Autumn was palpable in the air this morning. I came downstairs and made coffee, sat on the deck watching the wind make patterns out in San Juan Channel. For most of the day, the channel was filled with tiny whitecaps, and although it was sunny and clear, the overwhelming feeling was one of approaching cold weather. It’s getting darker earlier, of course. Eight o’clock feels much like nine o’clock felt a few weeks ago, and that’s the only thing I really lament. Cold, wind, rain, all of these are fine. The lack of light is what will soon be a major factor in our lives, here in the Northwest.
In the city it’s less of a problem: you go into a building in the morning, you spend time in front of the computer and in conference rooms with people, and then you get in the car and go home, and it’s dark both directions. At least it will be after Thanksgiving and before the seasons turn again. But here, where my days aren’t marked by buildings and conference rooms and whiteboards, this autumn and its shorter days will be a bigger adjustment, I expect. But a couple of cords of firewood, and perhaps an adjustment to my schedule — up early to catch the sun — will help.
This coming weekend is Labor Day, and I’ve got guests. Tomorrow I’ll start preparing the guest room, washing sheets and cleaning the house in general. My contractors are finishing up with painting and some miscellaneous work, and I suspect within a week or two the house will be “done” and quiet, perhaps even my books will be unpacked and the garage able to house a car, rather than my library.
It’s looking like I won’t go back to school until Winter Quarter, mostly because of timing issues in getting my Ph.D. committee re-formulated and getting all the gears and cogs at the University to do their thing for readmission. That’s fine — at this point I’ve only got one free weekend between now and Thanksgiving, so a quarter “off” after finishing the house and before getting serious about my dissertation is just fine. The move and the house has taken longer than I expected — “island time” — but the end results are nice and cozy, without ostentation or over-decoration. This fall I expect to enjoy the quiet weekdays, studying a bit in review for Winter, and having good weekends full of friends visiting from the city, or heading down there myself for social events, and of course my fortieth birthday. Which I haven’t planned at all, but is looming closer by the day…