Finally Fall

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Copper bough with fall leaves


Here’s what makes me happy right now: This weather!!  We are so waterlogged and moldy; the rain has been our constant companion. I have a layer of mildew on everything in my house, and maybe even on me. Overnight, however,  the moisture evaporated and the temperature got closer to normal range and I feel more energetic and lighter. The sun is blasting outside and I want to lie down on the sidewalk in front of the shop and getting gob-smacked by the warmth and intensity. (In the latest book by Toni Morrison, Home, the main character gets a serious infection in her uterus, and the woman who heals her makes her lie down in the sun with her legs spread apart so the sunshine can cure her. While I won’t be flashing my vagina, I will be soaking up the sun.) It seems I always wear a sweater like bag lady Ruth Busby in Laugh In, but it feels appropriate today. I don’t look as if I inhabit a different zone from everyone around me.

Another thing that brings me happiness is doing something—anything—to make progress towards healing the unease that ails us. I wrote a stack of postcards encouraging people to vote in the midterms. And then today I went to the library and voted early. Yes, it is open and there is no waiting! Please do vote now before time slips by and it’s too late. It will make you feel, as it did me, more powerful. For me, it was similar to the feeling of finally cleaning out the closet instead of just muttering every time I open it and see the mess, dustballs, and stuff I never wear. Just do it!

The other thing that cheers me is finding a book in the library this morning by one of my favorite authors: Elizabeth George, Deception on his Mind. It isn’t new, but somehow I have never read it. George is one of those American writers who has fallen in love with Britain and British mysteries. Her series, set in England, features Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. These two are opposites. He is an elegant Lord and she is a messy, overweight woman. Both are smart and caring, though, and over the years I have seen them both through triumphs and tragedies, and feel them as familiar as old friends. I am itching to settle into the leather easy chair in the shop and dig into it. Pesky customers keep interrupting me. Should I lock the door?

When I voted, I ran into Glenn Cox at the library. He and Zee are heading to Philadelphia to visit their son, and he was searching for books on tape to ease the fatigue of their car trip. I recommended a book by Deborah Crombie, another American Anglophile. Her books feature other old friends of mine, Gemma and Duncan. I know them and their children and their friends, and would love to have a party where I could invite them as well as Lynley and Havers. I would also have to invite two of my flesh and blood friends, Julie Bresnan and Elizabeth Kirk, who share my passion for these books.

There was a time in my life when I would love to be at the LEAF festival or roaming around in the woods, but my interest these days is more sedentary. Leaping out of my lazy body into the world of danger and intrigue in a mystery gets me the kind of mental exercise I prefer. And as far as physical exercise? I will quote the tee shirt of a member of my exercise class for seniors: “Exercise? I thought you said More Fries.”