“Jacket!” she pronounced, heading up the steps---an unprecedented move, as any “Lets go in now,” has all Summer been met with a protesting small “Noooo,” or a giggling dash for the back garden.
We walked for blocks and blocks---at least I did, but at quite a cardio-happy rate of speed. She ran. “Yeah, RUNNIN’!” she’d chortle as we sped down the sunny sidewalk. We looked in on Oga and Peewee and Chocho, gave an across-the-street wave to the two loud Dobes who inhabit the Yellow House, and a soft "Ah-WOOO!" in the direction of the three Bassets on the corner. Sure enough, they were out, and came chugging their friendly way to the fence. We picked up sticks and stuffed our pockets with pale green acorns, long and slender---obviously not the plain old sturdy oak trees I’m accustomed to.
We sat for a while on a cool bench in the sun, admiring the frenzy of bright orange mums planted anew in our park; we picked up little clumps of leaves---oak this time, instead of the usual paintbox of maples---they just haven’t felt the call of the chill yet, and will be probably a month in reaching their peak of beautiful.
Just at lunchtime we went way around to the grocery store, picked up a tiny cake for the evening’s celebration of Caro’s birthday. A small trip into the Chinese restaurant for a chicken-stick and a sugar biscuit; she munched the biscuit on the ride home in her little push-car, ate her chicken and cup of milk, then went readily upstairs. A long nap in her windows-open room, with the breeze and windchimes making melodies through the monitor.
We set tables, made pitchers of tea, and when all the family arrived at 5:30, we called in an order for General’s Chicken, Happy Family, Lo Mein, Moo Goo, a simple pan of steamed chicken and broccoli, egg drop soup for the little one, and several of their wonderful crispy egg rolls. Chris picked up the fragrant bags as we got ice into glasses, pulled up chairs.
Six of us at table, presents, good food, silly talk, cake and ice cream with our family. Nice day.
This morning was also breezy cold, still damp from all the weekend rain. We ran and ran, visiting our doggie friends up and down the blocks again; and now we’re home, into the house still scented with breakfast bacon and toast. She’s in the big blue chair with Fifi and the Flowertots, and I’ve poured the last cup from the percolator.
And the treasures from our yesterday’s stroll, except for the pumpkin---it was one of a pair we bought at the grocery store last week. From the driver’s seat of the small green pickup, she pointed to the pile of Autumn bounty in a basket: “Orange?” she asked. I confirmed the color, and she learned the word “Pumpkin.”
And the small acorns seem to have made their escape. They’ll probably turn up soon, fallen to the depths of the ToyTub, or rattling around in the dryer.
I read a saying once---a man said, "If I have only one month to live, let it be October." He'd have to admit---yesterday and today were about as close as it gets.