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The Real New Year

I’ve spent most of my life as either a teacher or a student, so for me, September has always been the real beginning of a new year. January? Forget January. Nothing starts in January except diets, Christmas bill payments and the long wait for the sun to reappear.

September is a beautiful month here in Nova Scotia. The summer heat and humidity eases, the air is warm but fresh and the nights blessedly cool. In case you haven’t guessed, I don’t do well with hot temperatures (even what passes for hot in this part of the world – anything over 24 degrees Celsius or 85 Fahrenheit. I’m sure if I had to live in a tropical climate, I’d catch some weird disease and die.) By the end of the month, the leaves have turned and the sky is a clear, deep blue that we never see at any other time of year. I’m an April baby and I’d have to call spring my favourite season, but if we’re talking weather only, give me September and October.

I still feel a little thrill of satisfaction when I open a crisp new scribbler or notebook. I love wearing jeans and cosy sweaters. I love being able to use my oven without overheating the house, and while it always makes me a little sad to see the days growing shorter, I love the glow of a fire in the woodstove on nippy evenings. I bought a bag of the season’s first Gravenstein apples the other day, and I’ll be concocting a pie this week. A wedge of Gravenstein pie with a slice of sharp cheddar is sheer bliss.

It’s been a good summer. I started a new job in July, as education coordinator at a local Sylvan Learning Center, and I’m really enjoying it. Hubby’s brother came to visit in August with his eight-year-old daughter, and we had a wonderful time playing tourist along with them. I’ve played hooky from writing and blogging, reconnected with my guitar and spent a lot of time outside, recharging my batteries and clearing my mind. Now it’s time to sit down to that new, pristine page and fill it with possibilities. I’ve been doing a little work on my inspirational story, and Carl and Naomi are starting to prod me to get on with the sequel to Shattered. Today, I’m off to the first RWAC meeting since June – a great way to kick off the season, with the most enthusiastic and inspiring writers I know. Happy New Year everyone!

O WILD West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing…
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, O hear!



  1. Ann
    September 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Jennie, Your timing is perfect. I came to your blog yesterday to see what you had been up to.

    I have a love/hate relationship with fall. I love the season but hate the end of lazy summer days. Maybe your apple pie will change my mind.

    Enjoy your meeting.


  2. Michelle Helliwell
    September 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    We just went apple picking yesterday – beautiful! This is our best time of year 🙂

  3. Kevin
    September 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I graduated from high school in 1979 and I still feel a little thrill of satisfaction when NOT opening a crisp new scribbler or notebook! College was OK but I hated school.

    Fall is undoubtedly my favorite season – cool weather, a bowl of chili, baking powder biscuits (it’s always about the food), the smell of woodsmoke and wet leaves… and the camp!

  4. Jennie
    September 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Ann, when I was in a classroom full time I had the same love-hate relationship with fall. I hated saying goodbye to summer freedom, but now I work in the summer too, so it’s not quite the same.

    Kevin, I remember those days. And yes, it’s always about the food for me, too. Looking forward to your fall visit!

    Michelle, I’m going to get that pie made as soon as this heat breaks again. The house feels like a steam bath this morning – no baking happening today.