Changing Seasons

Remember me?

I’m shocked to discover it’s been over 4 months since I was last here sharing my thoughts with you. Time flies when you’re hiding at home during a pandemic.

I haven’t been doing anything particularly special, but every weekend I continue to hit the trails with son #2. It’s been a little bit of normal in a life that’s felt anything but normal over the past year.

It was a decent winter here in the land of seemingly perpetual lockdown – not too cold, and not too much snow – but March was most extraordinary. I don’t recall a previous March when we didn’t have at least one snowstorm.

This year – nada.

It’s a miracle, I say.

The escarpment at Mount Nemo is 900 feet (274 metres) high. Ice grippers were definitely a requirement if one expected to stay on top of the escarpment!
Ummm – I don’t really want to climb down the slippery rock to join you. Let’s turn around here.

Normally a temperamental month, this year March sent us teasingly-mild temperatures and the welcome promise of an early spring.

Knowing how to dress for spring hiking can be a bit confusing.
Bye-bye ice grippers. Your work is now done for another year.

On mornings when I would rather have stayed in bed, I dragged my reluctant body out the door for what was always a welcome dose of forest therapy.

Fresh air, trees, and good company are priceless. However, the pandemic forced a change in hiking company, and while I’ve spent the past 8 years hiking with peers, the hours spent with my youngest offspring have been quite different.

For one thing, I discovered that the little boy, who once loved to climb anything and everything, is now a grown man who still loves to climb everything and anything.

… but the biggest revelation of all has been what I’ve learned about parenthood.

We spend years trying to guide our children into adulthood, only to discover one day that the tables are turning and our children are now starting to teach us … offering us insights and perspectives we hadn’t considered.

Yes, the seasons are changing – in more ways than one.

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This post was inspired by the monthly photo challenge called Changing Seasons hosted by Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch.

62 comments

  1. Lovely to see you here Joanne. Wonderful that you have had this special time with Misha. I smiled at how the seasons change. We noticed this too as the pandemic struck. Suddenly our adult children were fluttering about offering to go grocery shopping, do errands. It’s heartwarming and shocking all at once. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sue – it’s so nice to hear from you, my friend! It’s been a long strange year indeed. As much as it really rattled me to turn 65 a few weeks ago, I’ve repeatedly thought how grateful I am not to be managing a house full of small children during this pandemic … or worse! Teenagers! 😏

      In the grand scheme of things, I’ve been lucky – no where I needed to be, and plenty of interests to keep me occupied. Hopefully our vaccine rollout will pick up steam and we’ll be looking at a more normal life again. In the meantime, Toronto is will wrapped in a never-ending lockdown. I’m not even sure I know what β€˜normal’ is anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There you are!! It’s great to see you here. You’ve been missed. I’m happy to read that you and your son are still hiking together. It’s bittersweet realizing they’re becoming so wise that they are teaching us things isn’t it?!! πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree! Ice grippers are required! I learned it the hard way, I slipped and a branch cut my hand, I had to finish the trail dripping blood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you & Misha are enjoying this time together, a gift in the midst of all of this chaos. Lord knows we could all use a little positive these days! Enjoy these precious moments together my friend πŸ’•

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    • Thanks Lynn. So sorry for such a late reply. I’ve fallen out of practice with the discipline of managing comments on a blog 😏

      I admit to being on a bit of an emotional roller coaster lately … especially after we were thrown back into a province-wide lockdown last week.
      I think I’m one of those who is handling this pandemic rather well, so if I can feel like I’ve been gut-kicked, I can imagine how difficult it has been for so many people.

      … but it’s amazing how a few hours in nature can reset the balance!

      Like

    • I don’t know how many more weeks we have of hiking before bug season rolls in. That’s when my enthusiasm for hiking plummets. I lose all the joy of being outdoors when I become a walking buffet. For now, I will enjoy every minute while I can.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I admit that I take the ‘trust, but verify’ approach to using ice grippers … especially on descents. I feel pretty confident on flats, and even climbing isn’t bad, but steep descents make me nervous at the best of times!!

