in session, I was not prepared for the overwhelming quietness. No laughing children, no slamming screen doors. Just the sound of honking geese and the wind in the trees.
It was quite peaceful and relaxing.
I’m sure I’ve described McDougall previously, but as a reminder the main part of the property consists of sand. I find, today, that certain muscles are aching significantly, even after just 24 hours on site. Walking through sand works muscles that typically aren’t utilized as extensively when one walks on a firmer surface.
I also have written about my experience at the General Council of the United Church of Canada. The bonus of that experience was being able to spend time in Ottawa, a beautiful city surrounded by spectacular scenery.
Ottawa is a city that by design is meant to be explored, not only by vehicle, but also by bicycle, or on foot. The network of trails is extensive and well-signed, and quite convenient.
There are so many things to see in Ottawa — museums, art galleries, the Parliament buildings, the Rideau Canal, and so much more.
Ottawa us certainly high on my lists of places to visit, and would also rank high on a list of places to which I would be willing to relocate.
Back to School
It’s early days for a supply teacher, and I’m not surprised that I haven’t received a call-in, yet. But it is obvious that school is back in, and “summer” is over.
Traffic patterns change significantly when teachers aren’t commuting to and from work, and when school busses are not on the road.
When I was living in Hamilton and commuting to Mississauga that difference was even more noticeable than it is here; there, the freeway congestion all but disappears during the summer holidays, and what would usually be an hour-long commute becomes half that.
Of course, we should appreciate what we have now. It won’t be long before we have to sweep-off our vehicles and shovel the driveways before heading out in the morning.
Can’t say that I’m looking forward to that, but complaining won’t keep it from happening, either. Welcome to life in the north.
All in all, as I said, it was a good summer.
I would have liked to have spent more time at Camp, and I would have liked to have had a few more chances to spend a relaxing day at the lake, reading a good book and going for a swim.
Maybe next year.
We certainly can’t complain about the summer we’ve had. I didn't relish wearing long pants this weekend, and I hope that we have a few more weeks of good weather before we have to get our jackets out of the closets.
But… that’s just my opinion.