Late August is always a meaningful time of year for me. It signifies so many things, and this year, it signifies even more.
In terms of my natural surroundings, August is a crickety time, a crunchy time, a very yellow and purple time. The fruit trees are laden, gardens are full, the corn is tall, many plants are winding down and becoming withered and tired. I love the "feel" of this time of year. The light is different.
Yellow and Purple.
Yes, I'm seeing it, too. I need to plan my gardens better. What else is blooming right now that could provide a much needed change in colour? I do have some creamy whites with my hydrangeas. I can tell what time of year it is from this particular hydrangea (thinking it might be called something like Pink Diamond??).
The blooms start out white, but when they become pink, as they are just beginning to now, you know that summer is coming to a close. Soon they will be all a beautiful rusty pink colour.
My sad, sad, very sad vegetable garden would normally be producing scads of green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and still lettuce at this stage. I am harvesting minimal amounts of beans, zucchini, and cucumbers. The lettuce just doesn't get eaten in any great quantity, so the chickens get to enjoy the stalks that are beginning to go to seed.
They rushed to the fence in hopes that I had something to feed them when I was taking pictures this morning. I didn't. I think I heard one of them swear as I walked away.
But there is hope. A tiny, little, pathetic bit of hope...
Do you see it, in all its cracked glory, amongst the blighty leaves? Toasted tomato sandwich, here we come!! (Another late August thing).
Shall we compare my struggling little tomato to this hearty beast? This is a plant that gets a bad rap - it's goldenrod. Another yellow of late August, it gets blamed for seasonal allergies. The real culprit is ragweed which is prevalent right now, but isn't as showy, so it hides in the background causing people to pop allergy meds. like tictacs. I think goldenrod is quite pretty, and lord knows, it grows well with no help from me at all.
The new beginnings part of my post title? Well that refers to a couple of things. Of course, for me, it's the approach of a new school year. Most people's years go from January to December. Mine go from September to June, with bonus months in between. This will be my second last new school year ever. It is odd to think that. It will be even more significant when it is my LAST start to a school year, but this is my last full year. I will only teach from September to January in my final year. That is when I can retire with full pension. So, this is my last time to have a class from start to finish. When you've been doing something for 29 years, and it's your last time at it, it makes me ponder, reflect, consider...
Another new beginning for myself and husband is the advent of being empty nesters, at least for most of the time. This September we launch both kids away to post secondary education. Now, this is old hat for us when it comes to our daughter. She's been away to university for a while now, coming home for the summer to work. However, this is the first time for our son, moving away to college in a town about three hours away. I must admit, I've been struggling a bit with this. Not to be interpreted that I care more about saying goodbye to one child more than the other, but now it means they are both gone. No more waiting to hear his car pull up after his shift at his part time job is done. No more preparing supper for four (or sometimes five or six depending on who's coming). No more knocking on bedroom doors to make sure someone is definitely awake in the morning. No more piles of shoes in the mudroom, or three different bottles of shampoo in the bathtub, or buying Nutella because son likes it, or sriracha chili sauce because daughter likes it. The house will feel so very empty. And oh my god... it's going to be just husband and I. Let that one sink in for a moment.
It's such a big shift. I wish you well. Learning how to fill the extra time and realizing that a weekly phone call has to be enough. I found it very hard I think because I fought it. Fought the grief. I'm a little more willing to feel the pain than I used to be. Good luck honey...be kind to yourself.ReplyDelete
I always associate purple and yellow with Spring - aubretia and alyssum. An empty nest is tough, no getting away from it. Life is all about changes.ReplyDelete
Yes, and at least mine are within a few hours, no in another country!Delete
Enjoy your Empty Nest! Plan some fun things to do! And yes, ragweed is the culprit, not goldenrod.ReplyDelete
Yes, we have something to do that first weekend without them, which I think is a good idea.Delete
Oh dear, do not want to think about it. Almost 16 and 17, so coming near. Boy will I miss them. But it means we did well. Make them independent people. They must cope and so do we. Wishing you well. And I like purple and yellow!ReplyDelete
I know - we want our kids to be independent, responsible, ready to fly the nest...Delete
There is always this dilemma in one's thinking isn't there - independence versus living without them.ReplyDelete
It is so important that they want to become more independent and take those steps to starting their adult lives. I would never hold them back, I'll just cry a little when we drive away from the residence.Delete
Oh Jenn you crack me up. Love that the chickens talk to you. Hey lady don't come here unless you have a treat of some kind lol! I love the fall golden yellows with the purple fall flowers. So pretty together.ReplyDelete
I do love these colours, and I also love the leaves when they start changing.Delete
Your flowers are beautiful, and I love the Golden Rod too. Poor chickens, no treat, but I love that you are on a chit chat basis with them. I don't have chickens, but I do talk to the other small critters in my yard. Not that they listen to me. They don't.ReplyDelete
When the last kiddo leaves the nest, it can be a bit lonely and quiet, but then you will have time to start some new hobbies or crafts. Your tomatoes look good. I'm still waiting to see if I'm going to get at least one from my plants. There were four new little green ones, but something got to one of them already. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.
