Fall anew

It’s definitely autumn in New York again as the temperatures have started dipping into sweater weather.  I almost wore a coat but I’m glad I didn’t put one on, because we’re still on the cusp of saying goodbye to summer and embracing the next season of fall.

What’s more, September is quickly slipping by.  I was just writing about greeting the “ber” months, and here we go with saying goodbye to the first of the series.  Having come from a country whose seasons are divided into “wet” and “dry”, the so-called “ber” months (months ending in September) are supposed to signal the start of the colder season which isn’t really cold — just cooler.  It’s also the start of the holiday season which, in Manila, is basically Christmas for everyone.

Here in New York, September essentially signals the start of what is actually the last full season of the year: autumn or fall.  Although some people would argue that spring is the most spectacular season visually, I beg to disagree and vote for fall as the most dramatic of all.  It’s the time when Mother Nature puts on a very dramatic display of changing colors that can flit from one color to the next from day to day.  Before you know it, the trees are bare and winter is here.

School has also started.  I’m trying hard to train my new middle schooler to work on his homework more diligently and in a more organized fashion.  As a working mom, it’s hard for me to try and do this from the moment he comes home to the time I walk in the door.  We had gotten into the habit of him calling me when he walks into the house — and for a time we did homework partly by phone.  As an 11 year old now, I’m trying to train him to do his homework on his own, with me chiming in for the more complicated tasks.

I guess he is still hung over from summer.  The volume and quality of the homework is also something he is still getting used to.  Still, we have a lot he and I have to get used to from this point forward, not just because he’s advancing in school but because life, in general, is giving us more to handle.

I am trying to get my bearing straight again — and while I have made a lot of progress, I am far from getting there.  There are days when I try to tell myself I’m functioning, I’m able to get up in the morning and go to work and go through the day and go back home and be a mom.  And yet I often find myself feeling like I’m functioning at less than half my usual self.

I have at least two questions posed to me at pinaynewyorker @ gmail dot com that needs answering, and yes, I have not forgotten.  I have several projects in the works, but the only one which has really seen any progress is the afghan I’m crochetting for my new-mom friend, Laine Laine.

Over the weekend, I continued to clean out my closet, sorting out the bigger sizes.  There were several pieces I hadn’t even worn from last year, mostly because I needed to work on the pants’ cuffs, and while I thought I could make them work with a belt now that I’m almost two sizes smaller, they would’ve been too obvious as being a bigger size and not flattering to wear at all.  So off they went to the “to give away” bin.  I already organized my cardigans, sweaters and scarves.  At least I am making progress in letting go of the things I hope I will NEVER have to wear again.  Those pieces that I had a hard time parting with were easier to throw away after I put them on and saw for myself how much bigger they were now that I have lost some weight.  Someone else back home can make better use of them for sure.

I was going to write about “letting go” in a different sense, but that’s another blog post altogether.  Inspiration from one of my journal entries as I wrote one this afternoon after a long lull.  I didn’t mean to pause in the blogging this long.  I thought I was doing good — but the nine days that lapsed between this and the previous post leaves much to be desired.  I have to remind myself I’ve been trying.  And I WILL keep trying.

 

 

 

The Last Blooms of Summer

Saturday evening and it’s minutes to midnight (again). I’m ready to head off to la-la land and I’m looking at a rather early start tomorrow. First day of Sunday school. So I guess sleeping in is not an option. Well, I can always take a nap in the afternoon. That’s tomorrow.

I took these pictures last week as an ode to the end of summer. It’s gotten chilly and I’m getting my fabric scarves washed and ready, and I have to start prepping the fall gear. Summer over? You bet it is.

The days are shorter… the mornings are nippy. And the trees are no longer as deep a green as they are in the thick of summer.

Last blooms of summer

The work calendar also tells me that the days are moving faster now, as if we had picked up the pace and started walking briskly to the end of another year. And the “ber” months are here. In the Philippines, Christmas begins when September comes.. we have one of the longest holiday seasons in the world. But that’s looking forward to what’s yet to come… my favorite time of the year: Christmas.

Last blooms of summer

I almost hate myself for having forgotten my Auntie Lydia’s birthday. My dear, dear Auntie Lydia who was like a second mother to me. She passed over 20 years ago, but she was such a part of my life that even after all these years, I miss her dearly.

And the end of August was also my older brother’s birthday. He who is the one I never knew but whose absence in my life creates a vacuum so big that I had to steer clear of writing about him this year. July and August have been very heavy remembering emotional losses. September, I hope, will bring a renewal of spirit and hope.

Last blooms of summer

I’m trying not to stress out about the fact that the boy is asking me what we have planned tomorrow. The truth is, I don’t really have a plan. It’s just him and me for the next couple of days, including the school opening for New York on Monday.

