‘Twas the First Week of Autumn

September 22

The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs, and rooftops were abandoned. Such trees as there were allowed their leaves to fall – they fell unnoticed – seeming to promise, not without bitterness, to endure another year. ~ James Baldwin

[Our occasional tenant returned for a visit . . . ]

[These were shot through the window, lest we created a disturbance . . . ]

[Nevertheless, there seemed to be an awareness of the camera . . . ]

[I’ve got my eye on you . . . ]

The queen was settling on the edge of the bed, ungainly with hesitation and at the same time exquisite in her grace, like a heron landing in a treetop. ~ Megan Whelan Turner

[Gil Scott-Heron?]

September 23

[Looking out my bedroom window . . . ]

A brunette would have stood out like a turd in a salad bar in this bunch. ~ Jess Lourey

The fog comes on little cat feet. ~ Carl Sandburg

September 24

Our annual “goodbye till next year” dinner with Mary and Crazy Dave on Big Darling. It’s on evenings like this when we do miss being on the big lake . . .

[Crazy Dave, master of all he surveys . . . ]

We interrupt this broadcast to give you a brief history of Crazy Dave, because to know him is to love him . . .

The Camp Ballentine Owens returned to the shores of beautiful Lake Darling at a time when we were absent from the shores of beautiful Lake Darling.  To her everlasting credit, Mary came to the symphony all by herself, as in alone.  “Crazy Dave” stayed home to watch some baseball team named the Indians on TV. Knowing this was a very weak excuse, he further posited that classical music exacerbates his GI tract distress.  This made absolutely no sense to me . . . but then, why should it?  Oh, and the symphony was wonderful – these folks play their instruments with the same pizzazz and elan with which I butter my artisan bread toast!  

Friday night was a Let’s Celebrate Golf Season shindig at the golf club with chicken, ribs, and fixin’s, with Mary and Crazy Dave fresh from Sarasota . . . and with BAT.  BAT sang for both of them for their recent birthdays.  Mary said, “Pass the ribs, please.” Crazy said, “I only have a beer and a half in front of me?”

Alexandria braced itself today (July 16) for what annually has become the largest eating fest ever this side of Stearns County. Shalom Lutheran Church sponsors a pork chop and chicken bar-b-q, with all the fixin’s, that usually takes place in 95-degree temps with 75-degree dewpoints. We have a weather reprieve this year. Possibly because of that, turnout seemed larger than ever this year. Several 747’s full of Japanese tourists landed at Chandler Field this afternoon, creating parking mayhem from Villard to Urbank. The super and I had pre-paid tickets, but nevertheless we had to stand in a line that stretched all the way to Elden’s. Once inside the church we were given a number and told to wait in the sanctuary. Once inside the sanctuary, we were told it would be a two-month wait in the SRO crowd before our number would be called. Fearing a panic attack, or even worse a hunger pang, the supervisor bolted forward asking if we had to wait if we wanted take-out? We did not – we were saved! Here Crazy Dave supervises the hordes of volunteer grill operators – to which all I can say is, better him than me! 

Oh, you!!

Known accomplices of Whitey Bulger (as I recall captioning at the time) . . .

Meanwhile, back to our original story line . . .

[The view north in Camp Ballentine on Lake Darling . . . ]

[And the view to the southwest . . . ]

[And the view west . . . ]

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  Teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. ~  Anonymous

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~  Henry David Thoreau

I would remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content. ~  Ursula K. Le Guin

Meanwhile the sunsets are mad orange fools raging in the gloom. ~ Jack Kerouac

[Meanwhile, back at the ranchero . . . ]

And all at once, summer collapsed into fall. ~ Oscar Wilde

[Known local fauna . . . ]

[Apparently in search of a place to bed for the night . . . ]

[Say goodnight, Mary; say goodnight, Super . . . ]

Good night, sweet princess, wherever thou art . . .

It’s like going back to school. You know, autumn! Time for ‘Harry Potter’. ~ Robbie Coltrane

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. ~
Henry David Thoreau

Up Next: Depends . . .

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