Fall in Florida

When I think of autumn, I think of vistas red & orange leaves, picking pumpkins & doing corn mazes, cooking up a pot of soup or chili, a caramel apple treat, and crisp cool days with bright blue skies. That’s a description of a typical New England fall or the fall of my childhood.  Autumn has always been my favorite season – I love when I can pull out the sweaters and curl up under a blanket.  This year, we are doing “Fall in Florida” and I’m not yet sure what that means!

I’ve never really been a seasonal decorator – no springtime wreaths or fall gourds.   I have done spring and fall garden cleanups, and yes, I enjoy those activities. When is the actual timing of fall-cleanup in Central Florida and what types of activities does it really entail?  There’s no raking of leaves here!

In years past, I have also done the shift of my clothing from a warm weather set to a cool weather set.  In retirement, this has basically meant stopping or starting wearing shorts or polar-fleece as my daily attire.  And again, not sure that fall, or even winter, in Florida requires that shift!  Will I need polar-fleece pullovers or cashmere sweaters ever again?

For the Summer 2020 List, I had focused on PLAY (link to post) as I was trying to balance the negativity of the world around me.  Unfortunately, from my Summer Play List I only completed 19 of the 33 items.  What were my favorite things done?  Reading a bunch of light-hearted, happy-ending books; multiple Walk & Talks with friends at various parks; playing catch with my dog Taylor; and some yummy food items like fresh corn on the cob, summer peaches, and trying some new recipes.

So being in Florida this fall is a huge learning experience.  Even in mid-September, days have still been summer-like hot & humid.  Added in the continued social distancing for no fall festivals/activities and I am really unsure what my Fall Season Plans should look like this year!   

Seasonal changes are a good time to reconnect with your bigger vision (mine = active, connected, creative, contemplative), refocus daily activities (me = more movement!), and jump-start things neglected.   And since Fall is often associated with new beginnings (new school year), what new things will I add to fill the void that’s occurred with Covid-19?  In my blog post about filling the void (link here)), I challenged myself to look at the “someday I will” ideas and plan out initial steps, replace date nights, and plan some (safe) day trips. And of course, keep some focus on positive fun things (especially with the added election negativity I expect to be hearing).  A lot to consider for this list!

 So, here it goes—my Fall in Florida “Bucket List”.  

 Active

  • Walk more & take pictures on my walks
  • Plan Beach Time – beach yoga & beach walks
  • Play catch with Taylor
  • Take out the SUP and try the kayak
  • Restart yoga 2-3 times a week

Connected

  • Attend book club meetings, socially distancing of course
  • Get take-out – BBQ, Sushi, Thai – and eat outside!
  • Plan hubby dates – visit new St Pete Pier mid-week, do long bike ride, and watch movies together on TV
  • Plan (1-2 weekly) Zoom connects (or phone calls) with girlfriends

Creative

  • Start new cross-stich
  • Try new recipes – cook creatively (and check out the new fish store!)
  • Do photo books project (create coffee table books of our best trips)
  • Create New House Vision Board and plan/design portico area

Contemplative

  • Take another Coursera course
  • More Writing – childhood memories recall, resentment release, and my pandemic diary
  • Stop and enjoy the fall lightening storms, get up and watch the sunrise, sit outside and look at the stars

I am going to be reading other blogger’s Fall Lists to see if I can add some truly “fall like” activities here in Florida.   Do you have any suggestions for what Fall in Florida can be?

27 thoughts on “Fall in Florida

  1. So glad you played along and put this list together. I think you should continue this fall doing the things you so enjoyed in the summer, reading some of the same types of books and I see you’ve added playing with your pup to this list.

    I have several fashion friends from the style challenges I have done who live in Florida. They find ways to add fall colors and prints into their wardrobe without necessarily adding fall warmth and layers. Pretty sure there will be evenings when you can use your yummy cashmere sweaters even in Florida.

    Glad you are going to join book club meetings and maybe you can find someone to do yoga with. I bought a journal yesterday. Had moved away from writing in a journal but I think that is something I have missed. Excited to read you are going to be writing more. I am reading your retirement book now.

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    1. Leslie, I am an avid journaler, so I was excited to hear you bought a new one. I write in mine almost every morning… it’s part of my morning routine and if I miss a few days, I feel out of sorts! And also glad you’re reading my book…. I hope you find some of the cool tools fun to do. I still use many of them, even now 6 years into retirement!

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  2. Hi Pat, I am sure there are some changes with fall in Florida. Somethings will be very different ( no leaves and cold, brisk temps) which you will miss, but there will also be pluses ( it is warmer!). I always like fall and think of it as a time to slow down a bit- make a soup that simmers on the stove, read more books, and just turn inward a bit in general. it will be interesting for all of us to see what Covid brings this year. I am anticipating being more shut down again as we are currently spiking again.
    I like the things on your fall list, long walks, kayaking and creating a vision board sound fun. I always like taking a course as well. Those are also things you can do with distancing so that helps. i think we all need to plan things that will entertain ourselves, and you list is full of those.

