Friday, October 21, 2011

Cool Down.

We went to the mountains and brought back a truer autumn. Here is how it happened: Saturday morning we leave the shirtsleeved cabin—maybe I exaggerate, but it wasn't anything like chilly—and drive the dog and the Toad to the top of the state park up there in 24363. Down where we were staying it was surely upper fifties, maybe low sixties. Top of the mountain it was mid-forties with a forty-mile-an-hour wind. The Toad squinted into the wind, teared up, had questions. The dog lit out for Katahdin or Springer, one. I was ready to follow. AMR said settle down, said get back in the car, said we can stay, but we can't stay here.

We hiked it the next day in a slightly lesser wind and with maybe ten or twelve extra degrees.

And now, burnt offerings sufficiently offered, we've survived the drive back down into the Piedmont, back into our lives, back into another season, and then another. Monday afternoon saw eighty October degrees home in 2740X, but Tuesday and Wednesday brought a not-quite chilly rain, and where we land, finally, is here, Friday morning, leafblowers buzzing on both sides of the shed and a fire in the woodstove, the call to the firewood dudes on the to-do, a colder overnight here than any we saw up there. Actual hat weather, if not hat-and-coat. A bigger pot of coffee. The heat kicked on in the house as a nod to AMR. And the Toad. And the dog, not yet fully possessed of her winter coat and curled into a spot the size of a dinner plate on the sofa. And, hell, me, I guess, though if I lived alone I'd be toughing it out, trying to prove something—but to who? Or whom?

It's a dusty fall we're having thus far, none of the electric colors you'd hope for, if you were foolish enough to hope. But it is still and now fall all the same, leaves in the gutters, on the roofs. Time to switch modes, make ready in new ways. Time to bring out my grandfather's old rake. Hey, October. Hey, little fire. Hey, boots and flannel. Hey, jacket with the windows down on the way into work. Always one more thing to prove.


Sandy Longhorn said...

Jealous of your wood stove, making do with the electric heat in the writing room here on the Arkansas River. Otherwise, our meteorology mirrors yours.

Love the description of the "dusty fall." I'd been struggling to say what was happening with the leaves around here. Enjoy the flannel.

Drew Perry said...

thanks, sl. it's a dusty fall, but dusty is better than none, i say. still: up in the mountains it was a damn lot brighter.

the woodstove was my one lunatic splurge.