far too much writing, far too many photos

Standing outside in cool Vermont air, spreading white paint across a side of the small barn that sits across the broad yard from the house. Quiet, the only sound music rising from long grass, made by late summer/early autumn insects (that music occasonally overridden by my inner jukebox, one day playing ‘April In Paris’ over and over, another day ‘Norwegian Wood’). Temperature cool in the shade where I am, warmer in the sun. Now and then wind ruffles leaves in the trees, some yellowish/orange leaves let go, fly gently through the air, come to rest on green grass, part of the slow shift to the long, cold part of the year.

It’s a scene I’ve been part of a lot lately. Scraping, sanding, painting. Outside, everything quiet except for the gentle natural soundtrack. Finished up the side of the barn, moved to the house to begin the process of patching places where paint has begun to peel. Along the way, I take small measures to repair less than wonderful work done by previous owners. One of their more annoying atrocities: painting over the original white paint/red brick look of the house with a muddy grayish blue. (A neighbor recently remembered a conversation with those previous owners, the preevs assuring neighbor they were going to paint the house the color of the sky. The color of the sky on a ravaged, post-nuclear planet, maybe — not any sky I’ve ever seen.) Painting over bricks in perfect condition with a not-so-wonderful color, ensuring it will remain that way until someone down the road either invests a pile of cash to acid wash or sandblast paint away or cover it with a more user-friendly hue. And stopping work partway along one end of the house, leaving it part exposed-brick/part primer/part grayish-blue. (One blessing: they left behind a can of muddy gray-blue paint, more then enough for this kind of patching work. For which I am grateful.)

So I move slowly along the sides of the house, scraping at places beginning to peel, sanding it down, spreading a coat of primer, now and then slapping at mosquitoes.

The three-week stretch of perfect weather that replaced months of mostly cool/moist/gray days has given way with the turn to autumn. Rain passes through, giving way to times of blue sky and tattered clouds, the air often feeling soft. Last week brought a cold snap and frost warnings one night. For the first time I can remember, I didn’t try to cover up tomato plants or anything else. There’s too much to do, my attention is elsewhere. When the time comes for tomato plants and flowers, they will return to the earth and life will go on.

EspaƱa, te echo de menos

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