Halloween snowstorm and a delayed harvest…

Not often do we find ourselves looking out into a blowing, white snowstorm on Halloween morning. Well, that’s exactly what has presented itself today here in northern Illinois. Of course, the possibility of accumulating snow has been in the forecast all week, and, sure enough, it was spot on! It will be interesting to see just how many little ghosts, goblins, and other ghoulish creatures come knocking on our door later today with determined attempts at garnering candy.

As I write this late in the morning, looking out my workroom window to the east, the snow is swirling and buffeting around the tall trees and the tall golden corn in the field beyond. That golden corn crop should have been cut already, but the weather has been an uncooperative force all along. When farmers are still struggling to get a harvest started—let alone completed—this little weather quirk will be one more fly in the ointment.

It has certainly been rough for them all the way through this year. From the beginning, being able to get into the fields in early spring was near impossible for many weeks, due to the massive amount of wet weather we had here in northern Illinois. Next, there was quite a number of storm damage done in the summer months, causing many crops to be lost. Now, when harvest time should be in full swing, there’s this day of snow, as though conjured up by the Halloween spirits to further test the patience and mettle of those dependent upon a successful harvest.

We’re definitely living in strange times, and one need not look any further than out my workroom window on this Halloween day, 2019, to begin to believe it!

Let the trick-or-treaters bundle up warmly and tread carefully through the white stuff later today, as they go about the business of gathering the goodies that await them. And best wishes to the farmers as they try to make the best of this continuing pattern of misfortune.

Oil change, morning TV, and late-October musings…

cropped-countryroad1.jpgLate October—very late! Halloween rolling in tomorrow. Weather changing. Patio and deck furniture hauled to the garage. Solar lights pulled from their places of importance around the yard and brought in for cleaning, battery removal, and storage.

One of the last mowings, trimming, and edging for the year before mower gets traded for snow thrower that’s been hiding out in son’s shed down the road a ways.

Car in for oil change this morning. Large TV blaring in waiting room in Service area. Screaming fans in the street and gushing hosts and hostesses on program annoying and headache inducing! I hate TV in the morning, especially GMA, but I can’t very well get up and turn it off. It’s not mine, after all! So I sit and wait. Try to read my Jeff Shaara book about the siege of Vicksburg, but Taylor Swift is rattling my concentration with her birdlike warbling.

Commercial break. Two to three minutes of political spots that paint opponents as the most evil and vile persons walking this planet! These do nothing but add to my distaste for having the damned TV turned on in the first place!

A lady beside me is bending the ear of an older gentleman two seats away—something about the tree that fell next to her house and the giant sinkhole that scared the bejabbers out of her neighborhood. He shakes his head as if to say that he is spellbound at all that she is telling him.

Some employee from the front comes in, apparently on some mission of importance, and re-stocks the styrofoam cups for the coffee machine, that is now woefully near empty!

Fortunately, oil change and tire rotation is done within forty-five minutes, so I’m free to escape and regain my equilibrium in the peace and quiet of my Equinox. Best part: maintenance service still under warranty and no charge, and everything checks out A-OK. Still like new!

On the way home, I pass many farms and fields. Harvest in full swing, and farmers working hard to beat the impending rain and big weather change that’s heading our way here in northern Illinois by tomorrow.

Nearby orchards and farm stands have closed for the season. Out of apples, pumpkins, and other autumn delights. Signs proclaim that another season has come and gone and “Thanks for your patronage…see you next spring!” Owners preparing to head south for the winter, I would think. Basking in the sun while we’ll be basking in the driving snow as it flies at us from our snow throwers on a regular basis.

The busy “writing season” is creeping in now. Important to take care of outside chores so when the frigid winds howl and the snow begins to fly and the furnace reports for duty once more, work on next novel and short stories can move along without so many interruptions. No NaNoWriMo for me this November. Have enough work to do on current WIPs. Maybe again next year.

Now, time to move along to next items on “To Do” list. Happy late-October, all…CortlandWriter 🙂No Sun Up in the Sky...

October Shadows…

October Night Stillness

The day grows late and the darkness begins to creep in. Most of the fields have been harvested and lights begin to come on in farmhouses and barns across the now-cleaned fields. A kind of quiet peacefulness now rests over the land and only the sounds from the nearby Interstate break the silence of the twilight. Far off to the east, the water tower stands sentinel, its hulking shape overlooking the freshly-cut fields. Another day has come and gone, and quiet envelops the small town.

A month or so ago, the sun would still be setting, kids would be playing and shouting at one another in back yards, and couples would be enjoying an early-evening stroll around the streets of the quiet town. Now, the sun has long since vanished, the kids are having their bedtime baths, and the avenues and byways are empty–devoid of any walkers. The late-October skies are clouded and ominous. Sometime overnight there may be rain storms. The Shadows of the night grow darker–and spookier!

There has always been something I’ve enjoyed about this particular time of the year. Perhaps it’s the realization that summer has truly said farewell for awhile. Perhaps it’s the sun-filled mornings that so quickly give themselves up to sudden shifts to cloudy skies, strong winds, and chilling rains seemingly out of nowhere. And perhaps it’s simply the many changes that repeatedly go on all around us–especially out here in farmland–that we fail to notice completely or to which we pay very little attention.

Inside, it’s warm and safe and comfortable, perhaps a nice fire going in the fireplace; perhaps an annual viewing of Halloween for the millionth time! All around are strange sounds and little quirks of the night. The shadows of October are in full force, doing what they do so well. As always, the feeling that things “out there” are different now are ever with us. Before bed, we make sure that all doors  and windows are securely locked, and one final glance to check out the mysterious shadows of the October night is in order. It’s a strange and wonderful time…MLA