I'm still only halfway through my latest read, so this is a diversion - just a little chatter about some great moments (with a bit of background).
On Thursday, we finally were blessed with a wonderful cold-front which brought daytime temperatures briefly down to the lower 60's, nearly a 30-degree drop and a huge relief. We were shivering and loving every minute. Our relatives back home in Oklahoma always laugh at what we consider "freezing", as well they should. During our brief time in Michigan, we were forced to invest in an entirely new wardrobe for a genuine winter; we'd forgotten about the warmth of wool, having long since parted with our woolen sweaters. They're simply useless in Mississippi. Here, a winter coat is something that primarily sits at the back of the closet molding for 9 or 10 months, then hangs unbuttoned on your frame when donned. A woolen sweater is a thing that makes you sweat.
I don't handle heat well and never have; while living in Oklahoma, I often begged my father to move us to Colorado, where my uncle lived and where we spent many summer vacations. When my husband tired of his work in Tulsa and was offered a choice of upstate New York or Mississippi, I said, "New York, definitely." Hubby, as it turned out, had longed to work at the engineering lab in Mississippi for many years.
So, here we live, in a climate with an 11-month pollen season and a winter that is officially "December to February" but where one often sits on the porch in shorts on Christmas Day. The cold front was a major blessing. I felt energized and buzzed around town, running errands. Because I recently mentioned the view of the Mississippi River, but had no photo of the cannon on the hill, I took my camera along and stopped at the Welcome Center.
After climbing the stairs, at right, to reach the hill with the cannon (and snapping a few photos of cannon and bridges), I was halted by a shrub with beautiful flowers. The pink flower, above, was one of them. Because I had a very long lens on my camera, I had to keep backing up to try to get the flower into focus and didn't see a man walking toward me till he spoke. His name was Robert and he was from London. Robert came across the Atlantic by cargo ship (for the experience) and then traveled across Canada and has looped down and across the United States. He's been traveling since June and he was shocked --shocked!-- at the lack of "walkways" and the loose dogs in the South. "No wonder Americans aren't fit!" he proclaimed. "They have to drive everywhere!" He was a lovely, lovely man and I enjoyed our conversation.
Yesterday, with the weather still cooperating but a bit weary from a very long night, I followed my husband into the backyard to read while he mowed the grass. After he finished, we stood together and simply looked up. I wanted to spot the hawk that landed outside our kitchen window, recently; and our next-door neighbor mentioned having seen the hawk dive toward a chipmunk, so I knew his or her visit was not simply a fluke.
Hubby joined me and we stood, amazed by the beautiful sounds coming from the trees. The birds were in high gear and their singing streamed from every angle. The look of childish awe on my husband's face was truly a wondrous sight and we were both stunned when the hawk flew over, just moments after we'd looked up. I ran for the camera while hubby watched the tree in which he landed, but it was too late. Our hawk moment was over. Still, we had a wonderful time watching our mockingbird dart around, landing on fence and tree and then taunting the cat as he played in the grass. And, we spotted a very large nest about 100 feet up in one of our ancient oak trees. So, another hawk spotting seems likely.
I just wanted to share a few wonderful moments. This time of year is my favorite. You can see there's not much sign of autumn leaves, just yet, but we are grateful for the cool air and lovely moments outdoors. God is good.