October’s bright blue weather

O SUNS and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather;

When loud the bumble-bee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And Golden-Rod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When Gentians roll their fringes tight
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
October’s bright blue weather.

O suns and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October’s bright blue weather.

Helen Hunt Jackson, 1893. That kind of day today in Upstate NY.

I forget which grammar school teacher had us memorize this, but it’s much more relevant to my life here than in Chattanooga. We never had chestnuts dropping unannounced from the tree — it was more like black walnuts at our house. I still don’t see a lot of gentians here – but it was bright blue today. We are certainly counting every hour like misers. Winter is coming.

I’ll be glad…

…when this set of fronts gets past us. The up and down is getting to my sinuses – which gets to my lungs!

Yesterday was quite pretty after the early morning. I took a home-to-the-marina-and-back walk and enjoyed a warm breeze (I swear!) off the Lake. I stopped and bought a cup of coffee and a scone on my way through downtown, so I stopped and enjoyed those on a bench about a third of the way along.

Today? It certainly feels chillier, even though it’s 50 degrees. The wind is a lot nippier and the sky has been mainly overcast. The occasional breaks help.

The annual “omigosh that’s where I left it!”

I’m having that annual “Omigosh, that’s where I left it!” moment. It’s 55 degrees and overcast and I need to run downtown to drop off some dry cleaning and buy some coffee beans. I put on my leather jacket and THERE IT IS! A little box I bought in Rome that I figured I’d left in Rome, since it wasn’t in any of my suitcases.

Amazon and me

One of the least pleasant things about being abroad is being without Amazon Prime. So before I left Rome I went to my shopping cart and started hitting CHECKOUT. Luckily, I moderated my desires so that I only got about 5 boxes delivered while I was funeraling in Chattanooga. But my own kind of specialized life would be less possible without Mr. Bezos and his Prime shipping.

After a grey week a glorious Sunday

Upstate New York doesn’t get much more beautiful than this.

I walked down to the marina and back this afternoon. First, view back into the outlet of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal (the city Marina is just inside and to the left). Second, view out with the breakwater on the right.


Outlet in


Outlet out


I’m lucky – I’m a Ph.d. who ended up (lightening strike!) in a place I enjoy a lot of the time. Now if I could just get more than a single week off in March . . . .

Sleep disruption

So Sunday night I slept too little – I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 3, never to get back to sleep. Last night I went to bed at 10:30 (and it was work to stay up that late) and got out of bed at 8:05 (I’d gotten up in the night to go to the bathroom once). Both mornings I’ve been equally groggy and useless. UGH.

Christmas decoration at #13

Christmas decoration efficiency . . . the Presbyterian Church’s Wassail Bowl sale opened at 10 – I ran across at 9:57 and got into the (heated, thankfully) anteroom. They let us in at 10 and I zipped over to the wreath display, where I competed with upstairs neighbors and colleagues and colleagues’ spouses for the wreath of my choice. I think I liked the ribbon on Hazel Gunn’s even more than the one I got, but my door looks good.
Total time? 15 minutes!

Among other things, I really don’t get this weather

image by Michael Tinkler
image, a photo by Michael Tinkler on Flickr.

This was yesterday on the way home. Every year, the snowflakes show less and less on my hair . . . où sont les neiges d’antan?

We seem to have dodged the snowpocalypse – the weather maps are all much re-designed.

This morning the temperature is 32.2 degrees but the snow is falling steadily. I think it’s accumulating where there was already snow, but sidewalks and streets are staying clear (if slushy). I don’t have to go outside until later, when I need to walk a sick friend’s dog.