I was reminded of this beloved poem of Robert Frost this week as I turned the calendar page from August to September. As if on cue, our weather made a dramatic shift from hot and humid to cool and crisp. Some are complaining, but I don't dare. I whined about the heat most of the summer. I'm just not a 'hot and sticky' kind of person - and neither are my girls. I hate having to carry water for them on even the shortest walks, and having to mow my lawn before 7 a.m. because that's the only time I can stand it.
So bring on the cooler weather. I love Fall. I love sleeping with the windows open; the cool breeze pushing me down under the comforter and snuggling up close to my girls. I love cool evening bike rides, Honey Crisp apples, the sound of crunching leaves underfoot (not yet, thankfully!) and the aroma of scented candles burning in my living room. I love seeing school buses in the morning, wearing sweatshirts, and checking out the new Bible Studies in the church bulletin. I love the smell of autumn air.
Speaking of smells .... a few weeks ago my brother was traveling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula with his dog, Elvis. Tim's favorite place to hang out (in the whole world, I think) is Au Train Beach on the south shore of Lake Superior. It is a beautiful beach, and he recently purchased a parcel of land just a stone's throw up the Au Train River. Making the trek north from Holland, Elvis slept most of the way. When they got about a half mile from Au Train Beach, Elvis suddenly woke up, stuck his head out the window and sniffed the air, turned toward Tim and smiled. He knew where they were. My girls remember every park we've ever been to, and it doesn't matter what way we go, or where I park the car. Familiarity is in the smell, and it always amazes me.
The last few weeks have brought sad farewells to some of our canine friends. Einstein, the common link between my girls (Princess' brother and Elvis and Dee Dee's father) was put down a week ago. We also lost Dee Dee's nephew, Scooter, and another corgi pal this summer. And a few weeks ago I got a call from my friends, Phil and Val, telling me that their little Einstein (a charming little terrier who was obsessed with chasing balls) had died. As Phil put it, Einstein 'helped them raise their five boys' and was with them through some major life transitions. Only another dog lover can understand the bond that exists between canines and their humans. These losses remind me that my girls are getting older too, and that I need to cherish each day that I have with them. Nothing gold can stay.