Autumn is my favorite season of the year – I think! Ask me in springtime and I’ll tell you I love Spring most of all. Check back in Summer and you’ll find I am thoroughly pleased with that season. And, if you ask me, I may tell you Winter is the best time yet. I love the seasons and the way they change. Where I live in Oregon we are blessed to watch all four seasons come and go. We've been having very cold temperatures and some days with beautiful sunny skies. The crisp colors of Fall are quickly turning to the neutrals of Winter. Over the past few days we’ve had very high winds that have changed the landscape. Leaves that fell in our neighbor’s yard across the street suddenly found themselves in our yard. All over town you could find leaves and tree limbs in strange places. Throughout our area some were not so fortunate – huge evergreen trees broke and fell across their homes. We, however, have been fortunate to have electricity when others were in the dark and we were safely snuggled inside when the winds blew hard.
The story of our home is a bit unique. We rented our home for a few years before it was available to buy. We had wonderful landlords who wanted to return to our town when they retired. We were in a time of transition and unsure where we would land so we became caregivers of their sweet home. One day they decided to retire and relocate somewhere else. When they put this home on the market they offered us a very sweet deal. Knowing every nook and cranny of this house was an advantage and, because we had lived here for a few years, we knew exactly what we would change if this house belonged to us. So, we bought our little home. It was the easiest move we’ve ever made! No packing, no pulling up our roots, no changing schools for our children, no finding new doctors and dentists – and no making new friends. The day we signed the papers and officially ‘owned’ the keys to the house we drove to a local business and bought a beautiful maple tree to plant in the front yard. We knew we wanted to shade the living room in the summer and add interest to the yard year round. The tree was small, not much taller than me. Now that tree towers high above our home and it is a beauty.
In the early days of Autumn the leaves begin to turn high up at the top of the tree – and the colors gradually move down to the lower branches. I watch the top of the tree and always seemed amazed when the leaves at the top begin to change. The green leaves turn to yellow. . .
And then they turn orange and red.
Not long after they turn color – they fall. All. over. the. ground!
It just gets worse if you don’t get busy and rake up the leaves right away.
The winds came and blew more leaves from the tree. My sweetheart has been very busy raking leaves and tidying up the yard. At times he laughs and says he thinks he will wait to rake leaves until the last one has fallen from our big tree. There he is working hard finish cleaning the flower beds. Just as the wind changes the landscape in our yards, winds of change have come into our lives again. We had to stop much of our daily routine and go a direction that was needed to a few weeks. My dear, little mother needed eye surgery that was medically necessary – there were no other options. The surgeon told us it was risky and quite challenging because of other issues in her eye, but it must be done. Following surgery she needed several weeks of different medicated drops at various times through the day. The regimen changed frequently and she knew she couldn’t handle it herself. We are dealing with moderate dementia and it just wasn't reasonable to think she could do what was needed. I told her my sweetheart and I would be there with her every step of the way. She argued with me at first - she said she didn't want to 'disturb' my life! I did what I often do in cases like this - I asked if things were reversed, if it was me, would she do it for me? Of course, she said. When I asked her to let me do it for her, she agreed. Her surgery was successful – with no problems at all. Many people were praying for her and we were thrilled to hear the surgeon's positive report that she is healing well. At first my sweetheart and I went to my dear mother’s home three times a day to put drops in her eye. For the first week we returned at bedtime to put a patch on that eye for protection while she slept. Each week the routine changed and now we just have to go once a day to do her drops. We will be finished with the medication in a few days – and we will celebrate. The thing that has made this whole process much easier to handle is my sweet mother's gratitude. There has not been one time we were there that she didn't thank us and tell us how much she appreciates us. We know the future will bring more winds of change in our lives. Until it does, we plan to enjoy every moment of beauty and wonder as the seasons of life come and go.