October is the beginning of the last quarter of the year. So far, this year has been different to anything we have seen. Rumblings in January about a new virus in China, but the government didn’t seem to be concerned so why should we? By February, we knew that something bad was going around, but no warnings except from people like travel agents. Finally, in March everything was shut down. All sorts of people were out of work. People began hoarding, and many people probably still have a house full of toilet paper! Self-isolating became the norm and we became masked ‘bandits’! Later in the year things began opening up, very slowly. Then people (especially young people) stopped social distancing, and now we are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases again. Is this going to lead to another shut down? Right now we can only wait and see. What I do see is that those who have worked through not seeing family, and those who lost loved ones in long term care homes, could end up suffering again because of selfish younger people!

Schools are slowly opening but not all students will be going. Some families are selecting on line learning for their offspring, as families were given the choice. Classes have been set up according to numbers in the school. Some teachers will be in the classroom, others will be teaching online. I’m sure it created a lot of work for principals. Then we heard in the first week back about 10,000 people at one school board decided to switch from in school learning to online. This must have created horrendous problems for the schools. Plans for returning to school were based on information from doctors and such. They weren’t written on the backs of napkins in restaurants by a few politicians. Parents had a long time to decide what they wanted their kids to do. I don’t envy those who have to figure out what to do! Enough for now about COVID-19.

Fall tells us that winter will be arriving before we know it. What I do like about fall is the colours we can use to decorate our houses. There is something warm and friendly about the golds, browns, reds, and oranges mixed in with a bit of green. After a great summer of Farmers Markets, they will be winding down soon, probably at the end of October. It has been great having so many choices of fresh veggies. I like the little red potatoes. Especially boiled with a bit of fresh mint. I usually buy beets, onions carrots, corn on the cob once it arrives, peas in the pod until they are all gone, and any other veggies that catch my eye. Apples, peaches plums, pears, strawberries and raspberries are usually nice and fresh and tasty. I also enjoy talking to the vendors. Ambitious people will probably be freezing some of the veggies. My freezing usually consists of throwing extra tomatoes into plastic bags and then throwing them in the freezer. I do that any time I have extras, they are great to make a tomatoes sauce. I usually buy honey and maple syrup at the end pf the season so I have it for the winter. I know it’s local at the Farmers Market. Often, we can get apple cider too. I found a great idea on line for onion soup. Caramelize the onions in the slow cooker overnight (about ten hours), then make the soup in the slow cooker the next morning. Tastes really good.

If it wasn’t for COVID, my son, my grandson and I would have been travelling on the Queen Mary 2 half way across the Atlantic from New York to Southampton. Then we would make the return voyage after a day in Southampton. I booked the cruise a year and a half ago, long before COVID raised its ugly head. The one fortunate thing about having to cancel is that we knew several months ago that we would have to do that, so at least it wasn’t a last minute thing after months of anticipation. But I still think every so often that I would have been on the ship now. Wondering when cruising will be possible again.

One trip that my sister, a friend and I went on several years ago was the train from Sault Saint Marie to the Agawa Canyon. You go from Sault Ste. Marie early in the morning, spend time at the Canyon, and return by supper time. If you have never done it, it is well worth while, maybe next year in the fall.

I guess it’s time to have the winter tires put on. Make sure the scrapers and such are still there and in good shape. I guess I should check the car and trunk to make sure gloves are still around. Until next time, I hope you enjoy the beginning of fall!

About the Author

Linda Calder is a retired teacher. She likes to write and enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys going on cruises, taking pictures and scrapbooking.