Tag Archives: summer

Messy Fall

Maybe my favorite season. Fall can still feel like summer when it starts and can be definitely wintry when it ends. It’s got moxie, drama, sensation. It’s not the sappy, coy pinks, blues and pale yellows of spring or the constant multiple green shades of summer. Fall is bright oranges, reds, and yellows that can razzle dazzle you when a shimmering sun is just about to drop below the horizon. Fall is unpredictable, a strong blow can bring those leaves to the ground, covering everything in site.

Fall is messy. I think that may be what I like so much about it. Spring and summer you work in the garden, weeding, trimming, grooming beds. You are taming nature.  It all can look so lovely and so perfect. But nature isn’t. Fall reminds us that nature can be wild and wicked. That it can be a blaze of glory or it can be the frightening shadow of a tree stripped bare of its leaves looking like a fearsome skeleton.

I’m a neat person. There is not a box and container store that I don’t like. Sorted, categorized and labeled, I totally embrace the tidy, the ordered, the system. I always said it was because I had a messy mind, undisciplined, off-track, screaming sometimes for free rein. Clutter is fraught with tension for me. I can feel the muscles across my shoulders tighten, my heart thumps, my pulse races. Clutter is not for the faint of heart.

And still. Fall is my favorite. There is no way to control it. Each year, year in and year out, fall is a test for me. This year, like so many wonderful ones before, let the leaves fall. Let them cover the grass, get caught in the rain chain, slip through the cracks in the deck. Let them blow across the driveway, pile up under the bushes, slip in under the garage door. Never mind. I’m okay with the mess. All too soon all of it will be bland, uniformly bare and winter. Then, only three more seasons to go before Fall is back.


I lose June every year and it makes me sad. It’s when we start the registration for the 2013 logo for FBfall conference and one thing leads to another and WHOOSH! the month is gone, with nothing to show for it, but pixels on a computer screen. This year I was a bit more productive. In addition to beta testing a new website,  I applied for a work in progress grant, completed a non-fiction book proposal for a publisher and wrote the first chapter of a YA coming-of-age novel. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The June of the station wagon packed with summer shorts, sweat shirts and swim suits, tents, sleeping bags, beach towels, camp stoves, lanterns, coolers, is the one I can’t get back. We were two families, the Hannicks and the Burketts, of all girls. Moms and daughters taking off for vacation, fathers to follow on the weekends. We would leave directly from school, uniforms, shoes and shirts carefully packed up and put in a special bag not to be seen for three months. A couple of hours drive north of the San Ferenando Valley and we were there, Carpenteria. Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara. Mrs. Colburn’s restaurant with THE most amazing lemon chiffon pies.

June Gloom they call it now, cool, foggy, damp. We camped right on the beach, supposedly the ‘safest in the  world’, the deep didn’t start until about a mile out. You could body surf those waves forever. Sitting on the picnic table, gritty with sand in every crevice of my body, I think I was happiest. Nothing called me but the now.

We use a lot of clichés now. They are posted all over Facebook, clever sayings, adages. We go way beyond the Farmer’s Almanac or Ben Franklin or even Shakespeare [although Will did memorialize pithy sayings with a bit of panache] Back then, we used the thumbnail comment with considerable caution, today, not so much. Memories almost demand the succinct, but no. Because each memory is different. It’s all about Point of View.

June. Run everywhere. Hair out-of-control curly. Fingers water-wrinkled. Skin sun-pinked painful. Food grilled. Parents relaxed. No getting up time. No going to bed time. Fourteen books every two weeks from the Burbank Public Library returned early. Summer.