Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall

It's been many years since I've experienced a real fall season. I'd forgotten how lovely and evocative this time of year can be. There's just something so genuinely authentic about it all. The chilly mornings, the warms afternoons, the early sunsets. The unmistakable feel of Halloween in the air. The trees in our yard are quickly exploding with reds and golds, and I'm looking forward to driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway to take some pics of the big leaf color exchange across the mountains.

I still feel somewhat unprepared for the chill in the air, and I'm not the only one. The crisp mountain air seems to have irritated Henry's arthritis. So when Michael gets up in the morning and invites me and Henry to do the same, we just roll over and ignore him. For me, it's too cold to venture out of bed. For Henry, he needs one of us to help him lift his butt off the floor, before he can stand. He has his good days and his bad days, but don't we all?

I'm in the midst of having my own senior moments, anyway. I decided to grow a goatee again in preparation for Halloween. I've been shaving for well over a year now, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that my goatee is now partially white. At first I thought, "Wow, look at all the platinum blonde hair..." But no, it's white. I guess it's cool that I'm going to skip the whole gray thing and just go straight to Santa Claus white. As you know, I just returned from a visit to Oklahoma, where I found my 69-year-old father still had his full head of jet black hair, with only a few strands of silver at the temples. And here I am. White beard. Bald spot. Still only 5'9", while he towers over me at 6'3". Aren't old people supposed to shrink? I'm afraid to measure myself, in case I've dropped to 5'8".

Rolling Stone just published an article about John McCain that said his insecurities about his short stature ultimately turned him into an unstable and abusive monster. He's 5'9", too.

Anyway, I'm way off topic now. I was talking about the fall season. I was craving some good, old-fashioned, fall-appropriate homemade comfort food this evening, so I decided to go to the store and buy some. I hopped in the Smart Car, drove to the vegetarian grocery store with my canvas grocery bags, and bought some tofu pot pie. Even I realized I'd crossed over into caricature territory. So be it. It was yummy and hit the spot and reminded me I need to start looking for a big fake turkey for Thanksgiving.

Coming from the land of the Endless Summer, I can't help but feel a certain yearning for the perpetual golden glow of California. But a real fall season, with all its visual and sensory treasures, will keep me scribbling my pseudo-philosophical musings for a couple more months now.

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