Winter arrived abruptly this year. With the turn of the calendar page, Iowa went from a dry, warm September to a chilly, damp October. Speaking on behalf of the residents of our state, along with the flora and the fauna, I can tell you we’re still shivering with shock. Hopefully, an ambulance will arrive soon, and the EMTs will wrap us in blankets and elevate our heads until we can get to the hospital for an IV packed with mild autumn days and crisp, cool (but not frigid) nights.
This business of going straight from summer with winter has given me a wistful appreciation for fall. I’m longing for hayrides, picking out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch, the fall colors, rolling around in the crisp softness of piles of newly raked leaves. Instead, the days are full of rain and wind, the nights end with hard frosts and a skim of ice on the rain barrel.
The critters aren’t handling this abrupt winter very well either. In fact, sometime yesterday, after the farmer down the road harvested his corn, Mickey and Minnie winterized their summer cabin, battened their boat in the dock, packed their bags and headed for their favorite winter digs in my car. We’re evicting the squatters even as I speak, using as much violence as necessary, even though I sympathize with their discombobulation.
Near the garage, which the mice have dubbed “the Philo Marriott,” one rose bush refuses to bow to the inevitable. This morning, heavy frost covered it’s last, brave rose bud. I was sure it would turn black when the sun hit. But this afternoon, the flower waved its petals, bright and pink, when I went to get the mail.
Suddenly, I wanted to knit a tiny stocking cap for the courageous little thing, rig up my blow dryer as a heater. Something, anything to thank little Rose for bringing a touch of summer courage into my frosty soul.
But don’t think I’m getting to be an old softy. Mickey and Minnie are still out on their ears…unless you’d like them to live at your house.