I thought I’d avoid the stress of knowing I had to rush to work after being late by taking the mornings off. This way I can rest between the walk to and from school before heading in the opposite direction to take the bus to Manhattan.

I can’t believe he’s now entering the fourth grade. =) Typing that made me smile. My boy is another year older, and when people ask me how old he is, I proudly say “9 going on 19.” I almost don’t want to see him grow up so fast, and yet I marvel at the person he’s become.

He’s worried he might be asked to recite the Apostle’s Creed tomorrow and I had to reassure him it was just an orientation. Every possibility I had offered him doesn’t sound appealing, it seems, more so because it would mean taking the bus, local or express. I even offered him a trip to the city after we fed his grandma and then we can take a peek into our favorite museum or just see what’s happening in Manhattan. He said no. We were in Bay Terrace earlier, a shopping complex almost like Greenhills in a smaller scale, and I offered to go back there, but he said no again.

I wouldn’t mind just walking to the corner and checking out the dollar store. I have chores to finish at home.

We’ll see how our Sunday shapes up — as we start getting ready to greet Autumn and say goodbye to summer.

Spring as it unfolds

Spring 2013: The tree by PS213

One thing that has always had me in awe year in and year out since I moved to this side of the world is how dramatic Mother Nature’s changing of the seasons happens.  Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall — each season is marked by very pronounced changes that serves as a reminder that time will stop for no one.

Even as the trees shed their blooms, the carpet of petals that gather on the ground directly under it is yet another statement of constant change.

Twenty minutes to midnight and I can hear my boy snoring ever so lightly.  He’s a big boy and has always been a big boy.  When he was a baby, my mother used to get worried that his snoring might not be normal.  (Apparently, none of my siblings nor I snored when we were younger.)  The doctor assured me it was normal.  Besides, it wasn’t a real snore — you could just hear him breathing more audibly.

I can’t believe we’re halfway through May now.  Spring has taken a step back yet again with our temperatures dipping to 40.  I wish the weather would make up its mind temperature-wise.  I felt the heater and it’s on again.  And to think I was getting ready to wear my summer clothes already.  I guess not yet.

I spent the weekend creating necklaces — for myself.  I managed to finish five necklaces in all — including the one for Lou and a friend.  I revised the necklace for Lou to have a pendant of Our Lady of Lourdes as its focal point.  I made one for another friend who is a devotee of Our Lady of Guadalupe.   I have been on a creative streak, yet I have managed to botch up my necklace for the wedding this weekend.  I had initially bought 4 strands of gorgeous pearls and bought an additional 2 strands last Friday, but when I put them side-by-side, they were of different shades.  I will go and check out which shade has additional strands I can get to complete 6 strands in all.

The good news is I might eventually get the chance to do a photowalk through Bryant Park — maybe tomorrow on the way to my pearl supplier =)  I actually did manage to stop and take some macro shots of tulips that had already bloomed and opened.  There’s more in the park.  Tomorrow, it is!

There will never be another time

Spring Pink

This is part of the gorgeous curtain of flowers now covering one side of our courtyard.  Every day on my way out to the bus stop, I take a moment to snap a picture, and there are marked changed each and every day since the buds sprouted and now that the flowers are in full bloom.

I remember seasons past when I would be hurrying through the walkway, muttering to myself a reminder to take a picture “later”.  Of course, by the time “later” came, the scene I wanted to snap a picture of earlier is already gone.  It’s a truly awesome portrait painted by nature.  I mean to post the pictures of the stages of its flowering and shedding but I want to wait until the flowers start to fall to the ground as they are wont to.  When I have the full set, I will post it here and share the wonders of spring.

Already, gorgeous clusters of blooms have sprouted from Monday’s buds.  I will take yet another set of shots tomorrow.

It’s just another reminder that life slips by so fast.  There really is no such thing as “another time”.  There will never be another time — it just goes and goes.  You let it slip by and it’s gone.

I’m taking a break tonight after working on my folk tale journal earlier during breaks at work.  It feels good not to be running after a deadline.  I do have a deadline, though.  But I’ve been given a reprieve.

So I’m taking a moment to enjoy the flowers.  Even the tulips in Bryant Park are now abloom.  Perfect time to snap away, but life has been hectic at work, and there was so much activity with May Day here in NYC — demonstrators filled the park and the sidewalks and surroundings were awash in blue.  All those cops around made me hear the theme song of  “Blue Bloods” in a loop in my head.

Maybe tomorrow.  (There I go again, falling prey to that trap of thinking “there will be another time”.)

It’s been a while since I last went on my macro-flora photo walks.   I have to get to it soon or I’ll lose out.  Tomorrow, it is!