Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the English poet, once said, "Why is it many of us persist in thinking that autumn is a sad season? Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful, if we are to judge her countenance."
Again, this seasoned senior chimes-" I am not sad --early to mid-fall is just the happy side of summer and the pleasant side of winter!"
The soybeans in the field have been harvested. Yesterday morning, the flock of wild turkeys could be seen picking over more than slim pickings. They allowed me time to observe them and then moved back toward ground cover.
I then focused my attention on a gathering of a variety of wild birds searching out bugs and loose grain from the grass along the easement next to the field. Turkey buzzards aloft were searching for their breakfasts too.
The cuddly little kittens were waiting for me to dish out an easy to eat feast. I found them sitting in the crown of the evergreen shrub amid the branches. " Peek-a-boo" and to the dish they flew!
The three little kittens have names now--Trudy, Midnight and Trek. They lack mittens, but Trudy, my favorite, wears clean white socks and has an attitude. All enjoy playful romps in the first maple leaves to fall. I gave them a plastic cup, a make do toy to roll around, but I think that they would rather have a noisy ball.
Lady beetles search out ways to move into the little blue house at the end of the road. A few succeed, but I bring out the air rifle. Some call it a vacuum cleaner. I draw my weapon, aim at the tiny targets, and they dropped like flies. Then I dump the fatigued wannabe squatters' from the holding tank, back to where they came in from.
Then, later in the season when the heat comes on and the ceilings and woodworks warms, I realize that, yes, I reduced the army, but I didn't win the war. I wave my magic wand again.
Elder beetles knock, but they can't come in. There is no room at the inn.
My sister, Sandra Gallardo, and her husband, Gilbert, visited me Saturday afternoon.
She loves to take nature walks around the homestead and hereabouts, especially in autumn. We covered a goodly portion of our forty- acre spread. She enjoyed revisiting "Genies" pond where we fished for blue gills during the springtime of our lives.
The configuration of the landscape has change somewhat, but to us, in the moment; it was untouched by time or man.
The long pit pond where we target practiced with our dad is all but dried up. We envisioned a sharp shooter and two little girls armed with a weathered 22 rifle sitting on a high spill bank shooting at rotten eggs tossed from a slop - bucket into the murky depths and surface to float in the brightest sunshine we ever knew. We could almost hear the echoes of Dad's laughter, when we missed our marks. We recalled that we couldn't even encourage a goose egg to stir up a stink. The large bass that swam, back and forth, the length and breadth of the pond during those days never lost his cool. We still talk about it well over a half of a century since.
Autumn has arrived to the pasture at the homestead. Sandra walked familiar paths with me. We stopped beside the chairs where Dad and Mom used to sit, converse, hold hands, laugh, sing church songs, and listen to his beagles at work. He could never understand why Alzheimer's robbed her of most of that. Still, they sang church songs and he held her hands. And later, when God took our Mother home, his children and faithful friends would sit beneath the maple with the fellow that lost, the love of his life, his best friend.
Sandra and I walked on. We checked out the fruit hanging onto their birthplaces on the tall mature persimmon trees. The stately poplar in the pasture still stands.
The leaves still rustle, often short of a breeze, the cedars fill with birds, just the same. Field corn crops of past plantings flourish. A team of workhorses, a well used wooden wagon, gunny- sacks of hand-shucked corn, pumpkins, and gourd galore; the pasture saw it all. Now we see it, clearly although it isn't there.
Our harvest was bountiful; we carried a heavy load. Our wheels were turning at break neck speed; we skipped back down our path.
It was comforting to bring our loved ones back, if only for just a little while. When Lynch sisters closed the wooden gate that our loved one built by hand and headed back across the lawn toward the little blue house, we admired the off-shoot of our old apple tree, by the remnants of the coal pile; the place we used to work and play- cry and laugh. When we checked out where the outhouse stood--we just had to smile.
My sister lives in Linton. She is a retiree from AUL Insurance, located in Indianapolis. Sandy is a five- year cancer survivor.
Well folks its time to call it a day, a very long day.
I can be reached at 446-4852 or drop me a line to 613 North Elm Street, Brazil, IN., 47834 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.