26 October 2008

Autumn Livin'

I have always loved autumn, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until about a week ago. We had one perfect fall day. The air was crisp, and clean. The sun was warm, and there was a fresh breeze zipping through. It was that perfect temperature where it's just chilly enough for a great big sweater and a cute little scarf but not yet coat weather. It was like a GAP commercial come to life... only without the GAP clothes. At one point in the mid-afternoon, the sun was hitting the trees just right, and the leaves looked like they were glowing. By that point in the day, I had simply had enough of research and work, so I decided to go for a walk with my camera.

It was the most relaxing half an hour I've had in a while. I just strolled around outside, taking some photos, enjoying the season that didn't seem to exist for the last few years. The weather in Pittsburgh had always seemed to just jump straight from summer into winter. I'd be wearing sandals and tank tops one day, then seemingly over night that blistering wind would kick up, and by the next morning I was dragging out my winter jackets and turning on the heat.

Towards the end of my walk, as I made my way back towards the house and back towards stacks of library books and photocopied articles on the Korean War among other topics, I stopped by one of the apple trees we have in our yard. We have two, both planted the year my brother was born, a gift from a family friend. One was a little older than the other when they went in, and that became my tree, while the younger one became my brother's. My brother's tree was really young when the area got decimated by an extraordinarily large caterpillar population, and that stunted it's growth a little, so it's just starting to bear fruit now, about eighteen years later. My tree has been producing apples for a few years now, but we've never been diligent enough with the anti-bug substance of choice to get edible apples. So don't look at this photo too close, lest you see the little eaten away parts. Next year we'll try harder. Really. It'll happen.

My little walk refreshed me just enough to keep plugging away with everything that's on my plate at the moment. I've got three major research projects in the works at the moment, and I'm relatively behind where I had hoped to be by this point on all of them. Between work, and class, and rehearsals for all sorts of things, my life is rather busy. Taking 20 minute breaks here and there to knit a little, cook a meal for myself, go buy the dog a new toy (The lamb below she seems to have decided is her baby. She won't go anywhere without it since I bought it for her), or work on stuff for here is all that's keeping my wits about me. With any luck I'll be able to stay sane enough to get everything done in the next few weeks!


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