Fall in the Midwest Remembers Spring at the Four Seasons in Nevis

Last week while driving through rural Indiana I caught a glimpse of a soybean field at that special moment when it is green, yellow, and brown at the same time. I immediately stopped in the middle of the road. This is one of those moments, like the turning of the leaves, that change daily. You can’t wait until tomorrow to capture that view, because by tomorrow it will have changed.

It is pretty.

But, it is also a sign. A sign that fall is upon us and that winter is coming. The combines have started to churn up dust on the horizon. At night you can see the eerie glow of the combine lights as they work. Fresh apples are everywhere and the leaves will changes colors soon. This is all part of the opening act for the Midwestern winter – first comes harvest, then the leaves disappear, the wind quickly becomes unbearable, and then the snow. Maybe it will be an easy winter, maybe it will be another harsh one – it is impossible to predict. No one knows.

I looked at those soybean fields and my mind took me right back to my 5 days on the island of Nevis, West Indies in May. It is shocking how quickly a thought of winter will prompt my amygdala to paint scenes of sandy beaches and ocean sunsets in my mind.

I realized earlier this year that I was going to need a real break. I would need a vacation that was more than a stay-cation but less than an over-scheduled-experience-everything-possible vacation. A cousin and a dear friend both recommended Nevis after taking trips there (separately – they don’t know each other). So I signed up, with much less research than I normally do before committing to a trip.

I was a bit nervous about going alone. Traveling alone on a trip with a lot of activities is easy and I do that all the time, but I wondered if I would be happy being alone with nothing much to do for 5 days. But, I went anyway.

I am glad I did.

I spent five peaceful, refreshing, and fabulous days at the Four Seasons Resort on Nevis. It was so lovely that I did not leave the resort. Why would you – there are walking trails, 4 restaurants, 3 pools, watersports, and plenty of perfect beach right there.

It was the best solo trip I have ever taken – walks, reading, laying by the ocean, and making new friends. Dinners were amazing – the two fine dining restaurants Mango and the Coral Grill, were able to create celiac-friendly meals and legitimately seemed to enjoy doing it. The staff members were lovely. They learned my name and preferences quickly and made me feel right at home – so much so that I got goodbye hugs on my last night at Mango. It was an easy place to be.

I returned like new – calm, focused, and ready to get back to life until the next break. So, this winter when I am wondering when it is going to stop snowing I am going to remember Nevis to remind me that winter isn’t all that long. That should hold me over until Hawaii in January.

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Summer Sunsets

I can’t deny it any longer.

Last week I turned off the air conditioning and haven’t turned on the heat. I do my very best to delay turning on the heat. I am not yet sure whether that is stubbornness, denial or both. But today there is a chill in the air inside the house.

Suddenly, every Saturday morning I regret my choice to not have cable. It is that one time a year when I miss ESPN, or maybe it’s just Kirk Herbstreit.

My white shoes, linen blazer and seersucker suits are dry cleaned and packed away, sadly, for months.

As I type, it is 42 degrees in Fort Wayne. Today’s high is 46 degrees.

It is fall.

In an effort to further my stubbornness and/or denial, I want so share my best of the summer sunsets.

There is not much better than a warm/hot/sweltering walk in the glow of the setting sun in bare legs and short sleeves. I am afraid that there won’t be any more of those until spring.

Indiana Sunsets:

Alaska, Arizona and Washington Sunsets:

Fall in Indiana, Part III

Halloween

The front walk to my house is covered with leaves and last week was also covered with little feet. The first Halloween in the new digs was a success. I had candy and kids showed up. Luckily, the bar of success is low. The kids were charming, sweet, and hilarious. I had princesses, ninjas, and unidentifiable costumes toting plastic pumpkins, grocery bags, and pillow cases (I had never seen pillow cases before). All were fun, but there was one little group that appeared that I wanted to immediately adopt.

A brother and sister presented themselves in what were very obviously homemade costumes – a bat and a kangaroo (complete with pouch). They were totally old-school-Halloween. No plastic masks for them. It was fun to see. Next was a little lady dressed as batgirl, she donned a pink tutu with a pink top with the black batman logo on it. She was precious. She was followed by what I would like to believe was me at 5 – she was so excited to tell me what she was dressed as that she was practically jumping up and down. She asked (yelled) “do you know what I am?” I said, “what are you?” And she look up at me through the little white mask that only outlined her eyes and announced I am spider-girl! She was awesome, I hope she never changes.

Frost

These days 5:30 a.m. comes pretty early and very dark. On a recent morning, after squandering the first 25 minutes of my day laying in bed on my iPhone, I traipsed out into the backyard with The Queen for her morning walk. I was surprised to find the first hard frost. It was pretty – shiny and glistening. That, of course, is easy for me to say because I have a garage. I’m guessing the folks who were warming up their cars and scraping windshields would not agree.

Fall in Indiana, Part 2

Football.

I was raised by a raging football fans. My childhood Friday nights and Saturdays were spent at high school football fields or college football stadiums. Until 2011 my Daddy had not missed a football game played by our high school alma mater since the early 1980’s. My mom is indignant toward people who leave games early because their team was far behind. She would say “true fans stay until the end.” She is big on loyalty. Football is serious, people, we are talking life lessons here.

Recently, I told my parents that I was going to be on the “chain gang” at a small college football game. I totally under estimated their interest. My Daddy declared to my Mom, Sister, and Brother-in-Law that this was the closest thing we were going to get to having someone in our family (we are all girls) play football. He was psyched.

So psyched, in fact, that he drove 7 hours (one-way) to FW to watch me run the chains.

It was super fun, well, after I realized that it was not my job to follow the down box guy. It is kind of important for me to stay at the spot of the ball. I only did that twice, but of course, my lone fan in attendance noticed.

I learned that working the chains is not as easy as it looks, football players are really smelly, the referees talk to the players a lot more than I thought, and I can move a good size guy in football pads with a hip check. Even better, the day was gorgeous, it was a high scoring (the chains moved a lot) game, and my team won. That is a good day.

Now, I can check that one off my bucket list. It was right after milking a cow.

Fall in Indiana, Part I

It is fall in Indiana. The summer breeze has turned into a cold wind, the hot days are gone, and the fireplace is burning. But it is still pretty.

Gold and Green Fields

The summer has started to wind down here in Northern Indiana.  While the trees are not yet showing their fall colors, the soybeans and corn have started to fade to yellow, gold and brown.

I spend a fair amount of time driving through the Northeast Indiana countryside and have noticed that yellow and gold are really prominent colors in nature around here.  Until now, I never really knew that yellow or gold was a color that should be associated with a farming landscape.  Turns out, it should.  By the end of the corn season the tops of the corn stalks are waving and sparkling gold.  LIkewise, just before the soybean harvest when the leaves drop off the bushes, these little guys turn the loveliest shade of yellow.  I love green, it is beautiful.  However, as fall comes on here in the Midwest green has a rival; and gold can hold its own.  As you might guess, I think it is pretty.