August 29th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Summer Moon Waning

As the gibbous moon was nearing meridian tonight, a jet passed overhead and left a vapor trail which glowed in the moonlight like the shimmering track of a giant snail. The wind must have been blowing eastward at that altitude, as it seemed to me that the moon crossed the trail too quickly. For a moment, I felt a sense of vertigo, watching the scene. I sensed the earth turning beneath my feet, and imagined the weight of the seemingly weightless moon swinging about the mass of the planet. Watching the vapor trail dissipate, I thought how splendid it would be if the earth had rings such as Saturn's. Of course, the moon would soon swallow them up, most likely, so it is a vain fantasy. But imagine how they might look, great arcs across the night sky, like a giant white rainbow.

I am enjoying the warm nights, and they compensate somewhat for the hot days. It is pleasant to spend time outdoors at night without shivering. It won't be long before the nights are cold once again, and I must bundle up to watch the sky, and still my ears will grow numb and then tingle when I return into the house. For now, the summer persists. Each day, I check the apples in the orchard, to see if they have begun to show red. I expect it any day now. For me, that is the real beginning of autumn. The apple and autumn are alike; crisp and brightly colored and sweet, yet with a tang all their own. Although the days are shortened, they are filled with delights. I look forward to the ripe apple days of fall.
caillebotte_man at his window

Sense Takes a Holiday: Irony Works Overtime.

The beLabor Day weekend is coming up, and already the neighborhood is half abandoned. Everyone who is able to get away heads off to some crowded resort or campground for the last holiday hurrah of summer. The town grows quiet, and the deer wander undisturbed to munch the flowers in unwatched front yards. Yet, off toward the south, I hear the occasional snap of a nail gun. Work has begun on another house in the former field behind the apple orchard. Of the seven lots on the short street that was built there a few years ago, only two remain vacant, and one of those has been fenced. At the beginning of this year, there were two houses on the street, both built last year. By year's end, there will be at least five. For the first dozen years I lived here, the place remained almost unchanged. In the last four years, thirteen new houses have been built in this neighborhood, which adds up to about a five or six percent expansion. There is room for another dozen or so on existing vacant lots. Any further expansion will require more subdivision. Other parts of town have also seen an acceleration of growth.

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