Over the weekend, I spent most of my time writing (this is National Novel Writing Month, and the goal is to write 50K words), but when Izzy and I went out walking, it struck me that autumn is at its peak. This morning, I realized winter is on its way. We’ve had our first frost.
Saturday night, Izzy and I scuffed through piles of leaves that industrious neighbors blew off their fading lawns and onto the sidewalk. At first, he didn’t want to plow through them, and I had to cajole him to hop right on in. He’s short, so there were times the leaves were over his head, and he’d pop up, leaves stuck to his nose and to his coat (which needs to be cut before the end of the week — he’s having more “bad hair days” than good lately). After the first couple of leaf dives, he discovered it’s much more fun than he thought, and now he’s searching out those piles of crunchy playthings. Now I’m the one reticent to dive in since I’m not sure whether the snakes who’ve just shed their skins might be finding a hiding place under the warmth of the fallen leaves.
While we were walking down Main Street, I glanced up at the sky. The black storm clouds were backlit with fiery reds, lemon yellows and pumpkin oranges, mirroring the colors of the leaves hanging on the trees along the street. The whole world seemed warmed by the autumnal colors. In the air, the smell of woodsmoke reminded me that the season for lighting the fireplace was upon us. The air, brisk and clean, prickled at my cheeks. Even Izzy seemed to recognize the change in season and he popped along beside me as if invigorated by the chillier air.
On Saturday night, I relished the extra hour of sleep, and Izzy didn’t seem to mind it either, but this morning I had to get up for work, and Izzy’s internal clock hadn’t registered Daylight Savings Time. He started poking me with his paw around 4:35 AM. Twice, I said, “ten more minutes, Izzy,” but he wasn’t listening. He hopped over me and sat on the floor near my head. I could feel him standing beside me, paws on the bed, sniffing my hair and quietly “woofing” — as if to say, “Here’s a gentle reminder that it’s time to get up, woman. Let’s go!”
He lasted until 5:30. No matter how many times I rolled over, it wasn’t working to ignore him anymore. So I got up, put on three layers and my gloves and headed out into the 37 degree morning.
Yup, it ain’t warm in North Carolina anymore.