September: A three o'clock drive down Main Street means stopping for the school bus--Lisa's driving a brand-new one this year! A mom and dog wait for a first grader, the dog wagging, bowing, and barking as she takes the big steps down to the sidewalk. Self-consciously pierced, dyed, and duded-up teens walk hand-in-hand.
Birds are on the move. I glance up from my desk mid-afternoon to see an event happening: thousands of starlings flicker through the woods like tattered black sprites. They keep coming for five minutes, but how long before I noticed them, and why are they moving through the trees like that?
The leaves are changing: no brilliant color yet, but the delicate filigree left by the caterpillar invasion of June is faded green and falling in torn fragments to the ground. Goldenrod glows with a seeming inner light and my favorites, the dark purple asters, are coming on. I think of my birthday coming on as well, October second. Fifty-seven rich and wonderful years. A share of difficulty and heartache, but that is what being human and alive is about, and my share has been blessedly small. The past few days have been rainy and cool, but, there are four more days of summer!
Where have I been? Good adventures, wanderings, and visits with loved ones! No internet service! New memories to store and savor in this old head! In July we went to Virginia where I was a presenter at the VA Highlands Festival. I tried out my new "Writer's Medicine Bag" with treatments for all the ailments, physical and mental that authors suffer, from rejectionitis to writer's block. Plus we got to visit with dear old friends and family. Fun!
Then time and space at my beloved Island Pond in southern New Hampshire. It was a mix of solitude and social whirl with family and friends. I wrote a new story, Camp Dog George, in which a puppy learns the ropes of being a good camp dog from the ghost of the late family dog, Old George. We celebrated daughter Fern's engagement to Scott with songs and laughter. I did a presentation for daughter Spring's Audubon Camp. We raced kayaks and canoes for the WBW Memorial Regatta. (The girls and I placed second in our three-woman-powered canoe!) We recreated Mum's terrible recipes for the MLW Memorial Cook-Off. What a walk down our gastronomically distressed memory lane! We climbed mountains. Fred sold two beautiful tables at the Adirondack Rustic Furniture Fair in Blue Mountain Lake and I signed copies of Moose Eggs and Moose Power at the gift shop. We celebrated Mom and Dad Beckhorn's eightieth birthdays with a wonderful Beckhorn gathering in Owego. One dear old friend, Ranger, was lost to cancer and another sweet one, Linda, was saved from it. Year-old puppy, George, learned to swim after a stick thrown in the lake and leap from the ground straight into our arms.
Home again to lonely cats and an overflowing garden. We've gotten some wood stacked in the cellar, more to do. I've cleaned out the freezer in preparation for filling it again and we've frozen twelve quarts of beans and as many of tomatoes, brocolli, and summer squash. The mornings are dark and chilly. But there will be mist burning off the hills and brilliant Indian summer days, pumkins and cider. Here's an old unpublished song lyric of mine that I made up when the girls were little:
Color Time Rhyme
October is the color time
I like to sing a little rhyme
Come along and walk with me
I'll tell you what we'll see
The leaves are yellow, brown, and red
White geese are flying overhead
I see an orange pumpkin too
The sky is very blue
The squirrel finding nuts is gray
And purple asters line the way
There's nothing blacker than a crow
Green pines stand in a row