It was sunny and warm here the last couple of days, and is supposed to be again come weekend. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain cats and dogs. And a week and a half ago we had snow. It was wet and clumpy, and there was enough of it to break things. Not near us, but close enough to affect friends. And it wasn't even the first snowfall of the season. That's how crazy the season has been. As I drive around, the trees are in a spectacular rich fall palette-- whole streets under canopies of gold, houses framed in the very colors of fall. There's a tree that glows red in the fall on one corner of my drive to Monkey's school. Every year that tree catches me off guard. Every year I keep meaning to come back with the camera.

It's warm, for now. It's gorgeous, really. But when I step outside I can't quite believe it. It's like the snowstorm tripped the binary switch somewhere in me, and now I know it's coming.  My season of (more) longing and (more) missing and (more) sadness. You know what else? Even without the snowstorm, how could I escape-- there's a frigging Santa figure, like nearly life-sized, parked in the isle of my local pharmacy.

I remember so vividly that four years ago, in my first fall of bereavement, the first snowflakes made me want to holler. They fell, tiny and fragile, melting almost on contact. The snow was here again, the planet being nearly through its yearly orbit. What I saw, or heard, or maybe felt in the first snow of that season was that time passes only for the living. That simple, cold truth got me that day. I am feeling nudged by it again. On the mornings when I have to defrost my windshield before I can start driving and on the mornings when I wear hiking sandals. It may be warm out, but I know it's temporary.


With the holidays (and snow) encroaching, I wanted to do this thing we haven't done in a while-- ask you how things are for you. So pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable, or as comfortable as it gets these days. Grab a mug of tea or a glass of wine and tell us: How are you?