Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall's first day

First day of autumn
Acorns crushed on the road like
Peanuts on the bar floor

It felt more like summer today than fall -- 80 degrees, bright sun, humid. My arms and face got a little rosy as I ran three miles up on Garret Mountain. Could have more of the same tomorrow, but then it looks like autumn will arrive over the weekend with rain and temperatures in the 60s.

After the weekend, we're into the last stretch of baseball's regular season, which can be a relief (the day-to-day grind at work), a pain (the postseason is four stressful weeks) or heartbreaking (when the Mets still have a chance, only to fall short). With injuries wiping out the Mets' season before the 4th of July, at least there won't be heartbreak. Now I'm just waiting for the end so we don't have to watch the losses mount and can forget about them for a few months, until it's time to get our hopes up again for 2010.

It was a great summer. We had barbecues, late nights on the porch and visits from friends. We played Rock Band with the windows open and breezes coming in and only needed the air conditioning for one brutal week in August. I painted the exterior of the house with help from a family friend and have only a few more details to finish before the job is complete -- details so minor that I haven't rushed and it's been about a month since I picked up a paint brush. I may go out there one of these next two days to take care of a couple of them.

And it was a great summer for traveling. To Boston, the Cape and Maine in May; Cleveland in mid-July; back to Maine for rafting at the end of July; then Boston again for my college roommate's wedding at the end of August (a weekend I really should write about before I forget the details; perhaps I'll tackle that one of these next couple of days).

There are times -- sometimes daily, at the least a couple times a week -- when I'll find myself unhappy that I work nights and weekends and don't have the luxury of regular dinners with my wife or dates with friends. I miss out on a lot of things, have to skip get-togethers and weekends away. But then I feel fortunate to have a job, let alone one that can be fun and pays well enough to let us have this house and take these trips. And I still got to do much of what I wanted this summer, even if I didn't do it as often as I wanted. So maybe I didn't dig a single toe into the sand this year or even slip on a bathing suit one time (despite buying two new ones during our rainy visit to Freeport in May), but I'm not as drawn to the crowded, hot beaches as I used to be. I'm sure I would still enjoy a body surfing session, but Casey's not a beach person and living an hour away makes it more of an excursion than the 15-minute drive from my parents'. An afternoon at my uncle's pool would've been nice, but it just didn't work out this year.

So here's to a dip in the pool in Scottsdale in March and perhaps riding a few waves in Long Branch in August, next year. But first, the fall. A great season, after all.

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