      We’ve been enjoying an early and mild spring this year which is making hiking quite different now. We have navigated the mud season, and now we’re in the middle of that sweet spot before the bugs descend upon us and make hiking miserable.

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  5. I woke this morning to receive a notification of your blog post. And as usual, it is beautifully written and presented. You haven’t lost it. Thank you Joanne.

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  6. Wonderful to see you back Joanne. This is such a beautiful response to the idea of changing seasons. Great to see you and your son out hiking; hope the coming months bring clement weather and lots more opportunities.

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    • Thanks Su. Changing Seasons is easily my favourite blogging challenge and I have many abandoned posts on this topic. I’m actually relieved that one finally got published. Hopefully this has broken the blockage I’ve been feeling for the past year in trying to blog again.

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  7. Joanne! Sooo good to hear from you. Not so quick with putting away the ice-grippers. Just today a strong snowfall hit Slovenia and buried all the lovely spring blossoms unfolding. I do hope ice is not far behind. Extremely well done, you two, I have never even seen ice-grippers from close. I’m always glad when you post. Happy weekend hikes!

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    • Hi Manja! It’s so nice to hear from you!

      I admit I’m a little afraid that a nasty surprise could hit us. But the past month has been so extraordinarily warm, I have my fingers crossed that winter is behind us.
      Is there worry that the fruit trees might be badly affected by the snow in Slovenia? That’s what happens here when we have a long period of warm spring weather followed by a bad snowstorm. The farmers get hurt.

      I suspected that some people might not be familiar with ice grippers and that’s why I took a photo πŸ™‚

      Stay well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So happy to see your post link in my inbox! And, such a lovely post it is. You are so fortunate to have a son who enjoys hiking with his mom (I don’t have kids, as you know, but I imagine that’s rather rare). You taught him well and I bet he is enjoying returning the favor. Hike on, my friend!

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  9. How lovely to see you again still enjoying those hikes with your son. I admire you getting out and about in that weather and I am also envious that you have a son who lives so close to you! Wonderful photos and a lovely written post.
    Jude xx

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    • Misha’s been back in Toronto for 3 years now, and I’m so grateful that he is. I get to see much more of him than I ever did. Ironically, that’s been a bit of a silver lining in this whole pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s nice that something good can be found in these disturbing times. I am so over all the rules and regulations that are forever changing. I am of the thought that if we stayed in lockdown just one more month we could get to such low transmissions that they could be traced more easily. But with things opening up I fear cases will surge again over the summer, like last year. We never seem to hear anything about other countries now either. All becoming very insular.

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        • Feelings here are also angry and frustrated. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I’m retired, I don’t have to go anywhere or take care of anyone, and I have many hobbies and interests to keep me occupied.

          Others aren’t so fortunate … especially those who have no choice but to go to outside the home to work which puts them at higher risk. There is so much public anger that these people aren’t being given priority status for the vaccine … and it’s these people who are bearing the brunt of the 3rd wave of infections here πŸ˜•

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Good to see how people have found ways to thrive during Covid. Our daughter and her dog have been coming out to the country to visit us once a week and to work in our wood working shop. It has been a good dose of sanity for all of us.

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    • It’s funny how these small, seemingly insignificant actions are making such a big difference in our lives. What started off as a simple thing to break the monotony/loneliness turns out to be so much bigger. I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there somewhere πŸ™‚

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  11. Joanne! Welcome back!

