A change of pace …

I have not found my way in this strange new place. Moving uproots and undoes our known world, turning us in circles.

I dream of the city, the country side, and while fall colors dance in my head, I regress to another time. Instead of struggling against the winds of change, I bring you snippets from Sunset Park and Apple Picking Time.

Images have been taken from commons/free photography, two closed Brooklyn blogs, the NYS Department of Tourism, and my daughter, Jen G.

The seasons turn, and turn again.

Jen G. Photography

Time cannot be measured between the last days of innocence and the insinuation of adulthood.

Nor can anyone explain or remember where the shortest moments of their life, their childhood, vanished, or when they ceased to believe in magic.

Do you still believe in the magic of the changing seasons? Can  you remember the excitement each new autumn day brought?

The kids from Sunset Park scattered. Some of them walked up the long hills and were never heard from again, many married young, birthing and raising a new generation.

It was a fresh start as the kids and their parents threw off the remnants of the yesterdays that defined them and embraced a vision of a tomorrow they waited to realize.


Autumn in Sunset Park

Antoinette and her family moved to the neighborhood of Bay Ridge and met new challenges. For those who grew up in the surrounding area, the incredible vistas from a seven and a half mile bike path along Shore Parkway, adjacent to the Brooklyn Narrows, spanned these changing times.

It was in the ebb and flow of the waters, in the endless stream of people and traffic, the change began to define itself.

Dancing to another beat, both parents and children had yet to learn, eventually everything old is new again.

Shore Parkway Bike Path

The other dominating images of my childhood came from the summer and fall drives to my mother’s family in the sleepy town of Poughkeepsie. Snuggled in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie is the “seat” of Duchess County, New York.

NYS Department of Tourism

Monica pointed the car north on Route 9 and headed for Dutchess where there were dozens of farms, farmer’s markets, roadside stands, dozens of apple picking orchards and best of all, Rinehart’s.

Along the river, Dutchess County began in the town of Beacon and traveled north along the river to Annadale-on-the-Hudson and the last before Columbia Country, the quaint town of Tivoli.

She inhaled the wonderful fragrances and became lost in the glorious scenery of leaves turning gold, bronze and red, brushed against the canvas of blue skies, the slate blue of the river, and stretched as far east as the towns bordering Connecticut.

Monica followed the map off the interstate and drove the station wagon through quiet back roads dotted with farms and white picket fences framed with round mums and zinnias in an array of fall colors.

…     The station wagon filled with the amazing scents of apple picking in the valley, Monica gave out seat assignments. The ten and eleven year olds squeezed between bushels of apples and pumpkins. The nine year old and the tomatoes shared the back seat with the twins, the baby and the corn. A pie on his lap, the eldest shared the front seat with Monica and the rest of the tomatoes. 

Twenty minutes from the house, everyone woke and the car exploded with the usual frenzy of kids shouting and music blaring. The baby, fed up with the entire event, spent the last fifteen minutes crying while the twins made funny faces to make her laugh.

Monica was in heaven.

Apple trees are short, fat, and easy to climb. I remember the fun of rolling in a pumpkin patch and plucking apples off low hanging branches. We filled a dozen bushels of Rome “beauties,” Courtland, Granny Smith, and the tangy Macs … and when all mixed together these combinations of flavors make the best pies you have ever eaten.

Our Canadian neighbors have already celebrated their Thanksgiving, ours yet to come the third Thursday of November. Apples, pumpkins, driving down a country road, and the cooler breezes … all conspire to carry me back.

“Fall back,” a change of seasons and a time nature begins to prepare for her long winter’s rest.

As I celebrate the season of my birth, I try to acclimate to my new surroundings and begin to find the rhythm of this new season of my life.

How do you celebrate the changing season?

Do you have a special place where you can enjoy the colors of autumn, the promise of new times?

fOIS In The City



Filed under Bleeps, Blooper and Outtakes

30 responses to “A change of pace …

  1. Autumn is my favorite season, and I live in an area of big sky and changing colors. A small marker of the season — arrival in the mail of the flyer for birdseed on sale at Agway in Eighty-Four, PA .


  2. Of all the things I miss about my home state of Pennsylvania, the smell and feel of autumn ranks near the top of the list. That’s why my financial plans include building a small cottage on a small wooded lot in Morrison’s Cove, PA. — the tap root of my wonky tree.

    Beautifully written, Florence. I L-O-V-E-D the image of kids crammed into the car with the fruits and vegetables. With five girls — we have “been there, done that.”

    Here’s to you finding your new rhythm and enjoying you new abode.


    • Yes, Gloria … the thing I miss the most living down south is the change of seasons. My fav has always been the colors of fall and I long to drive along the road heading for the mountains !!

      I can see you and your sisters crammed into that car 🙂


  3. Stress my my copyedits, and learning curve for the new iPhoto and this is just what I needed. thanks


  4. It’s a great time for riding my horse on the trails in the Oakland hills – the heat of summer dissipates and my horse keeps me warm while I straddle his big barrel of a tummy.


  5. christicorbett


    Fall is my favorite season of the year. Sweaters not coats, crisp leaves pile up and become perfect for kicking through, and warm apple cider.

