This has been a time for small pleasures. I got to wear long pants for one day last week, even though I really could have (and maybe even should have) been wearing shorts. Today, one of my favorite lunch places in Tucson in re-opening after a couple of months Covid-break, so I get handmade pasta and good pastries this afternoon. Dave reorganized the plants on our kitchen table, tallest to shortest, and despite my slightly obsessive dislike of change, I just went ahead and let him.

Not everything, of course, is roses. Monday was the anniversary of my father-in-law Doug’s death, which is a day I remember often, and without pleasure, though it was a beautiful September morning in Wisconsin, and he died in his bed, and the light was peaceful. But you know. I suppose someone is always losing someone else, on the mornings when the weather’s nice, but when it happens to you, it seems like such a strange coincidence.

In honor of Doug, we all had donuts, which my sister-in-law picked up from one of our favorite Mexican bakeries. I have an abiding love of their sugar donuts, and so I had donuts for breakfast and donuts for dinner, and I guess you shouldn’t do that everyday, but some days, actually, you should.

Yesterday, when I went outside to check the mail, a hawk swooped down right by my head, and I wondered what I’d interrupted, whether it was hunting, or if it had decided to hunt me, or if it just wanted a better look. I’ve been noticing how rapidly birds can change direction midair; this behavior is something I associate with spring, but spring is more of an attitude, as it turns out, whereas the acrobatics can happen any time at all. There are flocks around, and then fall, all of them, simultaneously in among the prickly branches of a bush. They burst out like heartbeats from every angle.

Earlier this week, Paul’s hackles went up for the last two blocks of our walk home, and he was eager and interested the whole last little way, and I never saw what he was looking at, and I will never know what he sensed, but things are hunting here all the time, really.

A small pleasure of fall every year, for me, is ghost stories, and so if you have patience for the internet and haven’t ever read these creepypasta stories about staircases appearing in the woods, ostensibly written by a Search & Rescue officer, I encourage you to suspend your disbelief, and feel the fear creep up your spine, and then maybe wrap yourself up in a warm blanket, as long as it’s cool wherever you are.