Tropical Storm Ernesto and Autumn Musings

Tropical Storm Ernesto has hit our area this weekend, dousing us in a fresh sprinkling of rain. The sky is finally overcast! We have had much less rain than normal this year - normally, our lawns are deep green, as are the trees around us. This year, fall is coming early, and this little TS is a welcome thing! 51 degree weather be damned! I'm loving it!

Fall is my favorite time of year, second only to that lovely week or so leading up to Christmas. There is something wonderful about the crisp bite of the morning air as I crunch my way down the drive to check the mail or search for the newspaper from the night before (we have an evening edition out here, rather than morning.) The leaves turn from deep green to hues of red, orange and yellow, and my living room window frames our huge front yard maple so beautifully that you could almost swear that the view was intentionally painted by a master artist. Early morning fog settles over the grasses of the lawns, and nestles into the small dells and saddles of the area; the scene becomes surreal, a captured moment from a fantasy novel or movie.

This is soup weather! This is chili weather! This is the weather that invites you to breathe deeply so as to capture the last moments of summer before winter snatches them away in its icy grip. The shorts and tank tops are banished to deep drawers or boxes, and out come the fluffy sweaters and sweatshirts. This is my "in between appliances" weather, with both the air conditioner and heater switched off. Savor this season, as the crickets and cicadas turn to hibernation as the birds and field mice fatten up for the long haul and snow. Soon my attention will turn to my books and writing with earnest, an escape from the monotony of winter. I will dig out the fall and winter decor, capturing each season inside my home. My kitchen will be filled with the smells of baked goods, and rather than the music of bird song and fans, I will turn to my radio for classical and jazz tunes. But, at this moment, as summer and fall begin their intangible change, I find myself already missing summer while still longing for fall to completely arrive.

Of course, early Autumn is also my house cleaning time. There are drapes to wash, carpets to scrub, and cabinet shelves to organize! The basement needs to be spruced up. Outdoors, I have flowers to cut back, weeds to pull, outdoor schmutz to drag inside, and patio and deck furniture to cover. Windows must be washed. It is a busy season for me, and I enjoy every moment of it (except the part where I have to plead with Better Half to get off his ass and help me... men just don't seem to comprehend why women take the time to clean properly before winter sets in.)

Speaking of Better Half - we had a lovely day today. One of our favorite activities is book shopping. There is a local dealer who always has a few treasures tucked away for us to discover, and we drove up to Robinson Township (PA) to explore a newer discount book store (and found a few good treasures there!) We stopped at Cracker Barrel for supper, and then drove back home in the light drizzle.

We have spent the last few weeks attending the county foster/adoption classes (that in itself is a lengthy entry), and as we drove today, we mused about all the different things we could do as a family... the zoo, aquarium and baseball games came to mind. We daydreamed. And so, not being able to have a family the natural way after twelve years of marriage, I find fall to be a sad season as I have no child to prepare for school each year. The soft rain coming down this weekend echoes my feelings, as if the sky cries as my heart does when I see children waving goodbye to their mothers as they head down the street each morning. They are tears of hope, really, rather than tears of sorrow. But, tears are tears, and the salty taste of them reflects a tiny bit of personal bitterness that I have no child of my own. I have never understood how a parent could neglect a child, or find them horrible. Yes, children can drive you insane... but consider how much heavier your heart would be if you couldn't have any at all.

Autumn heralds the beginning of so many activities and occasions that so many children experience - back to school, Halloween, Christmas... things that parents should (if they are worth a damn) take the time to make special for their child. It is a magical time of year for kids, as well as a stressful one. It's a good time of year to be a parent or grandparent.

I digress - or else this post has just turned into a bunch of worthless drivel. Blame it on the weather. I think I'll quit while I'm still ahead!

3 responded with...:

Annie Jeffries said...

It's amazing how one short stay in Steubenville remains so alive in my memory,Au; how at home your posts make me feel. The picture on the highway is familiar, the description of the trees in the long front yard framing your window is familiar, the smell of fall reminds me of Wisconsin in my youth.

I wish you many blessings in your quest to increase your family and I am deeply grateful for the heartfelt comment you sent to me. Yes, it was too big for the comment section but that's okay. I gave it its own starring role. I think many will relate.

meghan said...

It's funny - I just posted on how much I love autumn and I came here to find the same feelings! I'm so glad that someone else feels the same way - lovely!!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I got here, but now that I am, I wish you all the best, a world soon filled with all you dream of....My world has been blessed by children...Born to other Mothers. As we have found so many times in our family, there are children born to us by the grace of God and children that have traveled 1000s of lifetimes in their short days, who have traveled many a long road to get where they belong...HOME. Into our arms. Wishing you both patience, peace, and Godspeed as you prepare to welcome a child born from your hearts into your home.