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The Color Orange

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Fall leaves on the ground with pumpkins

Orange was the color of record this fall season. We are not experts, but there are experts among us and by early October they were whispering about the absence of red in the foliage. Too much water in August was the buzz. Too much water coming on top of a drought that still hung over the land in spring, a drought going back to last year, which, when followed by all the water in August dealt the blow – or series of blows – resulting in the withholding of red by the trees this fall.

Or something like that. It was all still lovely. Still a miracle. From any high place, looking across the landscape at the autumn color you were compelled to utter, “Beautiful,” even when alone. In the company of others, whole poems and prayers of thanksgiving were being offered.

“Aren’t we lucky to live here?”

You wonder how we make it through winter. Wonder no more. Autumn is our booster shot.

Our grand, fall, pagan festival of Halloween returned after being snuffed by pandemic last year and the pathways in front of the Inn were once again bustling with the walking dead, with demons, goblins, ninjas, assorted superheroes, Kings, Queens, Princesses, various furry creatures with sharp claws and large teeth and a few giant chickens. They had one thing in common, these specters of the night, they liked cotton candy. We used about 300 cones warding them off at the door, which was likely the same for everyone else along Main Street, using what tools they had to repel the invaders. Sugar mostly. All was calm by morning.

It is about 3:30 in the afternoon and the sun is sinking behind the barn next door. The time has fallen back, and the days are what they are naturally this time of year – shorter. The light is turning orange. Outside the neighbors have spent the afternoon putting the gardens to bed, covering them with straw. The lawns are still mostly covered with leaves as the efficiently minded among us wait for the balance of them to fall before clean-up. We finally broke down and purchased one of those gasoline powered, backpack leaf blowers which makes the business of cleaning up the leaves much easier once you get the hang of it. If I could lose several pounds, I feel I might be able to launch myself into the air by pointing the nozzle of the blower straight at the ground. I might get high enough to see over the adjacent fields to Skatutakee Mountain at the edge of town. I can see Skatutakee just fine from the second floor of the Inn, of course, but how much more interesting to look while hovering in low leaf-blower orbit.

As another thought, we could have leaf-blower races.

It is just the beginning of off-season and already our minds are beginning to wander.

Time to fetch some wood off the pile and start a fire in the fireplace.


Tick or Treaters outside the Hancock Inn

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