And so I come to the end of my seasonal reading written by two wonderful writers. If you haven't read the other entries, and are interested, you will find them under "Letter Topics" - Four Seasons with Susan Hill and Gladys Taber.
Gladys' books always contain both light and serious topics. A couple of her light ones in this chapter were how she isn't a good shopper. Her tendency is to "take the first dress I see in my size". "As long something is blue or lilac, I am satisfied." And when her friends go with her to "help" her shop, she usually ends up hanging those recommended purchases up and wearing her old clothes!
Being published in 1974, there was in the air in those days change in education. I think that is the decade when "wall-less" schools were all the vogue. A friend taught in one of those schools twenty years later, and the school ended up putting walls back! Also, there was talk of getting rid of grades and having no "required subjects". Gladys goes on to tell of her own schooling which was very different, having been born in 1899. She talks of the stress and strain of having a father who expected excellence, and how her inferiority complex came because she just couldn't always meet his standards. I had a father like that, too. Not fun. Then she went on to say
And often the straight A's are fortunate in the classes they are assigned to. They are likely to get the best teachers, and usually the best class hours. Early morning hours are fine for morning people but deadly for those like me who are at their best after being fortified by lunch.Boy, that is sure me. Not in high school so much, but in college my notes from an early morning art class showed my writing dropping down the page. Of course, turning off the lights and showing slides didn't help!
Later on in her Autumn chapter, she writes some more about time.
I have difficulty in autumn as the days grow shorter even if there is no storm. When it is dark by four in the afternoon, I feel it must be time to start dinner. And I expect this shows I do not really live by the clock but by light and dark. When it is time to turn on all the lights, I am usually puttering around in the kitchen, with the result that supper is ready an hour before anyone else in the family is willing to eat. Then it follows that once it is authentically night, I am in fine shape because it should be night. By the time everyone in the house is ready for bed, I am sparkling. But little pieces of night tossed into what should be day just upsets me.Of course, for many of us, autumn is the time to start feeding the wild birds.
The summer birds are gone, and this means it is time to stock the big can of birdseed by the back door and be ready to wait on the winter boarders who do not migrate. After a snowfall, the air is full of wings, from the tiny chickadee friends to the flaming bright cardinals, the delicate juncos, the sea-blue jays.That has been life at Windy Poplars Farm except for the year we saw the coyote out back. More here about that. Then three years later I wrote about feeding again. This has worked out just fine, other than last year when we had a few too many red squirrels and Tom had to relocate them in distant woods, as he does the mice we catch in the Havahart trap.
All this is building up to the fact that one day this summer, Margaret and I saw (whispering here) a rat cross the road from the tree stump to the lilacs next to the terrace. There is nothing that I hate more than those creatures. We happily have not seen it again, and I hope against hope that it went far away, but nonetheless, we made the decision that no bird feeding this winter! I can't take the chance that the animal might be drawn to those yummy sunflower seeds. So, we are back to not feeding the birds again. I suspect we won't go back, either. It is quite expensive. My sister-in-law has stopped, too, but for a different reason. She finds it just too messy.
Gladys closes Country Chronicle
It is not an ending as a season draws to a close but only a beginning of a new time. ... And I turn a fresh page in my journal because every day brings a new experience.Such a wise, thoughtful woman.