The short Summer-it began experientially in June in Southern New Hampshire-was nearly over in September, it seemed.
For the first time since I moved back to New England in 2006, I felt a pronounced surge of dread at the turning of leaves and the sudden change in temperatures. Isn’t Fall one of the most beautiful seasons? Don’t I find it a relief that Summer, with its oppressive heat, is passing? Yes, although this summer we had few heat spells and none above low 90s: but in the North, normally following quickly after Fall’s fading comes Winter. After only 4 1/2 months of warmth, flowers, grass, green vistas, and ice cream, and camping, I still feel the fatigue of last Winter’s depth and duration.
It took me a few weeks to accept that this Summer was done, that all was as it should and must be. And embrace it.
The gorgeous apricot roses that I gave John for Father’s Day are still blooming, as is the Peace rose, gift of a friend in Lent, but the ferns have been killed to a brown by frost. We have eaten the last of our pole beans and almost all the remaining cherry tomatoes, and their vines are dying back.
There is so much red in the changing landscape that the daylight inside the house is a lovely rosy glow.
We are running our oil furnace nearly every day, keeping the house above 65–I am now wearing socks– staying the burning of firewood a bit so our supply lasts the Winter. John prepared a cord to season from our lot last year, and we ordered 4 cords more. That’s five cords of wood. Once we start burning wood, we will again rely on the woodstove and use the furnace as backup. Last Winter we lit our last fire in late March; that was the last of the 4 1/2 cords of wood. We filled our oil tank full for the first time in 5 years, and needed heat through May. A long Winter.
Now, though, we are happy once again to have some baked dinners and use warmer clothes. It is beautiful outdoors, bright sun, some rain showers, nippy days and cold nights. We are getting prepared for cold weather.
This month, this October, there is something new in our yard, something exciting, for us.
We are planting apple trees.
And water apples
“Plantings” , the title poem of my new volume “Plantings” says.
Next posting I will show you the three little apple trees in our yard, John’s hard work, before their leaves fall and the ground freezes. We have not had apple trees before. Life here, inclusive of its changeability and challenges –perhaps because of them–is good.