So the fall is upon us and it is a week until Halloween, and this week I put my motorcycle away for the season. It's always a bittersweet thing to do, because I wish that I could ride year round.
Not so much because I love riding that much, ( but I really do!) but because it is MUCH cheaper on gas than driving my truck. So I put the fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and got all my stuff out of the back pack, and put my helmet in its storage bag. Then I cleaned the floor where I was going to put it, and worked it into the back corner of the shop. There it will sit for the winter, taunting me, with the promise of spring and what we will be able to do in the coming spring. In the middle of January while the wind is howling outside the doors and the driving snow is piling into sculpted drifts across the driveway, the bike will sit quietly in the back of the shop, and I will look back there and think of the spring that is to come, and of the adventures past. My motorcycle will be the dream that keeps me from giving in to the depressions of February, and get me through the last snows of March. When we get the warm weekend in April I will get it out of the corner and take it for the first ride of the spring and the feeling of freedom that comes from the wind and the road and the shifting of the gears will give me dreams of the hot, hazy weekends of summer and riding along through the NY terrain.
One of the things that drives the average NYer nuts is snow removal. I'm not one to worry so much about it, because I have the tools for the job. I plow the big open parts with my 4 wheeler, and for the walks and drifts, I have a great snow-blower for my garden tractor. It works great for opening up drifted in areas that the wheeler can't blast through. Between the two pieces of equipment, I have to shovel only a very minimum, and usually only the stairs that I can't exactly plow!
But before winter gets here, there is still the autumn to enjoy, and in Western NY one can never tell what the season really holds in store for ya. From golden trees and fresh cut fields, new green showing in the field of winter-wheat and the piles of pumpkins glowing various shades of orange in the farm markets, every turn is filled with colors and scents and dreams.
Halloween parties loom and the thoughts of what costume to wear, do you dress as a pirate? Maybe a Pimp or a gangsta. Whatever you chose, you can pretty much count of at least 10 other people having the same Idea! It never fails, the more original you think you are, the more likely it is for someone else to have the same exact thoughts. The only difference is in the execution. Details are the key. The more detail you put into the costume, the more likely you are to win the prize at the party! The fall wouldn't be complete without a few haunted hay rides, and a trip to the Maize Maze. And, what about a visit to the cider mill? One of my favorite things about fall, is the promise of some fresh apple cider. Coupled with some fresh, warm donuts and it's just about as close to heaven as a guy can get without a broad in the room with him! Fresh apples too, nothing like a fresh, crisp apple crunching with it's sweet/tangy taste reminding you of the difference between the store-bought, storage apples and the orchard-fresh apples.
One of the best things about fall in NY is the colors. The pumpkins, the straw bales, the Indian corn, and the trees. The foliage in NY can be so diverse and amazing and each year I find something that just stuns me with it's brilliance. Sometimes it is the neon-orange glow of a Maple tree in the sun, and sometimes it is a particular shrub that glows in crimson. When the day has been rainy and dreary and you look out at the world and it all seems grey, the sun can peak out from behind the clouds and light up a Birch tree, it's white trunk catching the golden cast of the sun, and the leaves of yellow looking like little drops of gold shimmering in the sudden sunshine and it will lift the spirit like any good drug. But it's not a drug, and if you're smart you will grab a camera and take a picture of that perfect scene. You never know when you will see it again, and preserving it is the best we can do. I am always amazed at how you can look at a row of trees and one can be bare while another has barely changes colors and one looks like a super hero decked out in gaudy colors waiting for the chance to take to the sky on a wing and a prayer looking to rescue someone from a dastardly villain. And they do rescue us, at least for a little while, because the color that they show the world give us an appreciation of the work that nature does. We can see the colors and be reminded of the cycles of nature and that we are privileged to be able to witness it again. Each fall, I look at the colors and I am happy to be here to see them again. Just as I am happy to get through the winter and see the return of the spring blossoms. I know that the gray skies of winter are coming, and so I appreciate the colors of fall all that much more.
Each season has it's place in my heart. I may complain about each one, but that is one of the privileges of living in Western NY, we get all the seasons every year, even if we get three of them on one week!! But the truth is that I have a choice and I wouldn't live here if I didn't truly love each season for it's individual pleasures. I have lived n the south and I know what it's like to wear shorts and a t shirt on Christmas day, and to tell the truth, lights in a palm tree just aren't the same as the standard fir tree decked out and smelling up the house with it's oily pine scent. The same as the warm spring breezes of April aren't appreciated as much when you haven't suffered through a blizzard in February. And as the fall does what it must, I can appreciate all that it has to share with me. ( Even if our summer did suck!)