I love Fall.
But then, I love every season for one reason or another, so I guess it’s not unique that I love fall. But I do, so there.
Only, it doesn’t feel like fall here. Today, the highs still reached ninety. The humidity makes it feel like you’re swimming even when you’re outside for just minutes. The trees are beginning to look a little golden, and there are pumpkins in the grocery stores, but that’s it.
I was delighted though, when I checked our forecast on Accuweather. It does a forecast fifteen days ahead – and October 20th, the site is forecasting highs in the mid sixties – and lows in the mid-FORTIES! Does anybody really know what the weather will be like October 20th? No. But it sure sounds fall-ish.
It’s Octoberfest in Savannah this weekend – good times had by all. Erin is visiting!
This morning, we went to the weiner dog races on Riverstreet. It was really funny. There was a huge crowd, so it was hard to get a glimpse of the dogs, but I managed to get close enough to snap some photos. I’ll include them when I get the film developed. We took Millie, and she was very good – although I think she was a little sad she couldn’t race.
I tried a new recipe tonight – one for a fruit salad. It turned out okay, but reminded me of a funny story.
Not long after Lee and I got married, I got brave and wanted to try a recipe from one of the new recipe books we’d gotten as a wedding gift. I wanted to make something I’d never tried before, but something that looked easy.
Page 372 – “Tropical Fruit Fool. Fruit fools are always popular, and this lightly tangy version will be no exception…”
Despite their evident popularity, I’d never heard of a fruit fool before. And why do they call it a “fool?” I would soon discover the answer.
Try as we might, I don’t think humans can create anything as beautiful as what nature creates.
Why all the tree-hugging sentiment? Last weekend, Lee and I went to Tennessee to visit my folks. We’d planned to go hiking, but it was pouring, so we went into Gatlinburg instead. Right in the middle of all the shops, is Ripley’s Believe it or Not Aquarium. It was awesome.
I’ve always heard it’s important to have good neighbors. I believe it.
We have a neighbor across the street named Mr. Clanton. He’s a retired police officer, but he sometimes still “patrols” our street. He knows everyone on the street, he even walks up and down the sidewalks picking up litter (sometimes he throws the litter and newspapers from our yard onto our porch if we don’t get them out of the yard quickly enough). He’s often on his porch swing, watching everything. If he’s inside and there’s a commotion on the street, you can always spot him peeking out of his door to see what’s going on.
Tonight, at almost 10:30, he knocked on our door. I’ve been parking along a side street and not in our driveway lately, and he told us he’d just seen a man looking in my car. When Mr. Clanton yelled at him, the guy ran. Then Mr. Clanton came over to our house, practically in his p.j.s, just to let us know.
Lee moved my car, and I said a prayer of thanks for good neighbors. Even if he does throw newspapers at our house.
I love public radio. But sometimes, the local people are so dry. I was listening to one woman this afternoon. I swear, she sounded like she was 400 years old and her voice croaked like she had just woken up from a 300 year nap and these were her first words.
She spoke almost as if whispering. As if all the people listening to classical music would be rocked out of their snooty chairs if she spoke in a normal tone. I mean really, her voice IS her job. And she squeaked.
The difference sometimes between local and national radio folk on NPR is amazing. I remember hearing one national reporter on several occassions who had a lisp. You might think he’d be ineffective. But there was richness and passion in his voice, and to me, the lisp didn’t matter. I would much rather listen to someone with a speech impediment but a passionate, commanding voice – than a voice that sounded more like a quiet, but nonetheless rusty hinge.
Music is powerful.
I’m sure it doesn’t affect everyone the same, but it is a powerful force with me. It always has been.
I was reminded of that today. I woke with a heavy heart, knowing this day would not be easy as an American, or a journalist. I knew I would see the images over and over again, and would feel the grief and loss again.
My mood shifted a lot. Sometimes, I was sad beyond words. Sometimes I felt okay, almost normal. Sometimes I could see video of the twin towers and not feel the lump in my throat. But add some music, and I was a wreck.
I went to the grocery story tonight. I felt fine. As I left, I even thought about the fact that I felt okay. In the car on the way home, I was listening to N.P.R., and they were talking about a song that has become the anthem of grief for our nation. I can’t remember the name of the song, but I recognized it. It’s a song dominated by stringed instruments – all playing dissonant chords. To hear the music, the familiar weight of grief returned. It’s been under the surface all day, hidden, then emerging at the slightest catalyst.
I am sad. But I know tomorrow will be easier for me, as will the next day. But I guess one of the things that saddens me the most, is thinking about the people who will not feel much better tomorrow. Today, I remembered 9-11, but many can’t forget it even for a moment. I saw an interview today with a woman who lost her husband. She was asked if there were at least a few good days now. She said no. Each day she just tries to make it through. I am sad for her and the thousands of others who’s burdens will not be lifted tomorrow.
It’s the Eve of the big anniversary.
In some ways though, September 10th makes me sadder than the 11th.
This time last year, I didn’t know much about Afghanistan, the Taliban, or even Osama Bin Laden. This time last year, tomorrow was just another day as far as I knew. This time last year, thousands of people were still alive, still with their families, still planning the rest of their lives with no clue theirs would end the next day. This time last year the renovations on the Pentagon were nearing completion, the Twin Towers still dominated New York’s Skyline, and only a handful of people had ever heard of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
It’s the anniversary of the last day we didn’t think we needed to care about these things. I’m sad because I wish I could take things back to the way they were a year ago. I remember what I was doing at 8:47 on September 11th, but I wish for the life of me I could remember what I was doing September 10th and that I could still feel the same way about the world.
Yeah, I know it’s several days late, but here’s the Friday Five.
1. What is your biggest pet peeve? Why? When people smack their food. Especially if you’re on the phone with them.
2. What irritating habits do you have? I pop my knuckles. Drives Lee crazy.
3. Have you tried to change the irritating habits or just let them be? I tried not to pop my knuckles one day. It lasted a few hours then I gave up.
4. What grosses you out more than anything else? Why? Roaches. They are disgusting. I hate them alive, but they’re still gross dead because of the way they crunch when you try to pick them up to throw them away.
5. What one thing can you never see yourself doing that other people do? Breaking committments. I think it’s rude when people say you can count on them to be somewhere or do something, and then they bail.
I was at the vet with Millie today. She wasn’t sick, just needed her yearly check up and shots. We were in the waiting area when a man came in holding a dog. I think she was a cocker spaniel. I could tell she was older because she had those smoky, glazed over eyes dogs get when they’re old and don’t see too well.
As the man talked with the vet tech at the desk, it became clear the dog was being put down today. I couldn’t tell if the man was upset or not, he didn’t really show any emotion. I started petting Millie, feeling sad about the situation, and she didn’t help when she starting whimpering.