Happiness is a Change of Seasons

The weather right now is amazing, but it always is those few weeks between seasons (at least where I live). The breeze is balmy, the scenery is changing, and it feels like magic, moving from one state of being to another. I love summer into fall, fall into winter, winter into spring (REALLY love that one), and spring into summer. All that potential, gearing up for a new context for living.

How was your potential for happiness this week?

62 thoughts on “Happiness is a Change of Seasons

  1. I am not a summer person. Autumn and Spring are my favourite seasons. Being able to put a jumper back on is a relief!
    I like to cover up. So pretty happy too right now.

  2. “September has come, it is hers
    Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,
    Whose nature prefers
    Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace.
    So I give her this month and the next
    Though the whole of my year should be hers who has rendered already
    So many of its days intolerable or perplexed
    But so many more so happy.
    Who has left a scent on my life, and left my walls
    Dancing over and over with her shadow
    Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls
    And all of London littered with remembered kisses.”
    Louis MacNeice

    September is my birthday month, so this poem spoke to me when I first read it in The Shell Seekers. Happiness: I’m bravely running a Kickstarter AND threw a birthday party this year. It’s scary and good to try new things, but I’m also looking forward to just chilling out with my family, especially my kids and dogs.

    1. September is my birthday month, too, plus I was a student or a teacher for the first forty years, so September to me is the start of the new year. I love September.
      What’s your kickstarter?

  3. My writing group liked my piece! They all liked it and one said it was brave. And, the points they made were things I know about my writing and myself. Another excuse on my part is that this is a memoir writing group (the leader assured me that they are open to anything) so that the focus of the critiques is on baring my soul more. I’m not particularly comfortable with that, but that’s actually a minor point in my opinion.

    Next time I’m going to write about my first car, a 1972 Pinto that was painted white above, orange below, and had an orange shag carpet. Boy, did I love that car.

    1. My first car was a Pinto too. 1977,1978? White top, blue bottom, and it was a very difficult manual transmission. I stalled that car out so many times my first few months of driving.

    2. My first car was a 1955 yellow and white Chevy Bel Air. I loved that car but unfortunately it was 9 years old when I got it from my folks and I could not afford the upkeep. I never owned another car in my own name until I got a 1965 Morgan 4/4 for my 30th birthday. Although restoring the Morgan made fixing the Chevy seem cheap. The Morgan lives in the garage although when we take it out for a spin it is so fun – like putting on a one car parade: little kids point and wave.

    3. I got my first car in the UK. It was a red mini metro sold to me by a really dodgy Del boy type in a mangy fake fur coat in Liverpool back in the early 90s.
      It nearly got knicked by 14 years old joyriders near my campus.
      One of my friends got hers knicked too and the police told her it was because those cars were really easy to steal.
      Good times

      1. 1976 charcoal mini minor here which I also loved and which also got nicked by teenage joy riders, stealing my joy in her

        1. My Mom gave me the very light pink 1964 Rambler American her mother had given her in 1966 (Mom already had the replacement vehicle – the 1971 VW Van). I just had to spend $100 for a set of tires and get insurance after the smogging and registration. It used to pop out of second gear at unpredictable intervals, and any time it rained, the large puddle on the passenger side would slosh over the hump between the seats. That car served me well and I was even able to hand it off to my brother a few years later. Taf

      2. Oh why, oh whty did I put a k in nicked? Conflating knickers with nicked??
        Maybe… not a word I usually write…

  4. I held off on Vermillion until Friday, so I have had a lovely time indulging. And then reading the spoilers post this morning too. I wanted to read all three before posting a review, so that’s on my list today.

    I have gotten the skeleton, the witch, the reaper and the huge pumpkin out already. Today I hope to get all the lights up and a few ghosts in trees. Since I only got 4 children last year, I am only going for the things you can see from the road this year, but it is still fun.

    Generally cheerful this week and really appreciating the feeling.

  5. I love fall. It is absolutely my favorite season!

    I bought Halloween candy (225 pieces) which MIGHT be ambitious, but we’ll see. Last year, I nearly ran out and it’s tough to gauge how many kids in the surrounding apartments will be bused to our residential area to trick or treat.

    I only buy candy for trick or treaters that I personally don’t like…Skittles, 3 Musketeers, etc. My daughter works at a college admissions office and leftovers go there. Her co-workers will eat anything! 😉

  6. I love September, too — Autumn is my favorite season, although here in the south it’s still way too summery — but what’s going to keep me happy all week is that I finally watched The Interview. So much fun (loved the personality contrast between Jenny and Bob), and it made me nostalgic for the good old days of going to writers’ conferences, attending Jenny’s courses and hanging out with the Cherries.

