Friday, August 30, 2013

Zoned for Autumn

Spring cleaning around here is more often known as the please-can-we-take-down-the-Christmas-tree, post-holiday great ornament stuffathon. Given the heat and the way the house is designed, fall cleaning is our Windex holiday of choice. As soon as the temperature falls into the mid-70s during the day, we can open windows and air out a house grown stuffy with months of continuous a/c and begin scrubbing things down for family visits and so on. And decorating.

This year, we're putting together a Renaissance Festival scene in the former TV alcove and spreading Halloween around the living room. Fantasy, Renfest, and Halloween go together for me and I've put aside a couple of books for the month of October that promise to make the most of the beginning of tale-spinning season. December is also a great month for reading, when (if you leave a window open), huddling in great drifts of blankets puts me in a reading mood. In the middle of the reading, decorating, and celebrating of October and December, November is NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) and I have a shaggy dog of a story for this year's NaNo.

This was all brought to mind this morning when I saw two tan doves hopping around in the baked brown grass of the median as I was stopped at a light. In between the two lanes of traffic on my side and the two lanes of traffic on the other side of the median, the wide median yard was a wild fall scene of bird and groundcover. In order to watch the doves, you couldn't pay attention to the CVS across the way or the multiple lanes of traffic in the far lanes opposite. The doves matched the grass, which had no small trees in the center and so had been spared any extra water during the summer.

The contained scene, like an illustration from a children's book, was both an intimation of fall and a reminder of decorations tacked to bulletin boards in elementary school. Proto-scarecrows were scattered in the grass. Stories are tucked in the chest, waiting for cooler weather to slip out like ghosts on our breath.

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