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It's the middle of August. Ok, so the summer is winding down and it's too early to worry about Christmas. Then why are the stores so crowded?

Oh! School starts in a few weeks or less!

I know we Seniors have preparation to do for seasonal changes (read my column of Cleveland's changing seasons), but this is one we luck out on.

Remember when all of our children needed new shoes? Clothes from last year didn't fit and uniforms had to be ordered? Often the uniforms came in the wrong size and the return was a real pain.

There were book bags, lunch buckets, gym shorts and bags, crayons, pens, and notebooks. Then the real blow - book lists and bills.

There were doctor, and eye doctor appointments before the fatal day (the day after Labor Day). Many schools now start in August. I remember trying to get the kids in the house for homework, showers and bed while it was still light out.

The routine began for all of us at the same time. There was a real cut off date. We all remember those days. Now we just have to remember the 20 MPH school zone areas again.

For most seniors the winter starts when they can no longer garden or play golf. Some seniors find September and October the best times to travel and do their winter and holiday shopping.

If you need a new winter coat now is the time to buy it. The weather is still good and there are less travelers. The stores (during school hours) are less crowded.

Fall is a wonderful time of year, not too hot since the humidity is down, and not yet too cold. The leaves are falling and beautiful. We can still have a picnic outdoors and on the nippy days we can start making our soups and stews.

Have you signed up for any classes or do you wait and take the January ones? I hope you find something to fill your days besides television, as the days get shorter.

If you dread the long winter months and spend most of your time alone have you thought of getting a pet? If you like to walk I think a dog is the best companion.

Large dogs (if well behaved) are less active and easier to walk than a wired medium sized one that will pull you all over the neighborhood. Cats take very little care and are great companions too. Even fish and birds are fun to have and don't need as much care.

We have to make it a point to change with the seasons otherwise with no school children (and many of us with no jobs or commitments) one day runs into another, then one month into another. Don't let that happen.

Enjoy each and every day. For everything there is a season and a reason.

What are you looking forward to this Fall (or better I say this Autumn? For me it's a new puppy, you'll be hearing a lot about him I fear. Am I crazy? No I'm just outnumbered and giving into family pressure.

How about you?

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