    And the Cherry critique group! I don’t much like doing critiques (although I usually like being critiqued, and reviews with constructive criticism are helpful), but Jenny’s critique guidelines/questions to ask were very, very helpful. I can’t for the life of me remember what they were, though.

    So, Jenny — if you’re looking for a subject to post someday, how about those critique questions? (Unless you already did that. Sigh. I don’t get here often enough.)

    Barbaric Cherry

    1. I’ll find them. My house is nuts right now and so are my computer files, but I’m sure they’re somewhere.

  7. The weather has been perfect for working outside. Two productive days on the flower farm – lots still in bloom but we’re starting to clean out the beds to get them ready for next year. I’ve started tidying up my garden but lots still coming – tomatoes, beans, peppers and delicata squash.

    I agreed to help a friend of a friend re-do one of her flower beds. I went this week to show her the preliminary plan and cultivate and weed the bed. I’m much more confident about my gardening skills than my design skills but she was happy with the preliminary plan. We got the bed dug out and even though it’s bare, it looks much better. I’ll go back in the spring and plant.

    I had a wonderful wardrobe consultation at the charitable organization where I volunteer. She was very tall and so finding pants to fit her was challenging. But we put together 2 great outfits for her upcoming interviews. I could see her confidence growing as she looked at herself in the mirror. I enjoy all my wardrobe appointments but this one was particularly rewarding.

  8. I love fall, except for the ragweed, which kind of takes all the fun out of things for me. (I can’t take any meds for my allergies, so I just feel like I have a low-grade flu from the beginning of August until the end of October, which these days is somewhat nerve wracking). But it is beautiful here in upstate NY, and I’m eating the last of the fresh corn on the cob, and lots of Caprese salads with tomatoes and basil out of the garden. Somehow those last ones are even sweeter because I know that soon the garden will be put to bed for the winter.

    Happiness this week was a lovely visit from our own Ursula Schroeder. She and her son were over from Germany, since his long-ago host family invited him to return for a family wedding. Ursula remembered that I’d said I live near Oneonta, and contacted me about a month ago to ask if I’d like a visit. I said OF COURSE! So on Friday, she came by and met the cats, and we sat outside in the front yard and chatted for two hours. It was lovely. And she brought me an adorable katzen calendar to remember her by. I posted pictures on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/Cxk3jOHueZY/?img_index=1

    1. Ragweed, ugh! I lived in Montreal for several years, and the ragweed was ghastly. I had a series of shots which cut the agony in about half. There’s much less ragweed where I live now (Atlanta area), or maybe age has dulled my immune system. Anyway, you have my sympathy, Deborah. But at least you get amazing fall color and bright snowy winter nights. 🙂

    2. Now that I’m back home (I wonder if anybody is still reading this?), I must say that this visit has been one of the highlights of my travels. It’s so great that writers all over the world are able to connect. Of course it helps if they do love cats ;o)

  9. Fall is my favorite season. I love temps in the high 40’s / low 50’s, bundling into my favorite oversize hoodie and taking the dogs for a walk.

    Looking forward to spending time with the grandsons (4 and 2) while their parents are off to a Cubs game.

    And lastly counting the days to an upcoming trip to Door County in a couple of weeks with a friend I did not get to see near enough during the pandemic. It has been lovely reconnecting and catching up.

  10. I love Fall!! The trees are barely starting to change color, right now. We had two Severe Thunderstorm days in a row, and there was 4.7″ of rain, in all. We needed that. Yesterday I received three Severe Thunderstorm alerts, which is a record, for me. The lighting was really loud, and Bast yowled and tore out for the basement after one really stupendous blast. Asherah continued to nap through it. I lost power last night for 7 hours. I hope my frozen food is OK. The streets were pretty much deserted this morning for my walk, which was nice. So, this Autumn is a mixed blessing, so far.

  11. My favorite Fall poem is W.H. Auden’s “Autumn Song”. It’s a bit depressing, but I like this quadrant:

    Starving through the leafless wood
    Trolls run scolding for their food;
    And the nightingale is dumb,
    And the angel will not come.

    Perfect rhyme, and it expresses the sadness and barrenness of the season.

    1. I am in awe–at how lovely the top is, how lovely and lush your garden is, and your ability to make your own clothing. That is something I very much admire in people, having no talent or ability to do it myself.

  12. What makes me happy is that my gay BFF has started reading gay romances and provided me with his ideal criteria based on his reading to date (and some not criteria): 1) sweet without a lot of edge or conflict, 2) not twinks, a little older, 3) on page sex but nothing too kinky, 4) contemporary, 5) no shifter wolves, paranormal or a/b/o, 5) both vers, 6) no one too needy. I gave him a list of books (including one of yours Chacha1) so we’ll see how that goes.

