Energy of autumn

FALL MAKES  me want to do something. It puts a spring into my step.

In just the last few days, the presence of autumn has become more obvious. Leaves fallen from the peach tree litter the Jesus Patio, and the summertime dawn temperature of 60 has plummeted to 58.

So, this morning, with that spring in my step, I cast procrastination aside and decided to do something. First, I did what I do every Saturday morning, and that’s water the potted plants in the veranda.*

Dave Brubeck played Take Five  through the living room window.

fallEnergy up, I cleaned the glass-top table and web chairs on the Jesus Patio. I brushed dust and bat crap from the shelves along the veranda walls. And I swept the floor.

I cleaned the psychedelic ceramic birdbath and changed the water. I swept the Honda carport but not the Nissan’s.

I stuck my head into the bakery workshop and said hi to my child bride, baking in a cloud of flour. It smelled good in there.

I walked upstairs and oiled the squeaky parts of the gym set.

Fall has always been my favorite season. When I lived in Dixie, it was as far as you could get from the next summer swelter. There is also a certain sadness — a tristeza — involved, but a sweet sort.

In spite of that, fall holds optimism for me. It inspires hope, and that’s always a good thing. It’s fall, not spring, that reminds me of love.

* * * *

* I am reading my third excellent book in a row about India by William Dalrymple. There are lots of verandas in India, and I like the word. Plus, it applies to what we have here at the Hacienda. So veranda will replace the old “downstairs terraza.” The upstairs terraza will remain a terraza because it is not a veranda. It’s mostly uncovered.

24 thoughts on “Energy of autumn”

  1. We had cool winds blow through last night. Here, on the northern shore across from New Orleans, tonight will have lows in the 50s! I love Autumn, too. Later today, I am planting pansies among the front yard shrubbery. I agree about the sense of love and romanticism attached to Fall. We have football, high school dances, the end of the season fresh produce and shrimp, and the mosquitoes return to hell where they belong. It’s all good.

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    1. Laurie: You’re having good luck. I recall that when I lived in those parts autumn temps would almost invariably arrive about the 20th of September. It often got hot again, but that first touch would come roundabouts the 20th. It was very predictable and very beautiful.

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      1. I agree, Felipe. Summer in these parts generally lasts from late March to the beginning of October. I expect another blast of hot weather before I change out of these sandals and bermuda shorts.

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  2. Now I’ll have Take Five stuck in my head for awhile, but what a lovely scene you describe. Fall is is my favorite season too. Maybe because I remember growing up in San Antonio Tx and fall meant one had finally crossed through that circle of hell of oppressive heat and humidity. For a little while. So here I am in Northern California where we’ve had triple digit heat for the last week. Saludos from a hot place prettier than Texas.

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    1. Angeline: There are worst tunes to have stuck in your mind. Of course, I could have mentioned some of the other, less known, tunes that were also coming through the window, and you likely would not have had an association. Sorry about that.

      Having lived 18 years in the climate hell hole of New Orleans and also in San Antonio one summer, I can only chortle at your mention of “humidity” in San Antonio. San Antonio knows nothing of humidity. You want to experience humidity, go to New Orleans in August. Even Houston has far worse humidity than San Antonio though it’s nothing like a New Orleans experience. San Antonio is a walk in a dry desert. Again, ha!

      Moving on. I have also been in Northern California and it is indeed strikingly pretty, and it’s prettier by far than most of Texas, but the Texas Hill Country, there just northwest of San Antonio, gives just about anyplace, including Northern California, a run for its money as far as pretty is concerned.

      And that’s what I think about that stuff.

      They are all good places though in their different ways.

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  3. We just sold our cottage in Canada last week and went up there to close the deal. It’s just before leaf season now and we will miss the hills of many colors in that area but it’s also cooling down in San Antonio. We leave next week for a 25-day-long cruise down the US west coast from Alaska to San Diego and on to the Mexican west coast down to the Panama Canal. Through there to Cartagena, up to a couple of Caribbean islands and disembark in Ft. Lauderdale. All kinds of climates in between.

