Back to School for the Brain

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IMG_8756Well, I managed to avoid the Chicago Air & Water Show this weekend. Mostly. I heard a few planes, but with the gloomy rain on Saturday, I think they had to cut things short. And then Sunday was beautiful, but I didn’t hang around for the show.

Eh.

Now things are back to their usual, non-war-machine quiet. It’s a beautiful day, just in time for the first day of school for some kids. Others, luckily, get one more week of summer before it’s back to notebooks and pens and classrooms with chairs that scrape against the floor.

Sometimes I miss that back-to-school season.

Mostly, I suspect, for the school supplies. I love a new notebook.

But I think it ingrains in all of us that sense that it’s time to bring our focus back to this side of the window. It’s time that the lazy dreamings of summer get packed away with the shorts and tank tops, and now we don our serious thoughts like that comfortable cardigan that’s been hanging on the back of the chair.

Fall is a good time for new challenges, new horizons. We think of spring as a rebirth, but autumn is its own kind of renewal, one of pairing down, rethinking, and preparing for the seasons ahead.

But not just yet.

I think I have one more week of summer left.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Autumn Calling

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I wish autumn was longer. Of course, I could just as well say I wish the days didn’t get shorter, or the sun would rise just a little more to the left, but still, I do. The transformation seasons here in Chicago are the city at its most graceful, shrugging off the heavy coat of winter in the spring, and slipping it back on again in the fall.

There is that crispness that belongs only to autumn, found on fresh, new mornings, which doesn’t last. It gives way to more and more frigid air, until the freshness is dried right out of it. And the leaves, showing off their fiery colors, quickly escape the trees, finding new homes underfoot and on the roofs and windows of parked cars.

But perhaps the brevity is what makes it so beautiful. Maybe it’s the truth that autumn is the embodiment of transience, we are watching change with each day. Winter hulks over the city for months, planting itself firmly, refusing to budge. Summer makes its presence known and revels in all the novelty it brings.

But fall and spring, they’re seasons on the way to something else. And they seem to know it, so they give us all the glory they have to offer, fast and delicate, before they are gone.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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Could Summer Fade Already?

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This morning, I swear I could smell fall in the air. It’s still July, but it was there, that cool morning crispness, that edge that evokes apples and cinnamon. It doesn’t matter that I’m surrounded by the peaks of summer fruits, by the peaches and the nectarines and the berries and the cherries. The gorgeous cherries, some black, some bright red, some speckled.

No, it was a hint of what will be coming, soon. The bright green of the leaves in the park will take on a glow, and then pale, and then head toward their yellows and oranges. Full, fervent greens don’t last long, not here in Chicago where the city settles into the cold as easily as zipping up a down coat.

It’s hard not to think of what comes next, even when you’re right in the middle of what comes now, right in the middle of sunshine(ish) and warm air and flowers. It’s hard not to think of the wind that will cut, that will shake the brittle leaves from the trees, will send them scuttling underfoot.

Right now it’s summer. But summers come and go, autumns come and go, and winters arrive. Until it’s spring, and round we go again.

Need something to read? Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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