Author of Firestorm, A New Psychological Thriller Available Now


The Changing of the Leaves

It’s that time of year—the time when the leaves on the trees change from green to orange to fiery red. The air turns a little crisper and you find yourself wandering the house and wondering where you put your fuzzy slippers. The days shorten. The smell of suntan lotion no longer lingers at the beach.

It’s the time of the changing of the leaves.

I remember that when I attended law school in Chicago, I enjoyed the scenery while driving in September and October. The trees turned from green to brilliant orange, bright yellow, and deep red. Some even turned a shade of purple as fall’s cold temperatures took root. I remember marveling at all the colors. In South Florida, we don’t get such a dramatic change, but you can still see it if you look.

My oak tree that I spoke of in my last blog post loses some of its green color. Some of the leaves turn golden as if to remind me, “Summer is over, my dear. Time to slow down. Time to linger over fall things—cinnamon, sage, roasted turkey, fresh baked cookies, and hot chocolate. Time to curl up with a good book under a blanket.”

I used to hate it when summer turned to fall. Now I enjoy the changing of the leaves. I enjoy each season for its special and unique qualities.

I hope you do the same.

Until next time.



Image courtesy of D. Brandsma (CC BY 2.0)

My Life-Sustaining Oak Tree

When I was looking for a house in Florida, I knew instantly when I walked through the front door which house was the one for me. I wanted a house with three qualities: (1) lots of natural light, (2) a layout that allowed me to stand at the front door and see out the back, and (3) natural beauty. Well, in the house where I write this blog, I got all three.

The third quality comes primarily from a beautiful old oak tree that can be seen from my living room and master bedroom. The tree is the largest on the lake where I live. It hosts and provides shade for a veritable menagerie of creatures, including squirrels, bluebirds, pea doves, blackbirds, white swans, ducks, iguanas, and possums, just to name a few.

I look out the sliding doors in my bedroom at that tree sometimes and wonder how old it is. I am not an arborist, but I would guess the tree is over a hundred years old.

During Hurricane Irma, which barreled through Florida on September 10, 2017, I watched the oak’s branches sway in the strong, gusting winds. I looked at that tree and wondered, “How many hurricanes have you been through, my beautiful tree?” My tree gave no answers, but I know it has been through many storms and hurricanes.

My oak tree is much like life. We can survive and weather any storm if our lives are firmly rooted in love, hope, family, and respect. We can live to be a hundred years old if we live with love in our hearts and provide shelter to others. We can nurture those we live with if we provide a strong trunk of support and guidance.

Be strong, be brave, be free, and always live and love with respect.

Then you will be like my beautiful oak tree.

Until next time.



Image courtesy of Beatrice Murch (CC BY 2.0)


Sign up for News and Updates from Solange Ritchie

Firestorm — Available Now!
Order Firestorm today!