Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy New Year! ... by Barbara (Ruth)

Yes, I am aware it is not January. And no, the title of this blog is not a mistake.

I'm invigorated as I write this - I just came back from a walk to the park with a friend and her wonderful girls. The air was brisk, the leaves were flying (according to the almost-three-year-old), and there was a certain energy in the air.

After the park we celebrated the end of summer with a last ice cream of the season at Ed's here in the Beach (a fond farewell to burnt marshmallow until next season), and talked about our plans for the fall. I started to get so excited just thinking about it - my favourite season of the year and all the fun it promises!

My sisters Joan and Janet set for school, circa 1964. This
was before "packing purses" started, but you can be sure
Janet packed that bookbag with great care.
This love of the fall season is a family tradition actually. The night before Labour Day was very exciting in our house - we had to decide what to wear for the first day of school (in those days, that was a big occasion and we dressed up! Mind you, those were also the days when you dressed up to go on a plane.), get out our new lunchboxes and pencil cases and book bags, and, most importantly, "pack our purses". Oh yes. The four sisters made a big deal of packing our purses with all the things we might need at school.

For me, fall is when everything returns to normal after a summer of feeling completely enervated (GW) by the heat and humidity. I'm no longer trapped inside the air conditioning, and can leave doors and windows open, and go for big long walks. I start baking again in the fall. Even work gets better with people back and revived after their holidays - you can actually get things done again because everyone is in the office for a change! And of course fall is all about apples and football and cute jackets with colourful scarves and clear skies and colourful leaves and cozy nights.

My Mum and I actually dubbed September first as our New Year's celebration about ten years ago. We were sitting on the dock up at the cottage after a really nice summer, and we were actually looking forward to getting back to the city. Our guests had all left, and it was a little forlorn up there, and we started talking about our plans for the fall and getting excited about it. We decided that much more than January first, September first felt like a time of New Beginnings and anticipation, and that has stuck with us ever since!

I have so much to look forward to this fall - a long weekend in Chicago, a basement renovation, and a trip to Maui, to name a few. And of course I'm excited that, like the new fall season on TV, you can all look forward once again to regular postings on The Musings of Barbara Jean!

And so now I'm off to pack my purse for tomorrow. It may not be the first day of school for me, but that's no excuse for being off-season. :)

Happy New Year to you all!


  1. Was that really me on with the bookbag? Boy, we sure do look alike! And I sooo remember the purse-packing thing!!! Really nice blog!

  2. I've always thought of Labour Day as the real New Year's Eve. In fact, I've already kind of made my resolutions. What a great fall you have coming up!

    I love the new photo of you and Angela at the top!

  3. What a great way to start the New Year! That last burnt marshmallow ice cream cone sounds delicious!
    I always loved getting my new school supplies and new book bag for school. Never had to worry about what to wear since SHS did that for us:)Oh, those lovely uniforms were a treat;)
    Happy New Year to you, Ruth! Sounds like a terrific fall for you. Hope to see some before & after pictures of the basement--Have fun!

  4. Happy new year to you, Ruth. I really hope it's a great one. And thanks for the ice cream. ;)

  5. That was me (always loved those sweaters) holding the book-bag. I remember only because my sweater had the little brown leather tassel (which I can barely make out) on the zipper...and I can almost make out the little mole below Janet's lower lip, which she had removed. Great I loved those school-bags!