Posted tagged ‘coming winter’

“If you stand still outside you can hear it… Winter’s footsteps, the sound of falling leaves.”

October 27, 2013

If you looked up fall in the dictionary, they’d be a picture of today. The sun is shining, the sky is a pale blue and the breeze is brisk with a bit of a chill. Fall is in full burst. My front yard is filled with fallen leaves and pine needles. The grass doesn’t needed mowing any more. Yesterday my irrigation system was shut down for the season, and today I’ll clear the water from my back yard hoses. It’s time to close down the deck for the season though I’ll save a place to sit on a sunny day, my big wooden chair. I love fall, but I find it sad when fall begins to move toward winter.

Summer is always exuberant. It is warmth and colors and the sweet smell of flowers wafting through the air. Every morning I’d get the papers and then stop to look at my front garden. I’d lean against the car and marvel at the beauty of the flowers. I always noticed a few empty spots and would get excited at needing to buy new flowers. I can never have enough flowers. I’d finally pull myself away and go into the house, get my coffee and go outside on the deck. It takes me a long time to read the papers when I’m outside. I stop and watch the birds at the feeders and Gracie in the backyard. I listen to the singing. I raise my face to the sun and close my eyes. Summer fills me.

Fall always seems to have a faster pace than summer, and I think of October, nearing its end, as the bridge between fall and winter. Fall has a unique beauty when the leaves turn, and the trees are filled with color, muted color. My garden celebrates the season with fall flowers. The plants I put in last year were in full bloom this fall, and I was surprised as I had forgotten planting them. This year I added three more fall flowers, and they must have been happy to be planted as they bloomed a week or two later. Of all the seasons fall surprises me the most. The days are sometimes as warm as summer while the nights get downright cold. The sunlight slants in an odd direction. Darkness comes earlier and earlier.

My heat comes on in the mornings now. I can hear it as I’m waking up. The days seem to be warm enough to keep the furnace at bay, but I doubt that will last too much longer. Winter is coming.

“Autumn is marching on: even the scarecrows are wearing dead leaves.”

November 18, 2012

When I went to get the papers, I gasped a bit for breath not expecting it to be so cold. Frost had iced the lawn and covered the car windows. I hurried back inside, had my first cup of coffee and settled in for a while to read a bit of the paper, but I couldn’t linger as I had to leave earlier than usual to go out for breakfast, even before my second cup of coffee, so I could scrape the car windows. I rummaged through the trunk and found the windshield scraper then went from window to window. I even scraped the window for Gracie. I hated every minute of scraping those windows not because of the effort but because of the significance. That frost is winter’s first assault.

On the way home I noticed lawns being raked mostly by men wearing warm jackets. A few joggers were out running, and they were wearing mittens. One woman, walking her dog, didn’t seem at all phased by the weather. She had on a long sleeve t-shirt and shorts. I was impressed by her hardiness.

The day is pretty with bright sun and a steel-blue sky, but the strong breeze blowing the leaves left on the trees has me thinking the day looks far better from inside rather than outside. When Gracie goes out and stays a while, her ears are really cold when she comes back inside.

When I was young, we never did much on a Sunday. After church we’d hang around the house and maybe watch a TV movie while my mother prepared then cooked dinner, and sometimes we’d sit or lie on the living room rug to play a few games while my father read the paper. He always sat in the same chair by the picture window, and I can still see him holding the paper in front of him. My father read his paper not as a whole but section by section. He’d finish one section then add it to the pile he’d started on the floor beside the chair then he’d pick up the next section and start reading. He always left the sports pages until last.

I read the Sunday papers much like my father did, section by section, and I put each finished section in the recycle bag I keep by the table here in the den. The one difference is in the last section to be read. I always save the travel pages.