Watching the Leaves Turn 9/19/2011

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.”  Elizabeth Lawrence

As we rode back into our yard this afternoon, after spending a couple of hours at a friend’s home, I heard a ferry’s horn signaling “last call”.  I often mention hearing the fog horn from our condo, but I don’t think I’ve ever acknowledged that we hear the ferry horns also.  About a minute before a ferry leaves the dock, it signals with a blast of its horn that anyone leaving on that boat should get on board “right now”.  We hear it so much it usually doesn’t even register – much like I seldom hear our ship’s clock chime the hour and half-hour (although visitors say it drives them crazy).

But today, coming back through the woods on a beautiful cool afternoon and turning onto our street in the Village, for some reason the ferry horn stirred the first real thoughts that soon we would be leaving the Island.  This year we plan to stay until the first week in November, which means the Grand Hotel will already be closed when we go.  After the Grand closes, the majority of the Island businesses quickly do the same, and except for three or four restaurants and hotels, the Island will slowly slip into hibernation, huckering down for the winter ahead.  Year-round residents will get their Island back, and we seasonal folks will return to our other nests.

We still have lots going on before we leave.  Next weekend friends from Georgia arrive with a tour group to stay at the Grand, and we have Island friends coming for dinner one night this week.  The next week Jason and Blair will be here for a few days.  After that, the remaining weeks will fly by – as has this whole summer.  Days and nights will be spent with other friends – having lunch or dinner “just one more time”, stopping in the not-quite-so-busy streets to chat and hear who is leaving when, or running to the dock to wave goodbye to whomever is leaving on that particular day.  The clock that was wound so tightly at the beginning of the season is slowly running out of momentum . . . soon it will stop, and we’ll be the ones on the ferry with Maddie and Bear and all our “real world” possessions.

It was a gorgeous weekend on the Island.  Chilly, but sunny.  I spent some time downtown, and wherever my eyes roamed I saw signs of the end of the season.  Shops are running sales, summer flowers are being replaced with brightly colored mums, horses are leaving, blankets have been placed on the taxis  . . . it’s a progression that, after four seasons here, is becoming well-known and expected.  Soon the Grand will pull up the annuals, and next spring’s tulip bulbs will go into the ground.  Full circle once again.

When I sat down to write tonight, I had no idea where I was going with this, and I’ve probably done nothing but ramble.  But rambling is good occasionally – not everything has to be well thought out and precise.  It’s fall.  Time to sit and watch the leaves turn.


11 thoughts on “Watching the Leaves Turn 9/19/2011

  1. Ok Brenda, once again as I was reading this, I did it with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. It brought back memories of the first time we were on the island. The third week of Oct. when it seemed we had the island all to ourselves. Very special time for sure.

    Bud says that he thought the sounding of the horn was a maritime signal that the boat was leaving the dock. Once the horn blew, they were already backing out of the dock? He could be wrong…something he thought he heard?

  2. Oh, it’s so beautiful during the fall! But then, don’t we say that about each season on the island? 🙂 Love each one of them in their turn.

  3. Just checked your blog to see if you mentioned any fall color yet, I will be on the island this Friday. This is my first September on the island and I can’t wait to ride my bike around and just take it all in.
    BTW- When we visited in July the Ferry Captain let my 2 year old son sound the horn for departure. My son was so thrilled he still talks about it all the time in his 2 year old way, “boat- push button.” After our trip we redecorated his room with a nautical theme. He will be joining me on Saturday and I hope he will be able to “push button” again.

    • Hi Julie. Color seems to be slow in coming right now, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t spots of color all around. By Friday, who knows?

  4. I always loved this time of year the best! It seemed so exciting to me – awaiting the first snow, the first ice, Christmas, – all the excitement of the long winter. But that was when I was a year-rounder. Now I would just be depressed, I fear!

    Hope to see some more fall color pics soon!

  5. Fall colors on the island have to be the best! A taxi ride through the woods has to be right up there with the best of the best! Beautiful mums and leaves.

  6. Another gorgeous weekend-yay! Glad you’re staying til November as you’ll get to see the whole progression of fall to almost winter. I imagine it will be spectacular. Can’t wait for the photos!

  7. I can’t believe I get to comment before Cathie. But I’m rambling. Actually, rambling is good. It allows you to look busy without all the pressure. Not that you don’t actually work; I didn’t mean that. But if somebody asks you to do something you don’t want to do, you can say I’m sorry, but I’m busy rambling right now. Try it the next time Ted asks you to carry his boat up from the water.

  8. The trees are turning colors already down here in southern Wisconsin. It seems like it has happened all at once! Apple orchards are open and pies and caramel apples are abundant! I love this time of the year and will miss not coming up to the island this Fall. Maybe next year…….thanks for sharing all of your thoughts.

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