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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Seasonal transition a chore, but fun

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Seems Mother Nature has an eye on the calendar and has noticed that Sept. 22 was the autumnal equinox commonly known as the first day of fall.

Already the weather here in Michigan has changed from the longer daylight days we experienced which meant that in our part of the country the sun did not set until around 9:15 p.m. And, of course, going out in the morning to retrieve the daily fish wrap meant we did so in daylight. As the raven would state: "Nevermore."

We are now in the throes of cooler days, much colder nights and an almost complete change in lifestyle. Let me share with you just a couple of issues that impact my daily routine now that fall has arrived.

Having grown up in Kansas, I realize that many of these issues will not impact the Sunflower state residents, but it will provide an insight to winter living in the Mitten State -- Michigan.

No longer am I going sockless while wearing my deck shoes and I have returned my Bermuda shorts to the back closet.

Short-sleeve shirts will have to wait until next spring to make an appearance. Our furnace was checked out by the heating and cooling company and the sounds of the motor humming in the morning at 6:15 a.m. when it comes on now takes the place of the alarm clock. It also meant the installation of new filters -- one for the furnace and another for the humidifier.

The trees in the woods behind our home have started to change colors and I'm sure many of the leaves will find a place on our lawn. That means weekly raking, but we do have the advantage of pushing the leaves back into the woods -- I'm not into the bagging process.

The heater in the car has made its appearance along with the heated seats. In the trunk there is a snow/ice scraper along with a couple of blankets and a couple of coats.

Attending outdoor sporting events for grandchildren sometimes means those blankets and extra coats will come in handy.

No longer will I be ordering iced lattes but have switched to hot pumpkin lattes.

Our weekend trips will take us to some cider mills. What with the apple shortage in Michigan this year due to the early spring freeze, I'm anxious to see the price of a gallon of cider which I understand is up $2 a gallon in some places. Ouch!

On a more positive note, there will be fewer road construction cones on the highways -- yippee!

And, of course, we will make our annual trek to Greenfield Village for the pumpkin festival -- 800 carved and lighted jack- o'-lanterns dotting all the roads and trails in the Village -- a wondrous site.

So while we mourn the exit of summer and gear up for fall and winter, maybe we should take a lesson from the hundreds of hummingbirds that no longer grace our window feeders and fly off to some remote sun-filled location in the south.

But then we would miss handing out treats on Halloween, building snowmen with our grandchildren, ice skating on the canals in our subdivision, watching for the lone turkey that always seems to appear on our deck this time of the year, and taking long walks in the new-fallen snow. You know, all in all, maybe fall isn't so bad after all.

Editor's Note: Bill Kalmar of Lake Orion, Mich., retired from Comerica Bank in 1993 and was then director of the Michigan Quality Council from 1993-2003. The Fort Scott native now writes on a freelance basis.