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    1. MIchele, Covid had a strong impact on my list creation, that is for sure. I need to embrace the fact that the weather here in late September is still lovely for outdoor activity. We did take a bike ride this afternoon… even in the mid 90 temps! Then it was reading in the shade. Like you mentioned, fall is time for reading more books!

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  3. Hello Pat. Being in a coastal climate certainly does change the feeling of autumn. I really enjoy the change of seasons (if only winter could be a 1 month season!). It feels like a restart to me. You’ve created quite a nice list here though, and I must say I miss the beach…envy you being able to plan regular activities on the beach. I hope you enjoy your Florida Fall and accomplish everything you’d like.

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    1. Christie, Getting used to living on the coast is definitely something to get used to…. from the heat & humidity to the often constant breeze/wind. I’m not complaining; it is just definitely different than I am used to.

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  4. I’ve been to Florida in the Fall, but I never really did anything too Fall-like, so I’m afraid I don’t have many suggestions that you haven’t already mentioned. I do think it’s a good idea to just get out in a safe manner, especially with the warmer weather you’ll be having.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  5. Hi, Pat – Our concepts of Autumn are very similar: red leaves, pumpkins, soup, chilli, caramel apples, crisp cool days, sweaters and blankets! Our Fall Bucketlists are also similar: walking, photography, book clubs (I’m in 3), Zoom Connects, trying new recipes and enjoying lightening storms (we are supposed to have a big one tomorrow).
    Enjoy your time in Florida. I will think of you when I am shivering under my sweaters and blankets! 😀

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    1. Donna, I know you might not believe it, but I kinda envy you the sweaters and blankets a bit! It was 97 in the shade today. That’s 36 to you I think. Definitely this will take some getting used to.

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  6. What a well-thought-out bucket list! And great ideas! Like you, I have only ever known fall here in Virginia…with four seasons and “typical” signs of fall. Including lots of leaves to rake. Lots! As much as I would love to live further south (and would be perfectly content with two seasons (or even one)…I can imagine it would take some getting used to, for sure! I hope you enjoy your time in the sun as these months get colder!!

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  7. We used to vacation in Florida most falls and I just loved checking out all the hot spots like the zoos, theme parks, and museums when they weren’t crowded at all. I think your fall will look very different this year for sure but there is still lots of fun you’re going to have!

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    1. I’m going to add that to our things to do….next year! Some of the challenge this year is not being able to do the ‘between season’ stuff here – kids in school and snowbirds not yet here which means everything is not crowded. Of course, right now, many things are not even open and I worry about being in enclosed places (high risk in household). Focusing on what I can do this fall was helpful…. and looking at others lists added a few ideas to mine as well!

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    1. Tom, My niece sent me a meme about the changing colors in Florida being the changes in colors of license plates you see. We had a low temp this morning of 72 and I was “whoo-hoo, it’s fall!” I think I’ll really appreciate this when it’s 45 up north and still 70 here… and not worried about raking leaves.

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    1. Erin, So many of the things I’ve read about improving happiness talk about appreciation of nature and being more attuned to the natural rhythms. Our new (soon to be primary) home has big windows where I can sit and watch the storms…. I’ve enjoyed that.

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  8. Love your list. I have family in central Florida. I used to cross-stitch. Not sure I have the patience for it so I’ve been working on embroidery. I did my fall list too. It’s been fun reading everyone’s lists…gives me more ideas.

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  9. I’m originally from NC. Lots of leaves to rake there. Went to Jacksonville FL on vacation one time during the winter. Still had to wear a jacket & hat. Feller did some metal detecting on the beach. I like to make photo books. It sure is a good wintertime project.

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  10. We don’t have huge seasonal changes here either, but it’s hard to miss autumn as the sun gets lower and lower to the horizon. I consider this the start of our awesome sunset season. I guess no matter where you live, you adjust to your environment and learn to notice seasonal clues no matter how small.

    Enjoy your fall in Florida! (Fall is also hurricane season there, right? Are you in any of the pathways?)

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    1. Janis, I’ll have to note if the sunsets are getting better…. sunrise is definitely shifting location on the horizon and will be interesting to see how that plays out (we have a sunrise water view!).

      We experienced the “tail” of Sally… basically 3 days of rain and some heavy winds, but nothing damaging. Now, we’ve got wind from Beta (I was informed by someone today that is the source of our wind anyway). We are in the Tampa Bay area which usually doesn’t get direct hits (knock on wood), but the edges of the storms. Are you near any of the wildfire areas in CA? That’s even more frightening to me!

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  11. Love how timely your post is!! Just got off Zoom with my 91 year old father who winters in Florida as well. We both agreed we really love Ohio fall weather and would miss it. But we are both starting to consider if we should extend our “winter” into November and December as COVID cancels our holiday gatherings. Just this recent drop of highs in the upper 60s is causing my hubby to have pelvic pain again even as he wears long underwear and sweat pants/shirts. I know he’d jump at the chance to go to Florida by November. It is weird/fun that this year instead of packing away my summer clothes with the cooler temps, they are merely going into the Florida packing. 🙂

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