The Canada geese are back in the fields and edging along the lakeside; sometimes venturing into the lake, drifting leisurely, foraging for food or avoiding visitors.
A host of Canada geese have remained with us for an unusually long time. Often the birds migrate in, settle for a while, and when the air turns cold, they head further south. But this year, they have stayed.
The deciduous trees let go their leaves, the foliage folded into nothingness and the cold descended like the night sky.
There he sat on the sidewalk, next to the big ice chest. He had a duffle bag and an empty two-gallon water jug. On the side of the water jug, written in magic marker, were the words, "need work." He held in his hands a book. At first, I thought it was the Bible.
Over coffee one morning Sam and I were discussing shoes; maybe I was more discussing and he was listening. I expressed my concern there were so few shoe stores.
Monday a week ago, severe weather warnings were issued for the wee hours. That night, Sam -- the weather watcher -- said, "I'll set the alarm for 1 a.m. and get up and check the TV."
Hallelujah, fall is finally here. One day the temperature is 55 degrees, and the next day temperatures rise to 70, maybe even 80. One night the gas heater gets lit, and another night air conditioning feels good.
Just days before the cold and the rain came we were sitting on the dock feeding the Pekin ducks and the schooling bream. The ducks come at my repeated calling of "pretty bird," and the bream come when they hear footsteps on the dock. We do this daily, like clockwork.
James Wallace is a walker and a noticer. While almost anybody can walk, James -- whom I call Jamie, because his grandmother called him Jamie -- notices things most walkers wouldn't.
I've had some tragic news making each day stretch out like a month. I ordered a winter dress and it has not arrived. It's 79 degrees and I cannot wear the dress, but surely, I could have shorn a sheep by now. At the same time, my hair appointment is due; surely, I was just there. Basically, I am just irritable because I have lost my too-young friends to eternity.
The rains came, filling the lakes and greening the grass again. The temperatures dropped 10 degrees, making the days more pleasant. We seem to be grass cutting and bush-hogging later into the year. Sam tucks away the tractor and the lawnmower for the season, only to pull it out again.
"Maybe one more cut," he says.
Several people have asked about the cats, Harry and Wilhelmina, since last week when I described searching for them in the dark. Hide and Seek is a game we play most nights. I'll find Harry peeking around a tree, hiding. Harry is mischievous like that.
The moon was at the half as I wandered around the yard with a flashlight attempting to gather in the two-year old kittens. Wilhelmina can usually be found reclining on the picnic table, but not always.
Saturday night a week ago Sam and I headed to a gospel singing at the City Auditorium in Vernon, Alabama. We looked at the map and checked the distance. If we left by 4 o'clock, we would be sure to make it in time to hear Jessica Horton, Shaeffer's Chapel's praise and worship leader, sing at 5:30. Jessica's talent and charisma compelled us.
The air blows hot and dry, but even that is a welcomed comfort when standing under shade trees.
There's a couple of names for trash fish; some call them garbage fish or rough fish. The terms refer to fish that are less than desirable, the ones you catch you aren't trying to, and fish where there's no legal limit to catch and keep. Some fish simply don't taste good. Some species are invasive or nuisance fish. Culture and traditions can alter what might be a trash fish, or not, in different locations.
While Sam shopped for tractor parts, I hung over the enclosure of baby chickens.
In the last six months half-a-dozen friends have fallen, including myself. We range in age from 30 to 80. Two of the "fallers" were due to medical conditions, three were carrying groceries, one was due to inattention. The results of those falls varied from a small cut, two compound fractures, facial injuries requiring a cosmetic surgeon and two hospitalizations.
"I would like to do something this afternoon and it involves water." I suspected this would arouse Sam's interest.
The water hose was lying in the flower bed surrounded by a pile of gray sand. I touched it with my fingers. Sam said, "It's coming from the well through the hose." I thought maybe not. "If it's gray," he said, "it's coming from the well."
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