Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Who’s Counting?

Colour change summer to autumn 2020


Today is the first day of autumn – (technically, this year the first day of fall is on Tuesday the 22nd, but on MY calendar, the first day of the season always falls (HA!) on the 21st. The winds are brisk from the south. The hummingbirds have finally left for their winter grounds south of the equator. To my mind, they lingered longer this year – did the hurricanes and upper level smoke from the west coast wildfires compel them to defer travel plans? Or am I just mistaken about their usual departure?

The second pumpkin pie is in the pantry. I make mine from butternut squash, one thing I do miss about the longer growing season down south. I used to harvest dozens every September. This year, though, with the long and hot summer, it turns out I could have planted squash and tomatoes with good results – but after 5 years of iffy growing conditions, I decided not to waste the garden space. Go figure.

After three days, today I finished the crummy job of weeding the interlocking brick – what pain in the rear end! Literally! Just wish I had found the gumption to attend to it earlier. But the job needed doing. Company is coming and I want the place to look presentable.

Also, the work gives me a sense of control. Something that is in short supply these days. Especially after I learned yesterday that my brother Jim has had a severe setback at hospital. Comforting myself with carbs, and distracting myself with make-busy work eases some of the anxiety.

Reiner is busy cutting and splitting firewood. I just heard him dump the first of at least a half dozen loads at the woodshed. Good. More make-busy work, the kind that gets me outside and burns those carbs.

Be safe, everyone.

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39 replies

  1. That’s what I’ve been missing – a sense of control! I very much like control, and it’s very distressing when I can’t find it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I, too, get distressed. I’m okay with a little chaos, as long as it doesn’t affect my sleep or peace of mind. Heck, a little excitement now and again is energizing. But the way the last several years have played out, and especially 2020…? No thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I understand the busy work, especially when there’s results to show for it, fairly quickly. Busy work is definitely higher on the food chain than a variety of other coping mechanisms I figure. Keeps your mind distracted for spurts. Last week I started washing things, curtains, summer comforter, that sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A sense of control—why is that such a comforting thing? I hear ya, Maggie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve read scientific articles about the migrations of birds and how they are being affected – sometimes with disastrous results – by the changing climate. Fortunately, our local hummers stay here year-round so they won’t have to deal with hurricanes and smoke.

    I’m so sorry to read about your brother. Since his health is truly out of your control, best to do what you are doing and distract yourself from feelings of helplessness. Hopefully your visitors will give you many reasons to smile and help you enjoy the season… and your pies!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, if it makes you feel any better I changed my bedding to the darker, fall/winter variety today – one of my rituals to welcome a change in the season. Yep, fall is officially tomorrow (I checked) but when I went to school (said with creaky voice and wagging finger), it was always on the 21st!

    Sorry to hear about your brother, Maggie – out of your control for sure, but you are dealing with it in healthy ways, says I!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Steady as she goes,” or something along those lines. Lovely photo; fall is indeed here. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Prayers for your brother, and for you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maggie, so sorry to hear about your brother. Prayers are going out for him. If we only had control over the outcome of his health, and a million other things! So the busy work is a distraction. I do the same thing when stressed about something. Any physical work will do—inside or outside. Plenty to choose from. Baking isn’t one of them. Homemade pumpkin pie is my favorite. Not the same from the supermarket, but that’s what I buy. Have a good week. 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just when you thought ..
    These times – the worst of them – won’t let one be.
    Keep up the controlling: the only way to beat them, dear Maggie.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Keeping busy is a good thing Maggie. I’m sorry to hear about your brother and hope for better news on that front.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The first few cooler days turned out thoughts to all those things that need to be done before winter arrives, Maggie. I like that it included pies.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m sorry about your brother’s health. I empathize. There are serious issues with my Dad which keep my mind preoccupied. This is normally one of my favorite times of the year though. We always had gardens and loved it but after dighting the chipmunks two years ago in Georgia, the next year we resorted to container gardening and an herb garden bed which was wonderful. Good luck with everything.

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  13. I’m so sorry about your brother, and hope he makes a turn-around soon. I agree that keeping busy is so helpful, as it is distracting from our troubles, and also does give a sense of control which is a very good thing in uncertain times. We still have hummingbirds in our yard, so perhaps they are sticking around longer this year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ann – he’s been through so much the last couple of years, looking after his family, his mother-in-law and our other brother who was very sick. Stress no doubt paid a large part in his current situation – I hope he rests and recovers fully.

      Interesting that you have hummers sticking around longer than usual – makes you wonder, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Mmm, pumpkin pie! My fave. Yes, we do need those kinds of busy work when stress piles on. Who wants to have time to think about all the what-ifs? Lately I’ve been distancing from all the political shenanigans here in the US. All I can do is vote and hope for a good outcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of the reasons for my recent hiatus from the blogs was because of those shenanigans – and the pandemic – what could I add that wasn’t already covered by everyone else? Plus, I wanted to mute the channel for a while, so to speak – catch a break from the news. Obviously, I’m ready to add my voice to the chorus, once again!

      Regarding the vote – Expect the worst, and hope for the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I like your phrase about having a sense of control. That certainly has been somewhat lacking from all of our lives this year. I hope your brother is doing better and that while you’re stacking the wood you’re planning when to make another pumpkin pie. Can anyone ever have too many of those?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry to hear about the setback but pleased to hear that he is doing better. Relinquishing control has to be a theme of 2020 I think. I’m trying to focus on the things I can control and just roll with it with everything else. It seems to be mostly working. It’s good that your make-busy work is productive with visible results. That would provide some satisfaction.


  17. Is it just me or does last week feel like a month ago?

    I echo everything already said. Your family has already taken a beating this year and I really hope your brother is still continuing to recover well. I sincerely hope there is some stability and kindness in your life for a long time to come.

    This has been one wild ride of a year and now chaos is rearing its ugly head with the 2nd wave upon us. Out of an abundance of caution, I’ve started cancelling a whole bunch of plans again and I’ve heard there are shortages of toilet paper and paper towels again at my local Costco. Here we go again 😕

    Be well, Maggie 💕


    • Thank you, Joanne – It has been a very long and nightmarish year. I have completely lost my sense of time – my brother, who is on an even keel at the moment, quipped yesterday that he has been in solitary confinement for 24 days. 24???? It’s been that long?

      As for shortages, I have TP on the grocery list – Reiner forgot to get some last time he was out. Wish us luck!

      Stay safe. ❤


      • The way things are going right now in Toronto, I think your odds of staying safe are a ‘bit’ better than mine 😏 Some days I’m outright paranoid. With all the nay-sayers out there, I’m afraid it is going to get much worse before it gets better.

        Liked by 1 person

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