Autumn has come to The Ranch
Autumn has not come to New Home yet: the sunlight is as straight and clear and oppressive as it has been throughout the Summer. I was concerned that I would not find it here either. Imagine my relief when I stepped outside of the airport and the soft, slanted light of Autumn hit my face.
This is written on Monday; I am actually already back in New Home due to a work commitment that I had to be present for. I have taken the liberty of securing permission to be here one week a month through the end of the year. I need to make sure my productivity merits being absent in body, of course.
The land here is starting to prepare itself for the coming Winter; were I to have a garden I would have until the end of October to plant one as it simply becomes too wet and muddy. The days here are already cooler - 20 degrees F or more cooler than the Summer and up to 30 F cooler than New Home. It makes for a welcome break from the remaining Summer heat that awaits me.
Other than my sister and The Outdoorsman, I have not really seen anyone at all. We did stop by and see my mother, as I have for the last three or four months (even though I have not written about the visits). The visits are always the same, with myself or all of us carrying on a conversation with my mother listening in. She will still pay a little more attention when my sister is talking about school or when I am talking about Nighean Bhan's work at the clinic she has to do her internship at. But other than that, she says little. I will say that in July when we visited and had Nighean Bhan's fiancée with us, she perked up a bit and gave us hugs all around.
We all agreed my mother looked thinner on this trip. My sister let me know that the facility had asked them to start buying protein shakes as she was eating less and less.
I try and turn my head away from what this portends.
The house remains in a varying state of disarray - after our efforts at the end of July little has moved forward, although understandable as my visit in August was mostly the hike and my visit in September was a total of three full days spread over four. My sister and The Outdoorsman got most of the laundry room cleaned out, both with chemicals and with an array of holiday decorations no longer needed.
I need to set a list of things to finish off - but again, I shy away from it.
I did make one piece of progress in asking my sister if it would be a problem if I moved here before we got the place rented. She had none. That was a relief, even if it was the easiest point on my list of things to do get here.
Still, progress is progress.
The afternoon sun blazes away over the skeletons of the spring grass as the cattle watch me idly watch me go by, while the turkeys in the far corner of the pasture work away at eating the remaining seeds and stalks the cattle have missed.
Winter is coming.