  13. I’m back in my thermal vests & feeling cosy – while determined to hold off on turning the heating on as long as possible. The biggest challenge is my chilly bathroom first thing in the morning. I has my covid & flu jabs yesterday and felt a bit nesh by bedtime, so I snuggled up with my furry hot water bottle.

    I’m trying to keep the garden going as long as possible, with lots of dead-heading. Still enjoying my tomatoes, though they’re dwindling. And I scrumped some pears on my walk through the remains of a walled kitchen garden the other day.

  14. I’m happy because the forecast has no highs in the 80s for the next 10 days. Also, yesterday I got two shorts, two novellas, and two novels added to the wide launch. Plus over on AMZ KDP, republished my early, now heavily revised, newly-re-covered novel ‘Beat.’ That completes the New Covers project for my self-published backlist. Next professionalism upgrade goal is to complete the wide launch by the end of the year.

    This morning I spent two hours tidying up half of the front yard. The other half must wait till next weekend. And I must now tidy *myself* up sufficiently to go get groceries for humans and Scruffian. Happy that some of the zinnia seeds I threw out in the yard a couple months ago have finally turned into plants! Maybe they’ll even bloom!

  15. Went to a Renaissance Faire, bought myself a light-up purple and rainbow bustle. Do I need it? Of course not. Is it awesome? Yes. Also, Something Rotten is going well and we had a great party hangout last night, and filming went well, huzzah!

  16. I already miss swimming but I am loving the change into fall. The rodeo, the balloon rally, the fall festival all happen this time of year but best of all it’s cool enough to enjoy being outside again! I found happiness working on fall planting and fall pruning/cleanup while still harvesting garden produce, watching balloons launch into the air, and pumpkin spice everything YES I SAID IT : D Also happiness was getting three much-anticipated pre-ordered books this week including Vermillion so I’ve been a happy happy reader since Tuesday.

  17. I’m happy because my kid (14) has discovered 90s britpop and is delighting in sharing it with me like he’s introducing me to something new.

    Common People, still brilliant.

    September is also my birthday month, spring and strawberries.

  18. We had a really rainy weekend due to Ophelia so I can’t say enjoying the weather is top of my list (also the mosquitos are out in force now that our hot dry summer is ending).

    I got a notice today that the bulbs I ordered last spring to plant this fall are on the way. All tulips— I learned that certain varieties last more seasons and went overboard. I already knew I shouldn’t be allowed alone in a garden store but clearly I also overbuy dangerous amounts from catalogs. I have no idea where I will put them. Especially since in the course of transplanting nasturtiums this summer I found myself digging up lots (maybe 80-100?) of narcissus bulbs that will also require replanting …But that is October or November’s problem since my summer annuals are still in full bloom. I have bouquets of zinnias and dahlia and I have yet more squash blossoms to cook. I thought it was dying back but no.

    What does make me happy is baking for my neighbor’s yom kipper break fast tomorrow night. I am making two desserts on the theory that I need to get the frozen plums out of the freezer (it’s a family recipe for a sort of plum tart on a lemony dough) and that I really miss my chocolate almond Capri cake which I can’t make when DH is home because he loves but can’t eat chocolate.

    Also happy is the neighbor who dropping in yesterday and the friends who came by today. It got in the way of getting much done but was lovely.

    I’m doing some seasonal messy chores that are best done when DH is traveling for work —things like sealing all the counters and washing all the blankets.

    It feels like I’m getting ready for nesting through the winter and that does make me happy.

    1. Maybe planting some bulb lasagnes in pots would help? (For example, late-flowering tulips under earlier ones, with narcissi and/or dwarf iris or crocus on top. Plus you plant much more densely in pots. Then add those into the ground next year, when you’ve seen where there are still spaces.) But I daresay you’ll find room anyway – and will have an amazing spring.

      1. What a cool idea! I will try that. I definitely ordered bulbs with a range of flowering times.
        And we have wide front steps that look great with pots on them

  19. I am ready for summer to be over!

    The high point of the week was some grandchildren called to sing Happy Birthday.

  20. Rain all day today, although it conveniently stopped for Pixie’s walk. Have a lot on my plate with meetings, med stuff (all those vaccines) and election stuff. I’ve got to get some of it done next week or October will be just too much.

    It’s a great time of the year for me-not too much yard work to do and the leaves are still on the trees so no raking yet.

