Tuesday, November 22, 2011


It used to be, in years past, that I kept long lists of small things I needed to attend to each day. My lists are shorter now, but the items seem bigger. Address student needs (with a sublist that is frighteningly complicated). Teach one class, then another, then another. Shop for Thanksgiving dinner. Prepare house for two days of family visits. Get Ed to take out three weeks of mail from the mudroom bench. Beg Ed to wear clean jeans in the days ahead. I mean, these items are huge!

They fall on this day, this Tuesday before Thanksgiving. And I saw it coming. (I want to know – why do we toss and have trouble sleeping before days that require the most from us?)

No matter. It’s not as if anyone would be lusting to be idling outside. Here’s what it looks like just to the west of the farmette. A tractor working the fields adds a drop of scarlet to the otherwise ghostly landscape.


It's hard to revel in fields that match the color of the bare trees, that match the color of the skies, that match the color of most everything within eyesight.

The day ends, as usual, at the cafĂ©. I push aside thoughts of lists and work and dark prewinter landscapes and concentrate on the essentials: a late evening “lunch” of a peanut butter and jam sandwich, a strong cup of coffee and ... nothing more than that.