When we were younger, we were assured that in autumn, the leaves would change color, would fall, and would need to be raked, presumably in that order. But that was then; this year, for whatever reason — global warming, El Niño or his wacky sister, chaos theory, a vast right-wing conspiracy — the last week of October in Oklahoma is green beyond compare.

For myself, I'd prefer to think of it as payback for the four months of drought during the spring and summer, a period of little or no rain, high temperatures, and seething tempers. Up through the middle of September, people started to wonder if this was going to go on forever. But rain in late September and October was about double the usual quota, and the lawns that survived responded with gratitude. Flowers that had held back because of the heat turned out in full bloom. It doesn't at all look like a few days before Halloween, and given the potential for grim cold on the Great Plains, I'm downright thrilled.

It won't last, of course; it never does. Eventually all this will grind to a halt: the scraper will once again resound against the windshield an hour before dawn, the wind will whistle down from the Great White North, and the voice of the tow-truck operator will be heard in the land. Between now and then, though, we'll have a few sunny days, some pleasant evenings, and the occasional Evil Creature knocking at the door — but let's not talk about the election just now.

The Vent

#122
25 October 1998

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 Copyright © 1998 by Charles G. Hill