By Marvin Druger
Summer was over. Fall was on the way and then winter.
I sat in a swinging chair on the deck of my house overlooking Owasco Lake. It was a beautiful day. I felt the warmth of the sun on my face, but the chill of September was in the air.
It was very quiet and I simply looked at the surroundings. What did I see? Green trees and houses stood silently on the opposite side of the lake. The water had ripples that sparkled in the sun. Birds flew above the water and ducks floated on the surface. The boat dock extended into the water. It would be dismantled before winter arrived.
On the grassy lawn near the water, the hummingbird feeder beckoned, but no hummingbirds could be seen. The grass and leaves were still green, but some grass had turned brown and some leaves had fallen from the trees. Some flowers had disappeared, but others persisted.
There seemed to be a surge of life. Ants were very active and they rushed around looking for food and water. The air had a feeling of desperate tranquility, as everything prepared for the new season ahead. Chairs and tables were put in the garage for storage. My hammock overlooking the lake was put away. Everything in sight was trimmed and cleaned. The world seemed poised for change.
My mind drifted to the memory of when my dear, deceased wife, Pat, and I bought the house on Owasco Lake.
At first, Pat wanted to rent a small apartment in Manhattan. She liked one on the 20th floor of an apartment building. It was tiny and a bed folded out from the bedroom wall. The traffic noise from the street below was annoying and the rent was exorbitant, but I said nothing. The fee for the doorman was almost as much as the rent. That night, in bed, I courageously said, “I don’t think this is a good idea.” There was a moment of silence. Then, Pat said, “I agree.” Whew!
Then, we started looking for a house on a lake in Upstate New York. Many of the houses on Cayuga Lake were seasonal cottages, so we turned our search to Owasco Lake. We had a long day of driving around and looking at houses. On our way back to Syracuse, I spotted a sign, “House for Sale.”
The owner kindly let us in to show us the house. Everything inside was colored pink. The owner had a small dog and my daughter asked, “Does the dog come with the house?” I was immediately impressed by a large porch with a closed-in area (no bugs), and a small den that overlooked the lake. It was a cold, blustery day, yet, there was no sign of the bad weather inside the house. The house was extremely well-insulated. I knew then that this was the house for us. We made an offer and bought the house. We became the caretakers of this paradise on the lake. This was a big step forward from the small, cockroach and mouse-infested apartment in Brooklyn, New York, where I lived as a child with my mother and father, sister, and two brothers.
My mind returned to thinking about changing seasons at the lake. I have been through this change of seasons many times. Each time there is a joyful sadness. Summer is over, but, happily, it will return next year. Summer is warm, green, flowery and pleasant. Winter has its virtues. I like the cold, the snow, the coziness of sitting near a fireplace, and the eerie quietness. How many more changes of season will there be? We know that there is an end to experiencing the change of seasons. That’s why we must make the most of the season we have, here and now.