Foliage-drama is lacking this autumn. Summer droughts and rains, hurricane Irene are all reasons cited for this ‘blah’ fall. Even the usual spectacular reds of my maple tree have yet to appear, the leaves dropping more brown than red. But the flip side is that days are mostly warm and we’ve yet to turn the heat on or even start a blaze in the fireplace and there is still a meal’s worth of swiss chard to harvest from the garden.
But it’s time to get ready. Today, we will cover the draftiest old windows on this house with plastic. I’ll retrieve wooly sweaters and corduroy pants from a plastic bin I happily packed away back in May. With far less pleasure, shorts, cotton blouses and flowing skirts (I rarely wear – but somehow, always imagine I might) will get tucked into storage until next spring.
Like the squirrels, I have been hoarding sustenance for the long, dark nights ahead – making piles throughout the house of books to see me through the season. I picked up Ann Patchett’s Truth & Beauty from the sale bookshelf at the library (my bus-man’s holiday) because I enjoyed State of Wonder and this ode to her friendship with fellow writer Lucy Grealy has often caught my eye. I also picked up A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah for $2 – a former best-seller I never read. At work I have snagged a few advanced reader’s copies including Thrity Umrigar’s new The World We Found and a first novel by Ayad Akhtar, American Dervish described as “A stirring and explosive debut novel about an American Muslim family struggling with faith and belonging in the pre-9/11 world.”
Bring on the cold nights and light the fire, I’m ready to read.