Florida in Autumn

The seasons in Florida are very different than those in the north. It’s even different from Arizona, based on my hazy memories from the early 1980s.

We notice that the days are becoming less hot, with temperatures barely reaching the 90s. The mornings and evenings are noticeably cooler. Nights are much cooler, with temperatures dropping into the 70s. The humidity remains high –  not surprising when one lives on a peninsula surrounded by water! Frankly, we embrace the humidity.  It’s one of the things we like about Florida. There is the absence of things, such as the fall colors as leaves change. But, on the flip side, we get to grow things throughout the year. I now have two raised bed gardens; one in the back of our yard by the canal that sits in shade most of the day, and the second in front of the house that receives full sun from sun-up until sundown all winter long.

The bed on the left receives little more than four hours of direct sunlight. Back by the canal, it is our “summer” garden because in the heat of the summer, little will grow.  However, during what passes for winter in southwest Florida, herbs love this spot. Shade from the neighbor’s tree covers this bed in the afternoon. We have basil, sage, thyme, chives, oregano, and green onions. They will produce until May or later, depending on the weather. When the days become longer and the sun shifts, it becomes too hot and humid for most of these guys to survive. The African blue basil behind this bed (that thing that looks like a bush) can’t be killed by anything. More pungent and fibrous than Genovese basil, it is still edible and attracts swarms of bees.

The bed on the right is in the front of the house and in full sun all day long – important as the days become so short. I tried an experiment this summer to see if anything could survive out there. Yes, chili and jalapeño peppers do. Bell peppers, no. So, right now I have seven tomato and three pepper plants out there.  Stay tuned.

Animals are all OK. Dusty, the eldest and largest cat has developed diabetes and we have to give him insulin twice daily. Loki remains sweet and high-strung. He is aptly-named. The dog of mischief who is anything BUT low-key. Tiger distains him. Taco hates him. Dusty tells him to get lost whenever Loki gets near. The photos below are typical mornings around the house when I’m home.

I’ve been back at work for about a month. Still trying to work through the weakness in my right shoulder and not overwork my left shoulder. Just had my annual Medicare Wellness review. Doctor tells me no one should be this healthy at my age. I think to myself, “Well, you ought to feel what I feel when I get up every morning.” But, lab work all looks great, I’ve lost weight, blood pressure and cholesterol are both lower (thanks to running with Loki 3-4 times a week).

I (finally) finished writing the first draft of the CD liner notes for the upcoming release of Heinrich Isaac motets from the Choralis Constantinus as performed by Markus Utz and his ensembles cantissimo. This is the first ever professional CD recording of my Isaac editions. I have heard most of the recordings so far and Markus and his group actualize what I have always heard in my head but never had the resources to create. Very excited for the eventual release.

Michelle is still adjusting to the demands and hassles of her new leadership role. There are good days and bad days.  Her health is vastly improved even though she’s had to endure at least three primary care physicians bailing on her during the Covid crisis. She looks and feels better than she has for several years.

We’ve purchased tickets  to go to Ohio and see my family for Thanksgiving. Haven’t been back there since my father died in 2014. Entire generations have been born that I have not seen.

Otherwise all continues as before. Older, no wiser, but trying to find that elusive life balance. Hope everyone reading this is happy and healthy.

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