Saturday, October 20, 2018

Fall Comes Cold To The Ozarks

A few weeks ago, fall blew into the Ozarks on a wet and blustery wind. I knew it was coming. All the signs were lined up. Children  returned to school over a month ago. Halloween candy and costumes are stacked high in the stores while Christmas decor is is overflowing from it's waiting spot in the wings.

Outside the trees are donning their seasonal colors. The fog is slower to burn off under the weak morning sun, and there's a chilly snap in the air. Thin plumes of smoke have started emerging from chimneys tinging the air with the smell the burning wood. Pumpkin spice is being hotly debated over social media. Extra blankets are dug out of storage while sweaters, jackets, and boots replace summer gear at the front of the closet.

It's so scenic. Quite Currier and Ives... Hell, I've been cold for two weeks solid as dark, cloudy skies have dumped days of rain on us. Luckily, I'm not sweet enough to melt.

The house feels constantly damp. The air and everything I own is permeated with, let's say, more of a classic wet dog odor than pumpkin-anything. No matter how often I wipe them up, the floor is constantly decorated with muddy paw prints. 

Archer, the approximately five-month, Baby Huey brand puppy that was unexpectedly thrust into my life, has mastered the trick of getting past me at the door. His huge paws tracking mud as he races around and around the couch before jumping up to plop his wet butt on the cushions. With his tongue lolling out in a wide and happy grin, I can just imagine him saying, "And in the morning, I'm making waffles."

Kif, my two-year-old dog also races inside with a vengeance but his motive is to make sure his food dish is safe. Once satisfied no one has eaten from his bowl, he checks to make sure the kittens haven't trespassed into dog territory. Of course, they have. They jumped the gate, to what was once my study and is now their domain, the moment they heard the backdoor shut. 

I've been trying to socialize the four together with mixed success. Lately, the kittens have been standing their ground. Refusing to run back to safety. Their audacity has resulted in thorough lickings. I've learned that rescuing a cat completely drenched in dog spit isn't my idea of fun.

But I've been smug. My escape planned. Tickets had been booked months ago. I was headed to Arizona for a much needed visit with my daughter under rich azure skies with lots of sun. Sweet, sweet sunshine which was in short supply this year in Missouri. I might wear jeans and a jacket on the plane but my suitcase held shorts, sandals, and t-shirts. 

Yes, I checked the weather forecast for Phoenix. On the phone, my daughter said it was unusually cool. I scoffed. After all, I'd been living in Thomas Hood's poem November.  
No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day

I arrived in the state known for having the most sunshine to find it overcast and cold. For three days straight I've worn the only pair of jeans I brought. As I type, my hands are freezing and I've a throw over my legs. There is no sun. There is no heat. Arizona is not living up to its name and the insult is overwhelming.

But I'm still so glad I here. My daughter's smile is brighter than any sun and I've been enjoying seeing my heart-grandkids. My, how they've grown.    


My trip to not-so-sunny Arizona ends this weekend, and it will be hard to leave. However, I might find Missouri's fickle weather will be warm again.

As a landlocked Missourian, I feel guilty complaining about rain.  Yes, we flood here in the heartland, and it can be destructive. However, it is nothing like being directly in a hurricane's path. My heart goes out to those hit by these deadly storms. In no way am I trying to diminish their suffering with my lighthearted pettiness. 


or join me on Facebook


Leah St. James said...

Robin - What a fun post! I can't even pick a favorite "story"--they're all too sweet/funny/whatever. It's finally getting chilly in southeastern Virginia after a looong, hot summer, and today it's drizzly/cloudy. We might even have channeled Missouri's weather (or Arizona's for your trip). Thanks for bringing some sunshine into a dreary day. Love the photos with you and your family! Enjoy every moment.

Brenda Whiteside said...

Well, Robin, from someone who lives in AZ, I can't tell you what a welcomed relief this chilly, wet weather has been. Not what I'd want for a getaway though so I sympathize. Thanks for sharing!

Jannine Gallant said...

We have color here in Tahoe, and cooler temperatures. We've gotten a little rain a couple of days this fall, but nothing major. Considering the unbelievably dry summer, we could take your weather! I had to laugh about the kitten covered in dog spit. Definitely not fun!

Rolynn Anderson said...

I love your colorful cloud that moves...and sends down rain. California could use rain. I admit I moved to California because the sun inspires me to write more. Gloomy weather is a turnoff, for sure. Sorry AZ didn't measure up. Weather is fickle, especially this time of the year. Wet animals...not so fun. And the smell!

Thanks for the animal and family stories...delightful!

Andrea Downing said...

Enjoyed reading this. Having just returned from the Tetons where autumn was well advanced and the bears are storing food in their tums for hibernation, I am back on Long Island where the wind is blowing and leaves just beginning to fall. Then off to London on Tues. and wondering what I'll find there--damp most likely. Hope you continued to have a good visit in AZ.

Margo Hoornstra said...

We went directly from 80s to 40s and below here in Michigan. My begonias froze the other night. Although we do have some beautiful color going on. Love your attempts to teach the dogs and kittens peaceful coexistence. Too bad AZ didn’t cooperate for you, but seeing the grandkids should compensate. Thanks for sharing a fun post. Now it’s back to the dog spit, eh?

Diane Burton said...

Laughing at your dogs' antics, the kittens, too. As Margo said, fall has arrived in Michigan, too. She's in the middle of the state where I'm on the west coast, so the weather patterns are a bit different. We've had the lower temps, ever a frost, but the color isn't quite here yet. Lake Michigan has a big effect on temperatures. The colors in the middle of the state north would have been beautiful last weekend (when we were there) if not for the rain. So disappointing. So glad you got to see your daughter and family. Enjoy them as much as possible.