    It’s interesting how the pandemic has changed the way we do life (temporarily) and in your case, it did my heart good to see you out and about with your youngest, hiking on the trails. It was a warm March here, as well, save for a few days here and there when winter tried to make a comeback. I’ve been on the bike four times already while in past years, I have been lucky to do so by mid April. I’m wondering now if summer is going to be unusually warm as well. Keep enjoying your weekends with the young’un and if he has any cool words of youth and wisdom, be sure to share them here. πŸ™‚

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    • hahaha!!! That’s a great idea. I should start to capture the Misha-isms πŸ™‚

      Probably my favourite right now is one day when we were navigating a particularly difficult section of trail, I invoked the No Dying Rule as a reminder to be careful. He shot back that he found it odd that our family had a No Dying Rule yet we routinely engaged in activities that put us at high risk of getting seriously injured.

      “What does that say about us?” he asked. The answer to this question could be either very glib, or deeply reflective. It triggered a conversation on the weekend over cocktails about what ‘death by misadventure’ meant to us. Perhaps we are a rather odd family 😏

      I’ve been outdoors on my bike only twice so far … which is actually 2 times more than all of last year, so I think I’m ahead πŸ™‚

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      • You have a risk-taking family, Joanne, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You are all out to explore, have fun and enjoy life by going out on a limb or tackling difficult death-defying trails. I often thought about how fun it would be to one day meet up with you and go for a bike ride or hike, but I’m having second thoughts. Maybe cocktails on the patio would be a better choice. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

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  12. Hey Joanne! Good to see you out and about–in nature AND the blogosphere! I’m always in awe of anyone who gets out in the cold and hikes and am particularly impressed when I see those hiking boot spikes. Not a part of my world AT ALL! But good for you for getting out and making it a regular part of your life and for enjoying your time with your son. ~Kathy

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    • Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this comment, Kathy. I’m not sure how I manage to be so busy all of the time 😏

      Yes, our worlds are quite different … especially in the winter months. I looked at photos of you cycling and could only sigh. I’m more than happy to now be exchanging my ice grippers for my bike shoes and helmet πŸ™‚

      Like

    • All that ice we were navigating has now been replaced with mud … which can be just as slippery and treacherous. But mud is still a move in the right direction!

      Hope you are all settled into your new home now … and more importantly, the cats are settled!!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I was in the middle of writing you an email, Joanne, when I saw your post appear in my inbox. A nice surprise! I am happy to read how you and your son have continued your weekly hikes. You make a great point about the ice grippers and staying upright. I love your phrase β€œforest therapy” and I will carry that thought with me on today’s hike. Time together with your β€œlittle boy”. Priceless!
    And, yes, the tables are turning. Another indication you are a wonderful Mother, Joanne.πŸ’• And, I suspect they still appreciate our Mothering. Thank you for sharing a beautiful post in many ways. Loved the photos!πŸ’•

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    • If only you had seen the guys’ reaction to the Easter eggs they got on the weekend, you would appreciate how apropos your Mothering comment was … adults or not, they are still children πŸ˜†

      I highly recommend forest therapy. It’s my happy place πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s sooooo good to see a post from you in my inbox, Joanne!

    I’m glad you’ve been hiking, and I totally understand the inversion that happens when children turn the tables on us and start teaching us new tricks. Or, when they start saying things like “be careful” and “call me when you get home.”

    We had a colder and snowier than normal February, but March was a mix of alternating warm and cold weeks. We did see some snow, but nothing that lasted very long on the ground.

    I hope you keep enjoying the outdoors and I hope you share some of your journeys with us.

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    • Hahahaha!! That’s funny! I haven’t had any of those comments yet, but I imagine it’s going to come eventually. I suspect that right now they still view us as somewhat indestructible.

      I’m glad I finally got to the ‘published’ part of a post. Maybe this is the start of a new trend for me πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Joanne–I have missed you, so was very happy to see this in my Inbox. Isn’t it funny how the tables turn and they teach us? I like to think it means we have done our job well.

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    • Thank you, Lois. I’ve actually missed being here, but I guess this whole pandemic thing has been messing with my ability to use words 😏

      I still marvel at the fact that our adult children like to spend time with us. If that isn’t the ultimate compliment, I don’t know what is ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

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