The little snap of frosty weather came tripping by last week and froze the rest of our peas, peppers, okra, and squash. We picked and stored what we could beforehand. This same cold should give the mustard greens a bit of a bite just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. My family will be pleased. As far as they are concerned, I can leave off the turkey and cook extra mustard greens. We’ll serve them up with those pickled cayenne peppers from the summer garden and some good hot cornbread.
During the weekend when the temperatures rose again to a comfortable level, we opened up every single window in the whole house and let the fresh air flow in. The dogs checked the outside view from every window. Along with the nice breeze, quite a few sounds wafted in, too, some that I hadn’t noticed in a long time. Suddenly, the dogs were running up and down the hall barking at the train, which was whistling its merry way down the track about a mile away. It didn’t sound like a mile away. The dogs thought it was in the living room, and for a few minutes I wasn’t so sure myself. We all breathed a sigh of relief when it passed on by.
Next I heard the wind rustling the big sycamore leaves that still cling to the tree out front. I went out, sat on the bench underneath the tree and listened. A pleasant sound indeed teased my ears as the wind ruffled my hair. The leaves that fell darted across the yard like playful puppies, tagging one, tripping over another, and falling down among their crackly peers. I wish the grandchildren were here to play with them. What child turns down an opportunity to play in fallen leaves? I could probably be enticed to rake a few piles if they were here. However, they aren’t, so . . . .
We enjoyed the sounds and smells so much that we decided to leave the windows open all Saturday night. The weather channel promised lows in the 60s and little, if any, rain. That night I lay on the bed reading when I heard a strange and eerie sound outside. First I thought it was our outside dog, Sally, just outside in the pine straw—her favorite sleeping spot. I listened again. Maybe not. And then it came again---tu whoo, tu whoo. Was it an owl? I hadn’t heard one in years. Something about that sound has always given me goose bumps. I listened intently as the sound repeated itself again and again. Charlie lay on the bed beside me and cocked his head questioningly. I’m sure mine was cocked, too. We probably lay listening to that owl for 15 minutes before he stopped his oration. It was an amazing performance, but I was glad I hadn’t heard it while alone in the woods.
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