Friday, September 22, 2006

If Autumn Comes, Can Snow Be Far Behind?

Today's rant is written on the last day of summer. As usual, I am not yet ready to see it go, but of course the seasons pay no attention to my opinions or desires. So that is enough to put me in a Bad Mood right off the bat.

Adding to the Bad Mood is that today is also the last day on the job of my favorite Alphagraphics CSR, Ashley. She has shepherded my latest "Greenwich Historical Calendar" into print, and it is always an unmitigated pleasure to walk in and see her red hair and welcoming smile. Each time I leave I am more in love with her than ever, and wish I were two or three decades younger so I could tell her so. But we all know from reading Chaucer (and the tabloids) that May-December marriages rarely work, so I suck it up (or try to) and get on with my life. I've written her a farewell poem in a zippy mock-heroic style (rhymed iambic tetrameter couplets, if you want to know), and will go by in a few minutes to hand it to her.

Then I will get back in the car for my usual drive to the back country to look at the daily-increasing hues of the leaves before they give up the struggle and cascade to the ground. Remember how we all used to rake them into big piles, jump in them, and then rake them back up and set them on fire? What a gorgeous scent they made! In England the farmers used to set fire to their fields to prepare them for the next planting season - ambrosial! One wonders if they are still allowed to do that...probably not. The government loves to spoil our innocent pleasures, somehow thinking that it's fine for noisy diesel trucks to spew thick black clouds of carcinogenic smoke into the atmosphere, but not to burn an all-natural pile of leaves. Grumble, grumble...I can feel the Bad Mood increasing by the minute.

And then, after what will no doubt be a glorious but all-too-short leaf season, the snow will start to swirl and eddy around our eaves. The trees will become "bare ruin'd quires," as the Bard put it, which at least allows one a better view of the back-country mansions that are always fun to gawk at - that is, the ones that are not pretentious eyesores blighting the landscape, of which there has been a virulent epidemic of late. Such a pity that you can't legislate against bad taste...our local misnomer, the "Planning and Zoning" Commission, neither plans nor zones, and in fact publicly acknowledges that it is powerless to prevent most of the monstrosities perpetrated upon us. My personal opinion is that eventually the Greenwich real estate market will tank as people gag at the ugliness that is overspreading the town and then start to look elsewhere for their housing.

(Time passes...)

Well, in case anyone other than me was wondering, Ashley liked her poem. She knows I have an unspoken crush on her - women have radar about these things - and seemed genuinely pleased at the thoughtfulness of the gesture. We hugged, and she said we'd see each other again, as her new job is only in the next town over. Boy, I sure hope so. I had a king-size lump in my throat as I drove away, and in fact I still do...I think maybe it's permanent. (At least until I fall in love with someone else....)

Other news in town: the Author Babe is now the Radio Babe as well. I heard Sarah Littman on the airwaves this morning shilling for Ken Kieffer's show, "Keeping the Rumor of God Alive" (see my earlier post for more details). Her semi-monthly newspaper column is also generating a lot of buzz, mostly favorable - noises are being made about getting her syndicated nationally, which would be a Good Idea, IMHO. Her latest blog about her adolescent son asking questions about sex is an absolute riot, and extremely well-written, as usual.

My other favorite author chick, Diana Peterfreund, has been running a series of answers to questions about writing from her fans. She is one of the most thoughtful, generous, and intelligent writers I've ever run across, and her blog, "Diana's Diversions", validates everything Al Gore (or whoever) did in inventing the Internet. Oh, yeah - she has a wicked sense of humor, as well.

Well, the Bad Mood has metamorphosed into a Melancholy Mood, Ashley-related, of course, and the skies have turned gray to match my inner weather. But there's a patch or two of blue still left on the horizon, so perhaps that equates to Good Things ahead. As usual, I'd like to know right away what they are, but that would spoil the surprise. Guess I'll just have to wait and see.


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