Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Endless Autumn

Last week I had a very early morning departure to Farmington Maine for some client work. I crossed the Androscoggin River while river smoke wisped up, gently and still, as I crossed the bridge and glanced downstream. The sun was bright and the maple trees were resplendent and joyful in the beginning of the day.  This autumn in New England has been long and slow, balmy and beautiful.  I was happy to be on the road and getting paid, feeling the reassurance of another season coming, settling in roots.

I've always marked my "new year" in October. It's the anniversary of my T1 diagnosis (1969) and other significant events: marking the terminal end of the summer guiding season, moves to new places, beginnings of new jobs. This year, October has been a long, slow progression of leaves slowly turning and clinging to branches for weeks and of the temperature remaining downright balmy.

That all changed with your flash hurricane very early Sunday morning. The wind blew to 70 mph in short bursts just before dawn. I stayed in bed as the day lightened, a little disconcerted with what the day would bring, and headed over to check on the folks before I went to work at the retail job later that morning.

Now that's a smack down,
Trees were down, the ground littered with sticks, lights were out. The line at the Dunkin Donuts stretched down the highway. The retail job had generator power, and my folks went south to visit my sister. I picked up a can of stove fuel before I left work and headed home carefully in the deep dark, the absence of glowing fixtures making me wonder how long this would last. It was worse than the ice storm of 1998.

Later that evening, my housemate and I huddled around the roaring camp stove in the backyard making hot drinks in the moonlight. It's been 6 years since I left Alaska and packed up the camping gear the time between the birth of a child and their first day of kindergarten. The lights came on this morning, and I feel I am ready for anything.

I'd pruned the globe thistle at the garden after the first
bloom.Nice to see the bees feeding so late.