The Season Falling Around Me

Every Fall, I wish I had a shredder-bagger like my dad's. Next weekend begins the usual between the heat of summer and the cold of winter manual labor that has become a ritual at Bookends Cottage. We have 9 old trees that drop their leaves every year, one of them an oak that is nearly 100 years old. It is the greatest offender in autumn, but you know I love it and the shade and contemplation it lends me in the warmer months. Still, being a California native I'm not all that work brittle where raking leaves is concerned. Well, I should say my back doesn't appreciate the job.

The other major chore on the agenda is cleaning out the garage so that no one has to scrape their car windows early in the morning. I don't know how it happens, but things grow out there. A bag of clothes becomes a dresser, a birthday gift bag becomes a stockpile of seasonal wrapping—you know how it is. And I never did find my winter clothes last autumn, which forced me to endure one of our coldest winters with just one sweater and no bulky socks. I'm not going through that this year; I'll find that bag or else. I'm older now and my body doesn't respond well to the cold.

That reminds me. I need to buy two electric blankets, one for me and one for Joel, whose body also reacts badly to waking up cold. I've been doing a bit of online window shopping and I think I can get a couple of reliable blankets (some that won't short out, thus causing a house fire in the middle of the night) for a little over $100. Yes, I comb through reviews!

With the signs of the season all around me, I look out the window at the crisp sky, the vivid colors, and the gently floating leaves and I sigh, "Ugh."

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