Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day -- Autumn settles in

I'm just back from translocating the sixth, I think, chipmunk this year away from the property. It would have been the seventh, but the last striped one in the Hav-a-Hart managed to turn itself loose before I could get to it. Even if I had moved all seven, that's far fewer than the 16 or so that got transplanted last year. I doubt there'll be any more this year but, as always, we'll see.

storm clouds over Carlos Avery pool
storm clouds over Carlos Avery pool
Photo by J. Harrington

The weather is settling in in a way that reminds me of John Denver's song Back Home Again. We got a strong shower or two earlier today but it's been quietly cloudy since then. The last forecast I saw had most of the wind and rain moving across the state well south of us. Let'sl see if the forecast holds and how accurate it may be.

oak leaves: how many to a pound?
oak leaves: how many to a pound?
Photo by J. Harrington

While I was off this morning getting a hearing aid fixed, the Better Half decided what seemed like several hundred pounds of oak leaves should be cleared from the driveway before they got rained and/or snowed on and then frozen into place. I got home just in time to help with the second or third tarp load. It's late enough in the season that even the oaks have dropped most of their leaves so we probably won't have to tackle leaf moving again until Spring cleanup. The younger generation believes in leaf blowers, but I hate the sound of them and, I'll admit, even the idea of "blowing" leaves. Snow blowing is a different story. I can't come close to explaining why I feel so different about the appropriateness of blowing snowflakes but not fallen leaves. I suppose it's because I accept the futility of trying to rake snow, although I don't recall ever actually trying that.

Even if you had to work today, I hope you took at least a few moments to remember to offer thanks to those who served in the United States Armed Forces to protect the rest of us.


By Siegfried Sassoon 

Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.   
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.   
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win   
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,   
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain   
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train. 

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Please be kind to each other while you can.