A frosty arrival

AT RANDOM: Graeme Corbett on autumn's sudden ambush

Anyone else feel like they just got ambushed by autumn? It was like Mother Nature turned into a ninja for this sneak attack.

Much like I have for the last few months, I woke up early Tuesday morning to go for a run, and was greeted by a warm wind and double-digit temperatures as I headed out on my route along Newport Beach. The sun hadn’t even crested over Stepping Stones, but it was pleasant enough.

But come Wednesday morning, the wind was gone, and so was the “surprisingly warm” part.

I needed a few extra minutes in the sack just to work up the courage to make the mad scramble from my in-laws’ chilly attic (yes, we are still there) down to my dresser. Once there, I upgraded from my standard summer running attire – shorts and light T-shirt – to a long sleeve, thermal-lined pants, toque and gloves.

I stopped short of breaking out the Sorels, but the thought did cross my mind.

The outside thermometer read 2 C, which isn’t really that cold (running in minus-10 isn’t all that fun, but it is possible), but compared to the weather we have been enjoying these past few months, I felt like Ernest Shackleton heading out on an Antarctic expedition. My 10-minute warm-up was more like a 10-minute hurry-up-and-get-this-stinging-sensation-out-of-my-legs ordeal.

The abrupt change in the weather has also put me in a state of alert for other reasons. Not only will I soon have to change over to winter tires, harvest the rest of my tomato and pepper plants before they freeze, and doing all the other seasonal tasks most of us face, I am also moving into my new home in less than a month. Yikes.

It has been such a long, arduous process that it’s hard to believe we are really going to be moving. To give you an idea of the time frame, we listed our old house in the spring of 2011. It took more than a year to sell, and three more months to find our new home (it looks more like a barn than a house, but we love it).

We have had to wait a few more months because there were tenants living in the new place when we bought it, which is an awkward/unfortunate situation in itself. I mean, you buy a place and the first thing you have to do is serve an eviction notice. Not fun for either party.

By the time we settle in, the really cold weather will be fast approaching (it could already be there Nov. 1), which won’t leave us much time to winterize the place, or do any necessary outdoor repairs.

I haven’t even decided how I’m going to plow my driveway, which is about seven times longer than my old one.

But for all the worries that go along with being a first-time hobby farm owner, I cannot wait to once again have a place to call my own. It is even more exciting to consider all the possibilities there are with owning a piece of land like this.

The good thing about it is you can grow into it at your own pace. Maybe we start with a chicken coop, greenhouse and garden and go from there.

One thing I am fairly certain of is I have yet to truly learn the meaning of hard work. At a glance, the idea of owning an acreage seems idyllic; romantic even. The reality is I will probably develop callouses in places I didn’t think possible.

And where once I looked to spend my holidays traveling abroad, I have a feeling I will now be lucky if I make it as far as the hardware store to buy fence posts.

The best part is I’m OK with that.

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Saint Francis of Assisi