  21. Autumn is my happy place. 🙂

    Wood and wood products are a bit expensive just now, so I bought curtains and rods and partitioned off a bit more of the corner of the basement I call “the Owner’s Suite.” Next step is to move around the bookcases that make up my pantry and reposition the refrigerator – again. If wood were cheaper, I would have built interior walls, but since it’s the basement, nobody comes down except to do laundry. When the rearrangement is complete, there will be pictures.

  22. Do you happen to have a list of all the t-shirt slogans you have used for Liz easily available? A group of us decided we want a list to share with friends and family. We are willing to go combing through the books again to assemble the list but thought we would ask first because they are great! Are they real T-shirt’s? Because we are thinking Christmas presents here…. Your books are not Christmas presents because no one wants to wait that long. We love them and are glad you will be sending more our way. Even if it isn’t until next year.

      1. Wile E Coyote is real, too; just on Amazon instead of Red Bubble.
        The only one not real is the diamond ring one, I made that up.

    1. You know, I do, somewhere. All of them are available at Red Bubble, except for the Wile E Coyote mugshot tee, and that was on Amazon. Here are some of them off the top of my head, but I’m sure I’ve missed some. The diamond ring tee I made up; Vince had it specially made.

      Attempted Murder https://www.redbubble.com/i/t-shirt/Attempted-Murder-White-design-by-jezkemp/9115097.1YYVU
      Cycling Octopus https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/25171099?p=womens-fitted-v-neck&ref=product-title
      I’m fine https://www.redbubble.com/i/t-shirt/It-s-Fine-I-m-Fine-Everything-is-Fine-by-designwaves/49661112.FB110.XYZ
      Look Both Ways Before You Cross Me (I couldn’t find the one Liz wore; she likes plain black tees with plain white letters)
      On Wednesday We Smash the Patriarchy https://www.redbubble.com/i/t-shirt/Feminist-On-Wednesdays-We-Smash-The-Patriarchy-by-ds-4/71367135.GQXYX
      Sanctuary Moon https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/68869014?p=womens-fitted-scoop&ref=product-title
      Two types of people: https://arghink.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=all
      This is not a drill: https://www.redbubble.com/i/t-shirt/Hammer-This-is-Not-a-Drill-by-TheShirtYurt/12667964.FB110
      The Universe is Made of Protons . . . https://www.redbubble.com/i/t-shirt/The-Universe-Is-Made-Of-Protons-Neutrons-Electrons-and-Morons-by-ShopSpace159/95706394.FB110.XYZ
      Wile E Coyote Mugshot: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081T9WLQ8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  23. What I love about autumn is the lowered slant of light here that turns all it touches golden. Then again, this is the Golden State (ahem). I especially like watching the cream stucco of the 1910 apartment building across the street in mellowed light, hues changing throughout the day into the evening. The building was designed by a famous architect, and, besides form, he knew about color.

  24. The pink faux leather jacket was loved at first sight. Son and DIl were amazed. Have enough to make a skirt as well. Joint birthday party was fun. Other son is sick, they couldn’t come, not wanting to spread the germs.

    Turned on the furnace this afternoon, tried to make it to end of September, but the rains came, damp and cold. Brr.

  25. I’ve been happy mostly this week.

    The highlight was a trip to the Dali Museum. We go a couple of times a year when something good comes up. It’s only 30 minutes from home.

    My normal days off are Mon, Tue, Wed. I had taken Sun & Thur off so I had a nice long time away from work & that made me happy.

    I am working on a collage / poem & I’m happy with the results so far. It isn’t finished yet.

    I was happy reading One In Vermillion.

    Otherwise quiet, calm week.

  26. My procrastination has reached epic proportions lately, but I did finally mail off an article I had clipped for a friend in Milwaukee a few weeks ago. Much to my delight, he wrote back to me and wants to continue the correspondence. This was made even more amazing when he revealed that he has been in and out of the hospital for 4 months and is now doing rehab, tended by his wife, who has MS. The fact that he was able to write to me through all of that is amazing to me and will, I hope, encourage me to send the rest of the cards and clippings I have piled upon my table.

    I really need the encouragement because last night I went to dinner with some friends at my sister’s house where they talked about having high tea in a hotel while on their vacation. And sitting on the table at home was an article on tea rooms in the Chicago area that I had forgotten to bring with me. I hope the combination of the two experiences will finally motivate me to clean off my table and reestablish contact with people.

  27. So I told Martha about the shout out to Murderbot in One in Vermillion. I took a photo of the page where it was mentioned. She noticed that one of the characters on the page was Peri – and wondered if that was for Perihelion. 🙂

    1. No, it was a Blue name: Navy, Lavender Skye and Periwinkle Blue.

      Please tell her I adore Murderbot, although she’s probably already figured that out since Liz does.

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