far too much writing, far too many photos

Yesterday morning, 8 a.m. Walked out of the house into a cold, gray a.m., the first post-warm-season flurries falling. Quiet, a frigid breeze blowing, small flakes angling down. The season that reigns here through half the year giving northern vermont the first shot off its metaphoric bow. (Yeah, that’s right — metaphoric, not metaphorical. [I'm speaking to the add-'al'-to-all-adjectives fascists here.] Metaphoric. As in romantic. Historic. Democratic.)


Got in the car, cranked the heat, started the drive into town, bleary as all get-out, doing the best imitation I could muster of a high-functioning adult human. A couple of miles along, rounding a curve where the two-lane passes a farmstand, a hunter stood by the side of the road — skinny, done up in hunting duds, holding a fancy, lethal-looking hunting bow. Expressionless, standing stock still, breath misting. Staring at the small market across the road, ignoring cars that whizzed by.

Nine days earlier, Columbus Day morning. Me making that same drive, a few miles down the road, outside Montpelier, where the Winooski River slows and pools at a dam. Some beautiful color still in evidence, eye-catching enough to get me to pull over, get out of the car, grab camera, take pics. At some point as I stood there, either a hunting season began or hunters scattered around the surrounding hills felt the collective urge to begin taking potshots at whatever caught their eye — gunshots erupted everywhere, continuing for several minutes, echoing off the hills. Continuing until I got back in the car (trying to walk calmly, like an adult who didn’t believe he was in imminent danger from a growing firearm frenzy) and took off. Sometimes Vermont is a strange place.

I completely forgot about Columbus Day, wondered idly during the drive why traffic was blessedly lighter than normal for a Monday a.m. Remained clueless until inside the gym, where a sign reminded everyone that parking was free that day (too late to keep me from making a small donation to the city). Ah, well.

Recent nights here have been well down into the ’20’s, leaving no doubt about the time of year that’s taking hold. Chickadees have begun hanging frantically about at the big window feeder, going through nearly half of it in a single day. And as the calendar entries have blown by, the background noise of state and national political hooha has become harder and harder to avoid, growing truly ugly as the days crept along. To the point that I’ve made a real effort to disengage from it all, choosing mental and emotional health over the growing noise.

The house goes on the market this week, I continue working away at things to be done indoors and outside. Gradually putting garden, rosebushes, etc. to rest for the winter. Slipping into the changes of daily rhythm that working with a heating stove means. Adjusting to ever-shorter hours of daylight. Like that. What will happen from here, we’ll see.

The days slip by, others take their place. Life rolls on.


Mid-October, northern Vermont — the middle of nowhere:

EspaƱa, te echo de menos

One Response to “remaining clueless”

  1. mad

    Where I live, October means an explosion of red — fire red, mega fires. No different this October.

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