The oak leaves have turned from brown to crispy. They’re falling, and I still can’t resist kicking my way through them on the path. The birches and beeches are still yellow; the yellow is thinning but it’s still enough to catch the mid-fall light. Cheryl Wheeler’s “When Fall Comes to New England” is running through my head.
The Japanese maple outside my west-facing window is tinged with red at the top. I’ve been tracking this tree since 2012, and the red always starts to show in very early November. By the middle of the month, the red is spectacular. It waits till everything else in the vicinity has passed its color peak, then there it is, catching the light at every time of day in a way that makes me pause in passing to gaze in admiration.
My most reliable guide to the changing of the seasons is the laundry line. I use the washers at the Airport Laundromat, then bring the clean, wet clothes home to hang out. The laundromat does have dryers, of course, but they cost a quarter for a scant four minutes and it takes several quarters to dry jeans and other heavy stuff.
And of course there’s the undeniable attraction of using wind and solar power instead of electricity . . .
So when the clean underwear supply runs low, roughly every three weeks, I watch for the next good drying day — bright sun and a brisk breeze will dry everything in a few hours — and off we go. While the washers wash, Tam and I stroll around the airport grounds and a little way down the dirt road that runs past the beer store, then back along the bike path. When we get home, he watches from the deck as I hang everything out.
Saturday’s laundry had a little bit of almost everything: shorts, summer-weight cotton pants, short-sleeved Ts, long-sleeved Ts, henleys and turtlenecks. We’re far enough into fall that I could barely remember wearing the shorts that were at the bottom of the hamper. What’s missing from the mix is longjohns. That makes this a three-season laundry line.
It’s getting colder, however. This was “fall-back” weekend, the end of Daylight Saving Time (which we all know doesn’t save any daylight, it just moves it around a bit). When Tam and I went out this morning a little after 6, the temperature was in the (barely) high 30s Fahrenheit. It’s time to make room in the drawers for longjohns and jeans, room in the closet for more turtlenecks and sweaters. Yesterday I pulled my two boxes of winter clothes out of the closet. Haven’t unpacked them yet, but the time is coming.