Thursday, November 5, 2015
Downers of Fall
This fall's "false fire" (thank you, Hamlet, for that happy phrase)--the warm temperatures, the blue skies--has allowed Joyce and me to be a little more dilatory about doing our dreaded Fall Chores (i.e., those preparing the house for winter).
Usually, we wait a bit too long (hope! hope! hope!) and find ourselves on an uncomfortably cool day running around doing those things we should have done on a more human-friendly day. But this fall has been different.
A few weeks ago, we did the storm doors (and, of course, have regretted it the past few days when Nature has sighed, "Why didn't you trust me?").
And just today we lugged in the porch furniture, including the porch swing out front, the swing I did not use a single time this year. (Never was much of a swinger, I guess.)
Also today--we shut down the water to the two outside faucets, brought in the hoses.
Just one task remains, the one I hate the most every fall, not because it's difficult physically (it isn't) but because it exacts, every year, a greater and greater psychological toll on me--taking my bicycle down to the basement, where it will wait till spring and its annual trip to Eddy's in Stow to get its annual checkup.
Last fall I was especially sad. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to ride it this year. The reason is this damned vertigo (mild) that I've been experiencing--yet another gift from Age. (The fluid in the inner ear thickens as we get older, etc.) I have to be very careful now, changing positions (standing up, for example), descending and ascending stairs, changing my speed when I'm walking. I've fallen a few times (nothing damaging--but annoying nonetheless)
So--this past spring when I dragged the bike out of the basement and took it to Eddy's, I was thinking that I'd give it a little test ride around the parking lot of the funeral home next door (appropriate location, don't you think?), and if I had any balance issues, I'd put a note on Facebook: Want a free bike? Come and get it! And my sixty-some years of cycling would be done.
But the ride produced no problems (I was shocked), and I've ridden almost every day this summer, usually an afternoon run down to Starbucks (a mile away?) or to the Post Office (between our house and Starbucks) or to Mickey's Barbershop (ditto).
I've learned that I do need to be careful when I have to stop. A couple of times this summer (both times as I arrived at Starbucks, by the way), I took a minor, 1-mph, tumble when I wasn't concentrating sufficiently on how I need to slow and dismount. Nothing hurt but my pride. I felt like that little kid in Amarillo, Tex., 1953, riding a two-wheeler for the first time, learned the hard way about how to stop.
But I wonder now about next year and the bike. I've noticed that my vertigo is no better after the summer--perhaps even a little worse.
I guess I'll have to employ the Funeral Home Test again next year.
On a note of humility. After waxing nostalgic (see above), after waxing Shakespearean about this fall's lingering lovely weather (see above), I checked last year's journal: Joyce and I did all our winterizing tasks last year on ... November 9. But I checked a weather site: Nov. 9, 2014, had a high of 50 around here, so it was quite a bit cooler. So ... I'm not totally wrong!