Thank you, Edna! Don't feel too sorry for the chickens - they frequently get "treats". They got leftover boiled potatoes tonight!Delete
As a working Mom, you will have your work to keep you occupied. I was already retired when my last chicklet flew the nest. It was tough, but I was glad the three youngest sisters were living in Peterborough at school, where their aunts snd uncles were there to look out for them.ReplyDelete
Yes, work will keep me occupied and thinking about it less. We're luckier than some. Friends of ours had a daughter who went to university in Ottawa which is about 8 hours away. Can't just hop in the car and come get them if something goes wrong!Delete
First of all, I think ALL of your lovely blooms are so pretty. Even the goldenrod. We have a lot of it also.ReplyDelete
And just as you will soon be entering into a new "work" place phase --- your last full year and then only a half year --- then you'll have, dum-dee-dum-dum: RETIREMENT!
Your son going off to college brings on yet another phase for you and don't forget your husband, too. Although I do believe moms are attached to their kids in a different way than dads are.
No doubt about it. All through our lives we go from one stage to another. The trick is to learn how to enjoy each one! I think you will.
New beginnings. I'm happy for our son, though. He'll be fine - he's pretty adaptable. Of both of our kids, he's the more "laid back" one.Delete
Big changes coming. You're up for challenges! You've been teaching for 29 years.ReplyDelete
The flowers are lovely. And so butterfly friendly.
I am up for the challenge, but eventually retirement will be tough - I'm very work-oriented. I've actually started a list of things to keep me occupied when I don't go to work Monday to Friday anymore.Delete
It is a time of change & not only in the gardens. I was wandering about yesterday & the ground is like cement, we need rain - did I just say that?! I've got a blue flowering plant right now which blends nicely with the pink phlox, the white phlox. Jen it's going to be a memorable & fabulous full teaching year, I just feel it. Oh & the mere thought of Nutella makes my teeth ache! ... Mary-Lou =^..^=ReplyDelete
I rarely say no to chocolate and I love sweet things, but I've never liked Nutella.Delete
All of our children are out now too, but my mom still lives with us and my daughter and grand doll live next door, so we are not really empty nesters.ReplyDelete
Right next door is nice.Delete
It's little consolation but three hours could be MUCH worse!ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about the light at this time of year. And everything is so lush -- well, unless it's terribly dry, which it is here right now and the only thing growing is the weeds. I'm home for two days and one look at the garden and I almost had to take to my bed in exhaustion before I begin!
How exciting about the impending retirement. I have a feeling you will enjoy every bit of it as much as I have. There is always something to do! Even when you love the work, you find new "work" -- not necessarily for pay but things that are driven by your passions and creativity. I am pretty goal oriented so while there is no paying work, thee is always something on the plate to be done, visited, explored, written about or painted! You'll see!
It doesn't take long for a garden to "go back to the wild"! -JennDelete
Yellow and purple blooms are so lovely together and you are so right that goldenrod gets a bad rap and quite unfairly as it is quite lovely. You will be amazed at how you can fill up the time and really enjoy being empty nesters. Good luck on the last full school year and you will really enjoy retirement sooner than you can imagine.ReplyDelete
Thanks, and yes, we will no doubt fill our time with other things (like all those unfinished projects!).Delete
I loved your post. So many different things. The flowers are beautiful and I love the wild goldenrod that grows around our cabin. I am envious that you are so close to retirement. I have taught for 25 years and still have 9 years and 3 months to go. I am not envious of your becoming an empty nester. I don't have kids, but know it must be one of the most difficult changes a family can go through.ReplyDelete
I laughed a little - you know down to the month how long you have until retirement! When you get to single digits years, it's at least tangible!Delete
Beautiful photos! I am very happy I was able to stop by. Have a great week and thank you.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Anne!Delete
Hi Jenn :) Empty nesting...I can't relate because I never had any "human" kids! But I did feel empty when my dogs passed away and I spent all of 2014 dog-less! Your yellow and purples are beautiful. I love the chicken photos! My garden...eegads...all of my tomatoes are still green. I picked ONE count it ONE...little red cherry tomato and Alex ate it so quick, I felt like I'd never see another one again lol! I think that empty-nesting and retirement in 2021 is going to be a wonderful new chapter of your life!!! :)ReplyDelete
Retirement is great but takes a bit of getting used to, for quite a while you have the vague feeling that there is something you should be doing.ReplyDelete
The first week I baked Sourdough, made jars of spagheti sauce, made jars of relish, a batch of Olive oil and Coconut soap and learnt to knit socks.
After a few months of the making and time in the garden I wondered how I ever had time to go to work.
Enjoy the relaxing days and catching up with friends, if you do get stir crazy you could do some private tutoring....enjoy !
Love the blooms! So pretty.ReplyDelete
I had a couple of years of being an empty-nester, and then they both came home. That was when I bought this bigger house as the other felt too small for three adults. You'll miss them for sure but you'll still buy their faves for their visits.
I officially retired Jan 31 this year but left the office at the end of November 2018. I worried I might not have enough to do...now like most retirees I wonder how I ever fit work in. Enjoy your last 18 months, it will pass in a flash.
You've shared such beautiful photographs.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's never easy when the young fly the nest … the next step in life.
I'm sure you will all adjust, thinking of you.
All the best Jan
What beautiful flowers. They all look great. Fall is around the corner and then we will not see these again till spring.ReplyDelete
Well I just learned something - I thought rag weed and golden rod were one and the same. And my allergies have been wicked lately because of the - rag weed-.ReplyDelete
I have lived in an empty nest for about three years now, and I'm not a fan, although I am thrilled for my children's success. It's just - well, I always knew I wasn't going to LOVE empty nesting. You get used to it after being a mom with kids in the immediate vicinity for so many years, but it takes time. Congrats on the pending last full year of teaching and retirement to come!