    Great post!

    Christi Corbett

    PS. Love seeing the Monica story here!


    • Christi, some of my fondest memories are from those apple orchards and my aunt warming fresh squeezed apple cider for me to have with our supper that same evening !! Enjoy kicking up the leaves with the kids. Glad you liked Monica … she is a story I have yet to finish 🙂


  6. annerallen

    As a New Englander transplanted to California, I totally related. Every autumn, I start to feel that pull to travel back “home” even though I don’t have family back there any more. Love Gen’s photos of the maple leaves on the sidewalk. That evokes so much.


    • Anne, each autumn my husband’s family would take trips through New England … the colors unforgetable!! My daughter seems to have a thing for shooting “down” to the ground … glad you liked her leaves 🙂


  7. I so love autumn, with the vibrant colors. It’s also the time of year that I met my husband more than 30 years ago now. In fact we’re going back to Virginia next week to the place we met to spend a week. The trees should be lovely there, too! Nice post!


    • Romance and autumn colors … how special that must be for you, Betty. What I enjoyed was the drives … lucky I was the passenger and could spend all my time with my head out the window!! Romance that lasted over 30 years … a celebration for the heart 🙂


  8. How I love your descriptions, Florence. Our Canada Thanksgiving is over and today was our first snowfall. Thankfully the snow didn’t stick around. I was still enjoying the autumn season. 🙂


  9. Florence – The days are getting shorter and I’m in a hurry for consistent cooler days and nights. I spent the afternoon in the gardens preparing for the coming winter. I love the cooler weather. Our summer has been brutal this year. There’s hours and hours of work to do in the gardens–but that’s what makes them special. For your blog today, I ordered up a cup of Pumpkin Spice Tea.


    • Sheri, I can close my eyes and imagine you puttering in your garden, and yes, the cooler weather even down south, is a welcome change. I would love to curl by an open fire and toast to you with a cupper of Pumpkin Spice tea … think of me 🙂


  10. Lovely post Florence 🙂

    Autumn is my favourite season too!



  11. There’s a hint of fall in the air. After our long, hot, dry summers here in the Sierra Foothills of California, I welcome the changes taking place. I look forward to our church’s Harvest Festival, when I’m the “fish” inside the fishing booth, giving out fun dollar store prizes I had fun picking out.


  12. Keli, I am thrilled each time you describe where you live. I try to imagine how spectacular it must be … even the sound of it makes me think of nature’s wonder. Sounds like the Harvest Festival will be a real hoot … and dollar store prizes 🙂


  13. Once again a lovely post and a great question. With a family that used to live close and was very large I grew up in a climate that had supposedly 4 seasons. Fall was heralded by harvesting abundant crops, the leaves changing on the trees and Labor Day which always meant school starting–even as an adult as I taught.

    Winter came with Thanksgiving and family gathering for the day.

    Spring (if we had one really–most Wisconsinites think we go from winter to summer) but again arrived with St. Patrick’s Day (yes, we’re Irish) and family gathering to celebrate. If winter was still with us, then gathering for Easter Sunday dinner–again with the big family–meant spring was here.

    Summer arrived when school was out. Not before though sometimes summer heat arrived before the last day of school. That was bad.

    Fall and winter are my favorite seasons.


    • Casey, thanks so much for sharing those great family moments. I am partial to fall and what I call the “fifth” season … the Holidays … from our Thanksgiving to Little Christmas on January 6th, I am in heaven. Because we lived downstate NY we didn’t get as much snow as our northern neighbors, but I still remember the magic of the first snow fall.

      Now I live in a climate where we have variations of summers, cooler in the winter, but still sub-tropical. I always miss the colors and the snow and most of all I miss NY at Christmas time 🙂


  14. You are going to think this comment is totally random. I listened to a podcast the other day where the speaker on a Ted Talks spoke on food and the importance of diversity and crops, etc. It was interesting. Really.

    He said that all those apples were named after family farms. So, back in the day if you had an apple orchard, your apples would be a Fois apple. Today, if you look at a list of which apple variety is still around, the list is limited. Many apple varieties are extinct.

    Sorry for the RANDOM thought. 🙂 Loved your post.


    • Brinda, I always wondered about Granny Smith, but that is interesting to know … that all the names were from the original orchards a long time ago. And BTW, I love random thoughts and learning new facts about stuff I so enjoy … and apple picking has always been one of them 🙂


  15. Hi, Florence! When we’ve been uprooted, it makes sense to seek our roots. I, too, long for the fall colors that blaze in my memories.


    • Been hibernating all week, Pat. Thanks for the visit … those blazing colors are the most vibrant. A time when nature is preparing to sleep … nature’s way of reminding us she still have a lot of life left in her 🙂


  16. Well, where I live in SW Florida we only have 2 seasons: sunny and rainy:-) I rather like staying away from the cold and near the water, but when I get the itch, I visit family in GA, N. Carolina, or Michigan. I’m convinced that where my sisters live in Ashville is the best place to view Fall!


    • Jamie, on my list of places to see in the US, Ashville is in the top ten … the merging of two mountain ranges must surround your sister is amazing colors this time of year. Thanks for the visit 🙂


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