'Tis the season, folks. The clocks have been turned back. The sun sets an hour earlier now. Some days Hubby and I are pressed to get our walk in before dark. It used to be a tradition for us on Sundays, in the late fall, to pop dinner in the oven and then go for our walk. Returning to the lovely smell of roasting chicken... or roasting something. Ironically, now that we don't have to wait for Sunday, we don't very often do the big roast chicken, mashed potato, and gravy thing any more. Still we love the late afternoon walks. And when we time it right... we are treated to views like this as we turn and head for home.
|Our sunset walk along the edge of Rideauview Golf Course, near Manotick|
Besides the early sunsets, another herald of the changing season is that I've had the winter tires put on my car. Whoo hoo. Exciting times on the Rideau. Then I cleaned and waterproofed (winterized) all my boots. And sharpened my skates. I'm preparing for the inevitable, which may or may not come this weekend. Snow flurries are predicted for Sunday. Only flurries, mind, so we probably won't be skiing anytime soon. But it's best to be prepared, don't you think?
|Farm fields along the Osgoode Trail|
What a crazy, crazy day Black Friday has become. Stores started opening earlier and earlier on Friday, the day after American Thanksgiving. Then even moving into the evening (and now the afternoon) of Thanksgiving Day itself. I guess the idea is for everyone to have a nice holiday, except retail workers. Huge crowds of people looking for deals queue for hours and hours. And for a few years things seemed out of control at many stores. There's the story of the Toys R Us shopper who threatened to shoot other shoppers when they protested her cutting into line. Or the story of a woman who, in what this article calls an "act of competitive shopping," pepper sprayed other shoppers to clear a path to the discounted X-boxes. Or most disturbing of all, the fact that, in 2008, a Walmart employee in a New York store was killed. According to this New York Times article, the temporary worker was fatally injured when a growing crowd of 2000 impatient shoppers banged on the glass, and pressed against the sliding doors until they bowed under the pressure and shattered, allowing the mob to flow into the building trampling several workers in their path. Okay, I won't go on. Except to say that it looks like retailers did eventually get the message. This NY Times article describes the elaborate safety and crowd calming strategies that many stores have designed to prevent other tragedies.
But... I have a fool proof method to stay safe and calm on Black Friday. One I've employed for years. And which I also use on Boxing Day. Stay home. Make a pot of tea. And curl up with a good book. I sound smug, don't I? But, you know folks, I can't think of anything that I want to buy that is worth hours and hours in any line-up.
|Late afternoon on the dam behind Watson's Mill, in Manotick|
And so what are those 'good books' of which I speak, you might be asking. Well, I've just finished Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. Enjoyed it. I'm currently reading Green Road by Anne Enright. Enjoying it, too... even if it is a bit dark. And when I'm finished, I have Christopher Brookmyre's Bred in the Bone waiting for me. I have a feeling that after Cleave's depiction of the siege of Malta and war-torn London, followed by Enright's dark and wonderful novel of Irish emigration, the AIDS crisis, and the despair of aid workers in Africa, among other things... I'll be well ready for a good murder mystery with some wry humour. Which I know is what Brookmyre will serve up.
|Sunset behind Watson's Mill in Manotick|
Now, back to those late season, late afternoon walks. For the past week, Hubby and I've been returning from our walk just as the evening chill settles in. Hubby will build a fire in the wood stove and, later, we'll settle down with a glass of wine, and dinner on our laps in front of the television. We've been spending quality time each evening in the fictional town of Market Shipborough where the charming BBC series starring Stephen Frye is set. I adore Stephen Frye. We borrowed all three seasons of Kingdom from the library, and have been utterly captivated by the series. It's gentle and quirky, well written and superbly acted. Kind of like Doc Martin, except with lawyers, and not in Cornwall.
|Stephen Frye in Kingdom|
But afterwards...well... there was a sunny late, late afternoon walk and one final episode of Kingdom to watch. So. Life is good, again.
I may have my boots winterized, my winter tires on, and my skates sharpened... but you can't prepare for every eventuality, can you? And, considering the season, I keep musing: Why would anyone put themselves through something as stressful and unnecessary as rushing to stand in a ginormous line to be able to save a few dollars in a Black Friday sale when everyday life provides quite enough diversion on its own?
I mean... seriously... I ask you.... why?
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate. And good luck to those of you who are braving the Black Friday sales.
So now.... it's your turn folks? Any seasonal musings you want to get off your chest? About approaching winter, crazy sales line-ups, or other everyday madness?
Linking up today with Saturday Share Link-up at Not Dressed As Lamb and Thursday Favourite Things at Katherine's Corner