far too much writing, far too many photos

Last week, pulling onto a backroad, I encountered a number of bicyclists, all done up in colorful biker gear, helmets in place, shades on. Tooling along in leisurely fashion, a group spread out along a lengthy stretch of road, chatting, waving. I continued on, passed the last of their number, rounded a curve and passed a slow-moving van — their van. Trailing after, monitoring, keeping watch — rounding them up at some point and carting them off. A nice way to pass a sunny autumn day.

Today, driving back from Montpelier, passing a tourist shop along the two-lane, spotted a similar van, saw bicyclists scattered around, chatting, pulling on gear — preparing to pedal off. Another group enjoying a sunny mid-October day. The last day, the local wet-blankets in the weather biz say, in this extended Indian summer that settled in here sometime last week. The longest stretch of Indian summer conditions that I remember, long enough that a couple of days ago mosquitoes and blackflies began hatching (after being killed off by cold nights in September). Weather so user-friendly it’s had me outside every afternoon scraping, sanding, painting, beginning pre-cold-weather garden clean-up. Slaving away like the… slavishly industrious… er… slave that I am. To me.

There are times when the quiet is broken by the songs of robins, migrating bunches stopping to hunt through the grass out in the yard — resting up, chowing down, then continuing south.

Most of the big color display is long gone around here now. Trees that had been holding onto leaves of eye-catching hues gave up during these last breezy, warm afternoons, showers of color flying out into the air, dispersing, some eventually settling to the grass, others making it to the road to cartwheel and tumble along, accumulating along either side of the lane.

Two weeks ago yesterday, a realtor came out to look through the house. An older guy, in his late 60’s, maybe 70. A good person, being very kind to the blathering individual who showed him around the place (the blathering individual would be me), the blatherer at times clearly suffering from deeply mixed emotions during the process. Since then, nothing. I have not been in particular rush about all this, so mostly let it be, continued working away at the mountain of things to be done. Called once last week to make sure he was still interested. He was but was buried by work and life events, I let him alone. Yesterday, the phone rang, I found him on the other end, telling me he was all set and wanted to bring me paperwork. That will happen tomorrow.

And speaking of the phone, I also found a long, strange message on my answer machine yesterday. A long, rambling political recording in the form of some nameless candidate — no name was provided, far as I could tell — doing a nearly ten-minute long Q&A with nameless questioners. The little bit I listened to frothed over with political buzzwords, but I found the politician’s ideology impossible to nail down. Could have been just about anything, at least to this uninterested listener. I did not delve into it too deeply. Pulled the cassette out of the machine, tossed it into a cassette player to find out where it ended and see if messages from anyone I actually wanted to listen to came after. None did. Hit rewind, dumped it back into answering machine, forgot about it. ‘Cause if I thought about it too much, it might piss me off. And it’s not worth the expenditure of calories. Seriously.

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This morning, northern Vermont:

EspaƱa, te echo de menos

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