Summer this year sort of blended into Fall.
There was a brief flirtation with warm temperatures well into September but then Fall didn’t really arrive. Or she arrived, took a quick look around and then left faster than a woman who realizes she has walked into a boutique where she can’t afford a single thing.
And even Summer felt jilted because we spent much of it driving from one place to another, all while Alistair continued to travel to North Dakota and back on an unscheduled schedule that was the result of them losing one of the partners at his clinic in July.
Thankfully our wild Montana skies weren’t full of smoke this year so we do have that to be grateful for.
And maybe it wasn’t Fall who wanted to leave but, rather, Winter who wanted to come over early. It is only the first week in November and we have had three distinct snow events. Granted, the snow didn’t stick around the first two times and there isn’t much more than a couple of inches on the ground but it still feels a little early.
I read that Montana had one of its coldest Octobers on record last month.
I felt it on the golf course, for sure, but it didn’t stop me from getting out to whack at golf balls.
But then the golf course closed earlier than the past few years because it was too cold for everyone who didn’t have Norman with a heater inside to ride around in. Our North Dakota course had already closed down a couple of weeks beforehand.
We weren’t too bummed about our loss of ‘swing therapy’, though, because we knew we had another Hawaiian adventure to look forward to and now that we have returned to the mainland and Alistair is en route to Bismarck yet again, I can honestly say that Maui did not disappoint.
It had been a year since our Big Island getaway last November but once we checked in at the Grand Wailea we immediately relaxed and let the islands do their thing.
We played golf five hot afternoons in a row and enjoyed every round even if the “real feel” temp was in the mid-90s! We played with our friend, Barb, who is from Colorado and who is as addicted to the game as we both are.
It was fun to play on the 3 courses affiliated with our resort because we had never played on any of them until now. The annual veterinary conference I was attending held its tournament on the Emerald course so that’s the one we played the most.
Barb and I had even planned ahead and bought matching shorts for the tournament. While our team didn’t have low scores, everyone agreed we nailed it in the looks department!
With swaying palm trees, tasty mai tais, ocean views, birdies, pars and bogeys and amazing meals each day our minds were refreshed and our hearts got topped-off yet again with Aloha.
The conference was excellent and I learned a few things and reaffirmed a few others. I enjoy dermatology and find it a bit like being a super-sleuth… the skin only has a few ways to respond or react to things so you have to consider all sorts of differentials when presented with a red, scaly plaque on a non-itchy young dog.
I especially enjoyed Dr.Rankin’s talks in her lilting Scots accent. She rode us hard about using topical therapy versus oral antibiotics and shared some frightening information on new, resistant bugs hitting the veterinary world as well as the human world.
Practitioners in all fields have to think more creatively when it comes to prescribing antibiotics to animals and humans. Alistair gets crap a lot of the time when he doesn’t give someone the antibiotics they want for their viral cold. People write nasty letters telling his company that they saw a different doctor the next day after seeing Alistair and that new doc gave them their Z-pak. (By the way, Azithromycin concentrates in the pulmonary macrophages… those are in your lungs… your Z-pak isn’t indicated for your kid’s ear infection.) (I did a report on Azithromycin in vet school and its one of my pet peeves when I hear it being used willy nilly for things.)
(And, yes, Z-pak can be used for all sorts of things but my main point here is that you don’t need antibiotics all of the time.)
But now we are back to a snow-covered reality with the wood stove fired up once again for the winter season that feels like it is already here.
Its not actually super cold outside today but it was while we were on Maui.
I have our aging Springer, Cleopatra inside with me as I type. Her back legs aren’t getting the messages she is sending them a lot of the time and her vision is questionable. She can’t hear a single thing and she has Canine Cognitive Dysfunction but her tail wags every morning when her Daddy lets her out for piddles and her appetite is just fine.
Our house-sitter, Jessie, took excellent care of Cleo and our other furry companions and she shared in the silly laughter that ensues when one drags the ferrets around on a towel.
Cleo and I will go for a late afternoon walk soon before I start to think about focusing on my 5th Season.
The Writing Season.
Winter is primarily when I try to write. It began 6 years ago and I have my 3 books to show for it.
Last winter I had great plans for completing the 4th book in my Missing Lake series but it just didn’t pan out.
I came back from our 2018 Hawaiian trips with 2 real estate transactions on the go and another that began in December. I was still pretty new to the world of real estate and when I wasn’t moving snow from here to there or putting out potential transaction fires I found that I wasn’t able to relax and give my writing the focus and full attention it needed.
I managed to get into Chapter 8 in my currently untitled book but that’s as far as I got and before I knew it the golf course opened back up and our driving adventures and trips up to Canada began (along with a couple more real estate transactions.)
Today, though, I plan to get back into the Writing Season just as quickly as Summer, Fall and Winter have jockeyed for positions this year.
I intend to review the chapters I have written and hopefully this week I will actually continue to progress. My main character, Luke has a lot on his plate and he and his friends are having to grow up rather quickly thanks to an in-classroom event they all shared. And that’s just the stuff Luke can talk about with his friends. None of them can know about the dragons. The dragons have their own stuff going on as well, not to mention the two young ones to raise.
I found myself drifting over possibilities for my characters while I was staring at the crashing waves rolling in over one another on Maui. As busy as we were with golf and my conference I still managed to carve out some time for contemplation here and there and I’m ready to write.
And we didn’t just play golf on Maui.
We returned to the Ali’i Kula Lavender farm part-way up the dormant volcano, Haleakala not only to purchase some of their amazing lavender honey but also to spend an afternoon surrounded by colorful, unique flora & fauna that we don’t get to see in our Montana and North Dakota landscapes.
I’m so glad we got to refresh and recharge together on a remarkably sunny island with great seafood in our bellies, golf clubs in our hands and martinis and wine glasses on our lanai at night.
I’m excited to take my readers on their own break from reality soon, too, as I let myself get going on that 4th book. Stay tuned. Its time for the season to change…