The annual ritual has begun.  I raked leaves, he’s washing windows.

He will put all the leaves in bins and bags; we will work together to install the storms.

It’s October at its finest.  Mellow temperatures, a slight breeze.  The last of the roses are blooming, and the air is this amazing golden glow, with a dark blue sky behind the maple leaves.  (I don’t really understand light well enough to explain that bounced light from the maples, but I experience it.)

There’s still plenty of garden work to be done.  The dahlias are only coming into their own now, although they started the summer in great shape.  And the gladiolus never throve*.  It just wasn’t their kind of weather.  But the begonias survived deer and dry; some are still blooming.

So it’s time to bring in the dedicates and plant the last of the hardies.  Iris and daffodils go in; elephant ears and palms come in.  The market is filled with end-of-season tomatoes and corn, herbs and greens.  Root vegetables fill the aisles.  And while apples and pears are remembered in their absence, grapes perfume the air with their concord aroma.

If only we had more concord in the world.

The persistent wind has added more leaves to the area already raked; the ladder is up and ready for installing those storms.  A beautiful October afternoon – a golden afternoon**.  Alice could help with the chores, though.

*throve – past tense of thrive, if you don’t agree with regularized English verbs.  From the American Heritage Dictionary: “Old English had two classes of verbs: strong verbs, whose past tense was indicated by a change in their vowel (a process that survives in such present-day English verbs as drive/drove or fling/flung ); and weak verbs, whose past was formed with a suffix related to -ed in Modern English (as in present-day English live/lived and move/moved ). Since the Old English period, many verbs have changed from the strong pattern to the weak one; for example, the past tense of step, formerly stop, became stepped. Over the years, in fact, the weak pattern has become so prevalent that we use the term regular to refer to verbs that form their past tense by suffixation of -ed. However, there have occasionally been changes in the other direction: the past tense of wear, now wore, was once werede, and that of spit, now spat, was once spitede. . . .”

** the weather reminds me of Lewis Carol and Alice in Wonderland.  Ask me some time about how I had to read the complete works of Lewis Carol – in 4th grade! – because my brothers were banned from TV.

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