At long last, its’ beginning to feel a lot like autumn. The mornings are chilly and call for a light sweater. Days are born in a silvery haze that hangs over barren cornfields. Smoke from little garden fires tinges the air, for it seems someone somewhere is always burning leaves. . .in October. Chrysanthemums brighten porches and finally, it makes sense to buy pumpkins. It is no wonder that October is a favorite time, for so many of us.
October marks the end of things like humidity, stifling, sultry days and mosquitoes. We usually get our first frost in October which halts the growth of the thorned vines and sends the fire ants packing. The frost turns the trees all shades of autumn, without prejudice, for the lowly sweetgum tree is as adorned as the maple ever dared to be. Our frost is a bit late this year, but I do not mind the waiting -oh, October is a lovely time!
Before the day began, I was up. Daddy had an early appointment in a town thirty minutes away. I had taken the day off so I could go. A light rain was falling. The light glowed from the heavens, but a thick blanket of clouds dimmed the morning. All day the air was damp and the sky was grey, almost lavender. It was a calming color and I liked it. This is the kind of weather, that makes me want to slow cook a roast and smother it with gravy, for supper. . .or cook a pot of navy beans. Cooler weather is a cooks’ paradise, I think.
Mama went to the grocery, when we got back and I stayed with daddy. It was an easy task, for we both fell asleep, while watching an old western.
I have a new habit (besides packing boxes). Since Cash, my boxer, is also down-sizing, though he is unaware, I have started working with him intensely on suitable manners for a “town dog”. He has good behavior in general, for I take my relationship with my dog seriously. Cash, walks well on a leash, but a country dog does not encounter other dogs constantly, on a walk around the territory. I have taken to evening walks with him. My goal is to have Cash focus on my commands. He is doing especially well and will wait for me in the exact spot I leave him, while I go on imaginary errands. This is what I can do now, for I can not conjure up a passing poodle to test his ability. He will have a yard, large enough to satisfy his need to run, but the walks will be quite different. Our strolls around the rabbit patch are mostly silent affairs and do not warrant a leash. He does not venture to the country road that runs by us. . .but a tractor passing is not likely to startle him like a motorcycle would . Skateboards and golf carts will be mostly new to him as well, and so I expect we will walk many miles before all is said and done.
I love dogs. I have always had one – in fact, I was born, having a dog. Some of my best friends have been dogs. In childhood, I cried to a dog, when the grown ups weren’t fair or I was in some sort of trouble. Now, that I am much older, I am very dependent on my dog. “Company” does not sneak up on me, nor do critters of any sort.
When Christian, was just two years old, we were living in a small town. At that time, we had a miniature collie. The only thing I really expected, was for “Perry” to be a companion to the children. One night, long after we were all asleep, Perry came bounding into the bedroom and was raising quite a ruckus. Perry had never done such a thing and my husband scolded him. Still, Perry barked with great fervor and would not heed our warnings- I KNEW something was wrong and so I got up. Perry flew to the back door, which was open! I looked out and there in the moonlight, was my baby, sleepwalking. Most dog owners have stories that validate the loyalty and valor of dogs, but dogs are more than heroes.
Rest assured, that Cash does not have “outfits” or get his nails painted. His toys are sticks mostly, though he does enjoy a ball. I am perfectly content that Cash is a dog. If I am in a disagreeable mood, Cash does not hold it against me. He does not care about extenuating circumstances like status or appearance, for dogs are not impressed with such trivial things, besides all of that . . . there is something very reassuring about a dog sleeping at the foot of your bed.
“Snow” has blossomed, for the cotton fields are white, now. I never fail to see a field of cotton, without thinking of Frosts’ poem, “A Patch of Old Snow”. A cotton field is a good neighbor, for it is first a sea of green, then it flowers and at long last, it becomes “a patch of old snow”. Of course, I think all fields make good neighbors.
It is dark now by six thirty pm. Night comes quicker and morning comes later. I do not mind, for it is a natural rhythm. I look forward to evenings, anyway. There is something about that time, when we are all gathered for the supper meal – and the hours that follow, that seems to bind us all over again. In those moments, we are reunited with those we belong to – and the rest of the world is just that . . .the rest of the world. I like going out and seeing the lamp on the “morning table”, shining through the window . . .and then to see my neighbors houses with golden light in their windows. Often, I hear folks coming in from their day. Someone may call out, “please bring in the broom from the porch!” or “can you get the mail?” Then a dog barks . . .and I am glad. . . every time.