"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Autumn

This is my first autumn since I was a kid. It used to be my favorite season, and I have fond memories of helping my mom rake the front yard of our San Antonio, TX house and then rolling around in the pile of leaves afterwards.

And then the divorce happened and we moved to the island, and autumn and winter were no more.

I used to hate September. Of all the months in the year, I disliked September the most. I loved celebrating my brother's birthday on the 15th, but the rest of the month itself was absolutely miserable. Humidity stifled you. The ocean breezes died down, and even when they did blow, it was like the burst of hot air from a chimney. Fans became a constant. Even our dogs would leave their soft fluffy beds for the coolness of our house's floors just so they could lie in front of the fans.

Dying ocean breezes and sweltering heat meant that the surface of the sea became a water bath for baking hurricanes. Just like you'd make flan in the oven.

Except flan is so much more enjoyable than a hurricane...
I had a love-hate relationship with hurricanes. Us kids loved having the days off from school: when a hurricane threatens the island, even to this day, everything except for the grocery stores closes so people can rush home, stock up, and batten down the hatches. In my home, it was a time of family unity, where the sole focus was on preparing to weather the storm. We'd play music on the radio while having the news on the TV to keep track of the storm's whereabouts, while nailing boards to the windows with my grandfather, helping my grandmother bring all of the plants into the house, and making sure all of the chickens were safe in their coop. We'd do a last-minute hay run, and Lucero would get an entire bale or two in his stall so he could graze while the storm passed, since there was no way we'd be able to get to him in the middle of the storm. Hay was grown locally on the island, so hurricanes meant that we would not be able to get more hay for at least a week or two afterwards.

And then the storm would hit. And we'd hunch down in the living room downstairs, eating soup heated on the Sterno, listening to storm updates on the battery-operated radio, playing Chinese checkers by candle light, and enjoying the drop in temperature that always happened with a hurricane while the wind roared and clawed at the house outside. It never made its way in. We were safe, together.

One of the perks of living on the side of a mountain was that you never had to worry about this...
And then the storm passed, and we'd peek out of the house and survey the destruction. There were a LOT of trees on our property, which invariably meant we always had to literally chop our way out. At age 10, I learned to wield an axe and I'd help Grandpa while he attacked the fallen trees with a gas chainsaw.

Depending on how much damage had been caused, it could be up to a week before school started again. They'd announce the schools re-opening on the radio. And then it was the long wait for the power to come back on. We lived just outside one of the bigger cities in the Metro area, but it was such a heavily forested area, which meant we were often among the last to have electricity returned to us. The longest we waited after a storm was two months!

Never mind the pain in the ass that going out at night became. We had an electric gate to the property, and a regular gate for cases where the power went out. Our street was dark as a dragon's lair at night, and was just as lonely...so no power meant having to get out of the car to manually open and shut the gate so you could get onto the property. Oh, and there were packs of wild dogs out there too, that often hunted at night. So yeah: we didn't go out much at night after hurricanes.

And yes, no electricity...in the hot, humid, muggy heat of September. It is not hard to see why my hate of the aftereffects of hurricanes eventually far outweighed my love of an excuse to get some days off from school. Too many nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep because it was *so* *freaking* *hot.*

So I woke up today. Today, September 17th. What would have normally been the hottest part of the summer back on the island (and Florida!). The entire apartment was pleasantly cool despite the AC being off.

I walked outside to go to the barn, and had to turn around to go back inside the house to grab a jacket.

It was bright and sunny out...and 53 degrees at 10:00 am!

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd ever say this, but...September might just turn into my favorite month!!

Have a bunch of photos from last night's visit. My mare looks good in the golden autumn light. :)

"Oh hai!"
I LOVE THIS ONE!!
The lens flare is real, too. No Photoshop.

She was trying to sniff my hand.

Nuzzling my pockets.


The other mares were finally letting Lily get close to me without actively trying to chase her away.

The moon is almost full. Can you see it?

Look how close she is to the cows. 

The herd. <3






12 comments:

  1. I love fall and I grew up in California where fall is nothing like what you guys have back east. So keep up with the pictures, totally loving it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem! :) I love photographing the changes. The light is just so gorgeous, too!

      Part of the reason why I had started the Today's Run feature was so as not to miss the very beginnings of fall, and it worked. Haha...

      Delete
  2. I know they're super destructive... but I get a little excited about hurricanes. I think it reminds me of home, but that is very weird.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a way, they do remind me of home. This was my first summer living in a non-tropical climate, and I've still found myself checking out the hurricane forecasts...old habits die hard. So I don't think you're weird. :)

      Delete
  3. Beautiful pictures!!!

    That flan looks delish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? I'm still holding back the urge to make some...

      Delete
  4. I have yet to really experience a hurricane here. Maybe one, small? I like the big storms, though. From inside.

    Also - love the photo of your girl's eye with the sun flare. It lights up her eye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the storms are much better when viewed from inside, safe and sound and dry! Lol

      Delete
  5. I love fall here on the east coast. It is my favorite season. I cannot imagine living somewhere where it was HOT and HUMID this late in September.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, I've spent a lifetime envying everyone that lived in places where the leaves started changing colors this time of year. Finally, we're here to experience it too! :D

      Delete