Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's in the air

Fall, that is. And the crows. And maybe smoke.

The weather is still warm, but with a cool tinge, if that's possible. The afternoon shadows are longer. And the bunches of grapes - first time for these guys on our three-year-old plants - are turning from green to lavender and sweetening up, but the grape leaves are getting yellow. It's like the fruit is racing the fall to ripen.

Every evening at dusk, hundreds of crows take wing from their trees in these several suburbs, heading southeast. Apparently they're all heading for a convention or gathering of some sort.  This evening Art and I tried to follow them. Maybe to an open area on a golf course? Maybe to trees along a slough? The crows were so numerous we figured it would be easy to find where they landed. We were wrong, though. At a certain point they all just vanished. As we drove back, we saw another hundred or so still headed to the gathering place. It must just be their secret. We decided that next summer, when the days are very long, we'll take bicycles and see if we have better luck.

Fires are burning in Central Washington. Art told me the sun rose flaming red this morning. And his eyes are itching. I said the wind never blows from east to west where we live. He said it did this morning.

We have a dozen apples on our two-year-old tree. I thinned them early in the summer and dumped a hundred or so of the gumball-sized apples into our yard waste bin. They were growing too close to the healthiest apple on the branch, so they got removed. I think I should make some applesauce. But I'll need jars and lids and about a case of apples. Maybe I'll do that next year at about this time.

Today I sent emails to three radio stations, reminding them that Veterans Day is coming up in just a couple of months and telling them I've got the perfect book to remember the day. I feel exposed, sending my name and phone number and email out like that. But no more exposed than in the book.

Next Thursday I'm scheduled to fly to Albany, New York, to attend a retreat for women who have a veteran in their life. It's just for us, this time. I wonder if anyone will remember to pick me up at the airport when I get there. I wonder if I'll be the oldest woman. I wonder if I'll remember the weekend as a life-affirming experience or as four legs of a five thousand mile flight.

Lots of wondering. Maybe that's what's in the air.


DJan said...

Yes, that's in the air. We saw haze today on our hike, probably from the smoke, and I feel the itch too. I hope you are picked up at the airport, and that it's a wonderful experience. I also hope you'll let me know one way or the other... :-)

Janette said...

How did you find out about that retreat?

Fall is not here yet :>( I cannot wait any longer!

Out on the prairie said...

A crow roost is fun to be near, they are very loud. It sounds as if fall is a calming part of the year for you.

Ms Sparrow said...

The uncertainty of meeting new groups of people must be universal.
I had to smile when you wondered if you would be the oldest person there. I also sometimes wonder if I will be the fattest person at an event. It's like all the anxieties of our first day of school follow us all our lives. I guess as much as we strive to be self-confident and "comfortable in our own skin", we are who we are.
I think you can be happy that the crow's roost isn't near your house! That can be noisy buggers!

Linda Reeder said...

It's still to hot to be fall. And too dry. We are burning up. And that smokey air has me sneezing and my eyes burning too.
I hope your trip goes well. You are way too resourceful to have anything go too wrong.

Tom said...

Fall means change, usually for the good. Whatever the calendar says, it certainly will be fall-like in Albany next week; enjoy yourself and the new friends you meet.

Teresa Evangeline said...

My grapes were a complete bust this year. I sure hope next year they recover and it's just part of their cycle. Coleman made some great wine with them last year.

A gathering of crows. Nice.

Sally Wessely said...

You have a lot going on, as usual. You are right, there is a lot in the air that goes with fall.

Have fun on your retreat.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Ooh fall always makes me think of apple picking, making apple/cranberry pie and wearing boots. Sadly I can't really do any of those things in Arizona. Well, at least not in Phoenix where its still 100 lol

Have the most amazing time on the retreat! And good for you for alerting the press of your book. I don't have the first clue how to go about doing all that stuff but I'm learning (slowly). Your book will be a good addition to the holiday!

Sandi said...

Busy you! Hope you have a good time at the retreat, it sounds like a great thing to do.

The fires are so sad! My youngest is in Ellensburg and she has been living with the smoke and is bothered by it. We could smell the smoke from Stevenson last week, the wind was blowing our way. I hope the fires are contained soon.

Grandmother Mary said...

Good for you that you're going ahead and attending the retreat not knowing the outcome. That in itself is life-affirming! To be with women with similar life experiences sounds wonderful to me.

Galen Pearl said...

Yes, fall is arriving--leaves are starting to change, the days are shorter. Enjoy the retreat.

Nancy said...

Those fires! Geeze the West has had a bad year for them. Living in the mountains, I worry all the time. Hope you have a very positive trip.