Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thoughts on a Nice Autumn Day

by Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson

Okay, it’s November already, so where is Fall? Admittedly the temperatures have fallen to bearable levels (meaning the sky has gone off of ‘broil’) but where are those lovely all-too-brief Autumn days? Not here… The sky is bright blue and that treacherous, nasty sun is glaring right where you need to see, no matter where you stand. It’s November, for Heaven’s sake! Why don’t we have the lovely grey and cloud-hung skies that are so emblematic of November?

Anyway, since it’s now fairly nice outside I decided to run away from the computer and its unceasing demands for words and do some yard work. Odd – when I was young and limber I lived in a condo and the only yard work I did was watering the potted plants on my balcony. Now that I am not so young and not so limber I have a house and a large yard. Sigh. And in the final irony, I have decided I like yard work. As long as the weather isn’t too hot. Or cold.

Today’s chore was one I should have done years ago. We have a lovely A-frame swing of teak or redwood (I think) which sits on our deck. Years of hot sun and cold winters have not been kind to the wood, so today – armed with teak oil, paintbrush and a plastic cup – I went out and started applying. I should have done it much sooner. The wood was so dry it just absorbed the oil – inhaled it might be a better term.

The swing is not large; neither is the frame. I worked for over two hours, but got less than half the frame done in spite of using the entire tin of oil, and even so part of what I did hardly shows any oil at all. Obviously it’s going to take several coats to get the wood back in shape, which indicates a quick trip to the hardware store for more tins of oil. Then it’s going to take a coat of something waterproof (I need a consultation with the expert at the store regarding this) to really protect the wood.

Then I weeded, and swept leaves, and did a lot of the other things a yard continually requires. (Except mow – we hire someone to mow.) It seems the yard, like the house and the word-hungry computer, is never-ending in its demands for attention. At last I was tired enough to go back to the computer and its continual demand for words. That’s my job, that’s what I do – put words in order, in books and articles and emails… all of which need to be written. It is my career, has been for many years, and I love it. But it is nice to get out every so often. When the weather is nice.


  1. Susan,

    For forty years we lived in our own house and also had a lot of property to take care of. We loved doing the yardwork, growing plants and flowers, etc. But we sold our home and moved into a co-op which makes our lives physically easier. I do miss our house though. Doing gardening is a great for writers.

  2. Hope you are not working too hard on that swing Janis! I think sitting and swinging with lots of words floating around sounds good.

  3. Always nice to sneak away for a few hours or a day (or 2) but the computer beckons....

    Great post!
    Good luck and God's blessings

  4. Janis, we've had a really warm Autumn as well. I do NOT like yard work but did get out and cut back a sega palm last weekend. That did me in!! I admire anyone who can actually do real yard work. Enjoy because I'm sure winter will eventually find us.

  5. I also have spent more time outdoors while the wearher has been cooperating.
    One excuse is I do it for my little dog. It'll be rough for him in the winter.

  6. I agree! Yard work can be a great excuse for getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. here in the Northeast we'll soon be stuck inside with the cold so the kind of day you had is almost a gift.

  7. We're having an unusually warm Autumn, too. I haven't gotten out to enjoy it as much I would've liked. I'm not a compulsive yard worked, but I do enjoy getting out and puttering in the garden occasionally.