September 23, 2015
It’s the first day of autumn. That seems later this year, as for some reason, my mind thinks the change of season day is always the twenty-first of the month. That’s because when my brain finally matured, whatever was “normal” at that time—be it the price of a loaf of bread, the proper way to wear jeans, i.e., cinched at the waist and not mid-way down the butt crack, or the day the season changed—became normal for me, forever.
We get set in our ways, but maybe we should take a lesson from Mother Nature. She doesn’t get set in her ways at all. She has no problem having hissy fit after hissy fit, and does whatever the hell she wants. I wish someone would give that lady a tranquilizer so she could mellow out.
My beloved and I always note the day when we think the season changed from summer to autumn, and it’s usually a week or more in advance of the actual, official, first day of fall. Summer seems to have a sky that is a rich, vibrant blue, a blue with depth to it. Then comes a day, usually lately near the end of August, when we notice the sky isn’t that rich blue anymore. The shade seems a bit lighter—and even if the sun burns hot on that day there’s a quality to the air and combined, those two signals, to us, scream “autumn”.
And usually within a couple of days of that, we see the first tiny sign in the leaves on some of the trees we pass as we drive—a few tiny little traitors who, tired of life, have let it go and allowed the yellow or red to infiltrate their tiny leafy bodies.
We have a walnut tree that stands at the corner of our porch. This tree is the last in the area to gain its leaves, and the first to lose them. As soon as the walnuts are formed—these nuts are only edible to the squirrels—then the tree has fulfilled its annual purpose, and its leaves turn and begin to drop.
It is generally bare by the time the neighbors’ maple trees have turned color. There is constant leaf raking to be done here from mid September to late October.
This constant, seasonal reality for us is going to prove a boon this year for our youngest grandson. He’s 13 now, and eager to earn money. We’ve hired him to be our lawn boy, and we’re hoping he will want to work next year, too, cutting grass. He already cuts the small yard at his own home, with an old fashioned push mower. But he’ll be 14 in January, old enough to learn how to use our electric mower.
This has been a fast year for me, mostly because I tried to focus on not thinking about my health. We only took the one excursion in the summer, and that was to Pennsylvania. And as I’d already had my surgery booked by then, the time flew while my mind was otherwise occupied.
And while I am having, for the time being, to have my one incision re-bandaged every day—necessitating a trip into the city to see the nurse—I already feel better than I have in a long time. I’m hoping that by the time Christmas rolls around, these issues will be firmly in the past.
Bumps in the road are always unexpected, and quite often unpleasant. But they happen to everyone, and they’re the reason for my favorite axiom.
Challenging times don’t come to stay—they come to pass.