Seasonal rites

transom.jpgToo squishy to light one last time this morning before dawn, the jack-o’-lanterns have been consigned to the compost pile. Last night, out came the scissors for cutting carboard shims, up went the ladder, and down came the eraser-ended chopsticks propping open the four hardwareless movable transom lights. On warm days until spring, it’ll suffice to raise or lower a sash or open a French door for air. The sleeping porch has been battened down. Nearly all the window fans have been packed away, at the rate of about one a day, not to be brought forth until Spring. The blackened blades testify to the great increase in particulate matter in Austin’s air. We had already cleaned them once this summer. This matter is not simple dust; it’s black and gritty and profuse. If the night temperatures show signs of precipitous drops, some of the green-and-white jade plants given by a neighbor long, long ago must come indoors sooner than other potted plants or else the white parts of the succulent turn pink in the chill. Every morning we look for new leaves of spring bulbs and every morning we find them (so far, chiefly anemones de Caen and St. Brigid, plus lots of paperwhite narcissus). Summer’s gone at last!

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