    Dave Brubeck “Take Five” 3/2 tempo.

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      1. Chiapas is also on the itinerary which is a long-sought destination for us. Stopping at a port is hardly long enough to get the feel but we could go to Tapachula, if we want. That is a place I heard about a good while back where a woman takes in amputees injured on the trains coming up from Central America to the US. She has a hospital of sorts where she, a non-professional, has repaired people who would have otherwise died.

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  4. Actually, the quartet’s sax player, Paul Desmond, composed “Take Five” in a 5/4 tempo. I was fortunate enough to be able to jam with both Brubeck and Desmond in my high school jazz band. Brubeck lived next door to our teacher.

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    1. Larry: Whatever the tempo, it’s music to my ears. My, oh, my, you were rubbing with some talented shoulders in your faraway youth.

      I was in my high school marching band for a couple of years. Alto sax and clarinet.

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  5. It’s nitpicking and I have never worked as a newspaper editor but to me “in the veranda” sounds very odd. Is that American English? Where I come from – Australia – we would always say “on the veranda”. Maybe just one of many differences in the variety of Englishes. Saludos desde el Monstruo, México DF.

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    1. Peter: Repeating it to myself, I agree that on the veranda is better. I’m not sure why I wrote in the veranda, but I’ll leave it that way so these two comments will make sense. I will, however, try to remember “on the veranda” next time. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I think I always wrote on the terraza before, not in the terraza.

      Let’s just write this off to mounting senility. You’ll get there one day — but not soon.

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  6. Fall has always been my favorite season…hands down. I love the golden afternoons and crisp mornings which have already arrived here in the big city. Take Five is an excellent accompaniment to your sweeping and dusting chores. I usually put on Pavarotti when doing mine…enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Charles: I too am a fan of Pavarotti. Fall does not arrive in Mexico with the stark changes that occur in some areas over the border, but it is noticeable, and it is nice. As for enjoying my weekend, everyday is a weekend! I think it’s the same with you. Thank the Goddess for unemployment.

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    2. Tapalpa was 59 degrees this morning, roosters were crowing at the crack of dawn and wild turkeys gobbling outside our window – it felt like fall. We are going back, soon, when it is cool enough to start a fire in the fireplace at the hotel and we will take one of the eco tours to the waterfall – Salto del Nogal. I played the bassoon in concert band and the piccolo in marching season – with no one famous. Now I listen to Latin music – Romeo Santos, Propuesta Indecente, being my favorite, probably because I cannot understand all the words, but the music is nice.

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      1. Bonnie: Tapala is 200 feet lower in altitude than my mountaintop, which explains the one-degree higher temperature this morning, I guess.

        But why is a good Christian lady like yourself listening to a tune called Indecent Proposal? That’s what I want to know. I am appropriately appalled.

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        1. The Bible is full of Indecent Proposals, and the consequences. I think the very best music is coming out of Latin America. I am just happy to be able to enjoy popular music again, in a way I cannot in the USA. We attended the mariachi festival in Guadalajara two weeks ago and the music and the crowds of music lovers was fabulous – the GDL philharmonic playing behind Mariachi Vargas. A very high brow performance for the masses. We always remark on how chaotic these kinds of free events are in the USA and how civilized everyone is in Mexico.

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  7. Fall is my favorite season too, though here in Boston, let’s say that my favorite part is early fall. Late fall begins to get seriously cold, particularly after Thanksgiving. But through Halloween, it’s all multicolored leaves, cooler temps, and drives through the country.

    Do you have many deciduous trees there? With lovely red and orange leaves in the fall?

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where it’s a bit sad to see the warm weather’s time run out.

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    1. “Where it’s a bit sad to see the warm weather’s time run out.”

      Not yet Kim. This week calls for more beautiful blue sky sunny days. Like today’s perfect weather in the 70’s…
      Fun to see; some leaves dropping but most trees are still green with big brown acorns on pines, pools still open, warm to hot days intermixing, hammock cool morning and nights, few people on a warm sandy beach to stroll on. Oysters galore. A good time for a walk in the “city”.

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