October is typically the beginning of ‘season’ in Florida, which is signaled by a change in temperature, a decrease in humidity and vehicles with out-of-state tags arriving to our small town almost daily. It is still warm, but not oppressively hot, and was quite rainy for the first two weeks of the month. Nevertheless, we accomplished a few things around the house, visited with friends, celebrated family, took care of our health and enjoyed nature whenever possible.
Around the House
With the change in weather came renewed energy for getting things done around the house. I cleaned closets, kitchen cabinets and under counter storage in our bathrooms, while Malcolm spent many hours outside pressure washing the brick pavers in the driveway and on the patio, followed by applying a protective sealant. Washing windows, cleaning patio furniture and updating a couple of flower beds completed the outside chores. These are all typically things we do in November, before the on-set of Holiday decorating, so it was very satisfying to check them off our ‘to-do’ list a little early. Nothing like a bit of ‘Fall cleaning’ to kick off the holidays.
We celebrated Malcolm’s Mom’s 91st birthday with lunch at a local restaurant which offered ‘safely distanced, outside seating.’ It was her first social outing since the on-set of Covid and she thoroughly enjoyed the day. You might not have noticed, but we are all wearing Fall colors with our flip-flops.
When our daughter was about five years old, she drew a somewhat crude image of a jack-o-lantern and asked her Dad to carve it into a pumpkin. That Halloween tradition has continued for twenty-five years. They have never once deviated from the shape of the pumpkin nor the face. When I complain or offer a suggestion, I am resolutely told, “it’s our tradition, stick to your role.”
You already know what that is.
In The Garden
Tree lined streets with colorful Maple trees isn’t a thing here, so to enjoy the colors of Fall we take a bike ride, go for a nature walk, or watch the sun set. I realize it isn’t quite the same as driving through New England, but I’m not complaining.
I took the two photos above at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach. What says Fall better than chasing colors and enjoying nature, especially when you are in the company of good friends.
The Society of the Four Arts Gardens in West Palm Beach is currently hosting an exhibit entitled ‘Seasons.’ It is a nice reminder that there are actually four of them. This figure represents Fall. Add a palm tree and it would make the perfect Florida table centerpiece.
In The Kitchen
Maintaining my summer weight loss and experimenting with adding a few healthy calories (and some variety and flavor) back into my daily diet has been a fun challenge this month. I love seared tuna, and you cannot go wrong with a side dish of edamame beans flavored with lime and cilantro as an accompaniment. This dish, which I constantly modify is a mixture of black beans, roasted corn, red onion and bell pepper. Lime juice and colorful veggies definitely says, ‘it’s Fall in Florida.’
Nothing says Fall in Florida quite like schlepping around in a hot Halloween costume looking for treats and being mischievous. There will likely be no little ghosts and goblins visiting this year, but that did not stop my neighborhood from putting its best skull forward. This is Florida and we always expect the unexpected, so treats will be in a basket at the end of our driveway (honor system style) this year.
We hit all the cornerstones of our ‘balanced retirement lifestyle’ this month and I love sharing a few images that represent the simplicity and contentment of our lives. That is the true essence of Picture Retirement.
We got caught up in feeling ‘normal’ this month and almost forgot that there is still a deadly virus out there, not to mention what promises to be a nasty election, followed by more nastiness, regardless the outcome.
Processing may be difficult for some, but, for what it’s worth, focusing on health, family and simplicity helps. We remain optimistic about the future and truly hope those are your sentiments as well. Positive attitudes, good choices and sincere actions make a difference.
Malcolm and I will be away for the next two weeks, enjoying some much anticipated time alone. I will continue to post photos on Instagram, and will share our adventures on the blog as I have time. Until then, stay well, focus on what is important in your life and VOTE!
P.S. That little photo bomber behind us is Nana (Malcolm’s Mom). Isn’t she the cutest? She accompanied us for early voting.