Posted tagged ‘kicking leaves’

“Suddenly, the wind got hold of the hammock. Leaves murmured. It was cold and the sun had gone down.”

September 1, 2017

September has arrived far too quickly. The summer sped so fast I swear my body, especially my face, was contorted by the G-force acceleration. Today is even autumnal weather with temperatures in the high 60’s. Tonight will be even colder, the high 40’s, sweatshirt by day and warm blanket weather by night. The day is really pretty with a clear blue sky and lots of sun. The breeze is brisk so the trees and leaves are swaying. I filled the bird feeders yesterday, but I noticed they are only half full already. I have more seed in the trunk so I’ll fill the feeders again later.

My mother had a small flower garden on the side of her house beneath some kitchen windows. She had bird feeders among the flowers including a statue of St. Francis with his arm extended and his palm up so it could seed. She put a wire fence across the entrance of that garden to keep my dog Maggie away, but it seldom worked. She always found a way inside. I swear Maggie did it just to drive my mother crazy. I used to have to retrieve her and reset the fence. A while later, though, Maggie was back in the garden, and I was retrieving her again. It was a game she always played but only when the flowers were in bloom.

I always call this coming season fall rather than autumn. If I lived on a farm, I guess I’d call it the harvest season. When I was a kid, I figured it was called fall because of all the leaves falling off the trees. The sidewalks and the gutters were always covered or filled with leaves. I’d walk in the gutters on my way to school and kick the leaves all over. They’d mostly land in the street strewn about like a trail you could follow all the way from my house to school.

Fall eases us into winter. It’s a shoulder season. We have warm days then cold days hinting of winter. I open my windows during the day and close then at night. The house holds the night cold in the mornings now. The backyard is shadowed so it is chilly when I first take Gracie out. I beg her to hurry so we both can go back inside, me for coffee and warmth and her for breakfast. Today she didn’t linger.

“Autumn is the hush before winter. “

November 16, 2013

Last night I went to bed early, my early around 10, and slept in this morning until 9. My back feels much better so a day of doing nothing and a good night’s sleep did the trick; of course, a day of doing nothing isn’t novel to me. I am a lover of sloth days and never need a reason to enjoy one.

Yesterday, in the late afternoon, I went outside to the deck. The air had the unmistakable smell of fall. It was earthy but not like in spring when the garden smells of newness. It was the smell of brown leaves on the ground slowly rotting away. Musky might be the better description. I didn’t need to see Gracie. I could hear the sounds of her paws as she ran on the crispy leaves under the trees and I knew exactly where she was. Leaves cover the back of the deck, the part under the trees, and I kicked a few over the side. I could have been eight or nine again and kicking the leaves      piled beside the sidewalk’s gutters. Yesterday’s leaves separated and flew to the ground, two stories below the deck. I could see my neighbor’s house and my friends’ house at the end of the street though the bare trees. The privacy brought by leafy trees is gone now until late in spring. A few birds ignored me and stayed at the feeders, mostly gold finches. I saw a woodpecker at the suet feeder. He has to eat upside down and doesn’t seem to mind. The thistle feeders had three or four gold finches all at one time. They don’t like to share on the big feeder but they don’t seem to mind sharing thistle. I cleaned out the bird bath of its leaves and pine needles then went inside the house. Gracie stayed outside.

I haven’t anything to do. There’s clean laundry to bring up but one more day won’t hurt; wrinkled is wrinkled. I have amassed a mountain size pile of catalogues so I think I’ll go Christmas shopping. The day is cloudy and uninviting so inside is the perfect place to spend the day. I feel good today about me and the day.

“Autumn flings her fiery cloak over the sumac, beech and oak.”

October 7, 2013

The weather is quirky. One minute it is dark and gray then the next is sunny. The house is cold while outside is warm. Showers are predicted for later. On my way to breakfast, I noticed many leaves had fallen. Piles of yellow were on the road and sidewalks. I thought it strange. Many trees have yet to change color while others are almost bare. My oak is still green.

Nothing was more enticing than the piles of leaves in the gutters next to the sidewalk curbs on my way to school. I’d kick through the piles and spread leaves all over the side of the road. The dry leaves on the bottom made a crunching sound while the newest fallen leaves on the top always seemed a bit damp and filled with morning. Most of them were yellow leaves. The trees were spaced beside the sidewalk edge. In summer the sidewalk was shady; in winter it was bare and open to the wind. The sidewalk was a straightaway to school. From the top of the small hill I could see to the railroad tracks and once there I could see the front lawn of the school building, but I couldn’t see the statue. It was too far off the road. I never minded that walk except when it rained. That was when the straightway seemed to go on forever. If I had known how perfectly descriptive a word it was, I would have said I plodded my way home.

The Cape has few sidewalks. Only the oldest parts of some towns seem to have them. My town has a few which slope and have cracks. None of them have curbs. No one kicks leaves.

I remember my dad and all the other dads standing on the side of the road near the curb burning piles of leaves. By then the leaves were curled and brown. They burned easily. All of us kids stood near the fires and watched. Our clothes afterwards smelled of fire and burning leaves. It is still one of my favorite smells, one of my favorite memories.