A friend of mine used to say that Fall was when the trees began to show their spirit. When my mom and Woof and I drove up north to the cottage a few days ago, we all noticed how the color was beginning to change from the lush greens of summer to just a slightly paler shade…mixed with some soft yellows, light orange, and a few splashes of crimson. The hillsides are blazing with goldenrod and purple asters already, and the cornfields seem to stand abandoned…waiting for their final bow as Halloween decorations.
The lake has cooled off, way before I had a chance to float around in my old black inner tube again. Woof loves to prance along the shore, but this time she seemed kinda shocked when the first wave touched her feet. Our other Woof’s all had a real yearning to roll in dead fish…and I remember my Aunt Katie washing them while she read them the riot act. Fortunately, Woof Vl didn’t inherit that disgusting inclination.
The apples are about ready on all five dwarf trees, and once again we’ll make apple sauce that we’ll freeze and never be able to completely use, and as my mom says we’re liable to turn into apples if we eat any more of them. The cherry tree produces lots of sweet cherries in July, but the birds eat them when they’re still green, and all of my silver streamers, fake owls, and spotty vigilance is to no avail. I’ve never tasted even one cherry. I keep suggesting that my mother should sit under the tree overnight to stand guard, and she suggests that I should keep pigs. ( an old family saying…”why doesn’t your old lady keep pigs?”)
After such a hot summer, and such a dry one, I’m ALMOST ready to get out the Fall wreaths, and start thinking about Halloween, but then the sun comes from around the sycamore out back, and Woof and I bask on the loveseat again…and then I want to hang on to summer. One of these transitional afternoons I’ll feel the first real chill in the air, and Woof and I will give up the ghost and come inside. She’ll snuggle up on a chair by the piano and I’ll play “Autumn Leaves”…remembering my grandfather who loved the song, and my friend Paul who loved my arpeggios (I never knew if he was kidding or not), and we’ll surrender to the change of seasons. One of these afternoons…but not just yet.