bunt sign

Thursday, September 21, 2000

Fall descended on the North Bay in a big way today. I noticed when I woke up that the ground was wet. It was foggy when I got home from the game last night, and I'd had to use my windshield wipers. But what I thought was a heavy mist this morning turned out to be the residue of an overnight rain.

Then, at mid morning, it started to rain, in that misty, early-fall way where what looks like nothing more than heavy air can soak you through to the skin more effectively than any summer thunderstorm with raindrops the size of gummi-worms. These are sinister showers that invite you to walk through them by appearing harmless, but after you've gone ten feet you feel as if you'd been hit by a water balloon.

But the rain did clear the air, and it also made it unnecessary for me to water my massive garden tonight. That's a chore that takes me at least an hour every night, because I can do no more than half the job at a time. In that sense this weather is welcome, but I'm not really ready to say goodbye to summer yet.

Even though I've complained more than usual about the heat this week, I would rather swelter than shiver. The dark, wintry days ahead, even in sunny California, have a demoralizing effect on my usually sunny disposition. The days get shorter, the nights get longer, and I wither into hibernation mode.

It's odd that I have such trouble coping with wintertime darkness, because I'm a night person. I come to life when the sun goes down, and midnight is my best time of the day. It should follow, then, that winter would be my best season, but I resent everything about it, from the cold to the rain to the gloom of relentless night.

The rain today was welcome, though, since I didn't have to be out in it. The cooler, cleaner air is always a blessing to those of us who suffer from chronic sinus problems. Out here in the country, where the grasses grow wild, I don't have much of a chance. I know that the rain will encourage those grasses, in the long run, but in the short term it takes some of the poison out of the air.

I did have to slog down the muddy driveway to pick up the mail, and it was also the night to take the trash and recyclables out to the curb. Since the collectors neglected to make it all the way to my end of the road last week, I had twice as many cans, bottles and papers as usual tonight. And since the empty orange juice cartons have sat in my garage for an extra week, I've had to spray them with Raid to keep the ant population in check.

But I could also look out the sliding glass door and see more birds than I can count, splashing in the newly formed puddles and balancing on the branches and fence posts. Where a day ago I saw tinder-dry weeds, today I see a wetlands teeming with an interesting variety of plant species. The dust that has been blowing in my direction from the construction project across the street is now mud, no longer airborne and so no longer my problem.

I could resolve to make it through this winter without getting depressed. It's easy to make that resolution now, knowing that there are still many sunny days ahead. I have something going for me now that I didn't have a year ago, though. I have all the new friends I've made since I started writing online. I won't make any promises to myself, but I'm more hopeful as this winter approaches than I've been in the past.

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Bill, The Daily Epiphany, September 18, Lee builds a seige engine

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The Giants scratched out a tough 8-7 win over the Diamondbacks tonight at Pacific Bell Park, clinching their first NL West division title since 1997.
This win renders tomorrow night's game, which I'll be attending, almost meaningless. I'm still going, though.