The weather turned unseasonably warm overnight on Monday. Yesterday felt like a mid-September day: the air was mild and a touch humid. After last week’s chilly late-October weather, it felt wonderful, like a last chance to warm up from the inside out before winter begins its slow but inexorable approach.
As is often the case, even though I rode my exercise bike before dawn and went running later in the morning, by the end of the day – five o’clock or so – I didn’t feel like I’d had any exercise at all, having spent a solid eight hours sitting at my computer writing (very happily, I should add, but still very immovably). And with such gloriously warm weather, along with a couple of letters to mail and checks to deposit, it felt like the ideal time for a late-day walk up to the Town Center.
I didn’t expect anyone to want to join me, and Tim predictably opted to stay home, but Holly scrambled for her shoes when I told her what I was doing. Having her join me for a walk is a rare treat; I wasn’t going to jinx it by asking any questions about her intent.
The two-mile circuit took us forever, but it was worth it. We had such a good time. Holly found a flat stone about half the size of her hand and stopped repeatedly throughout our walk to knock it against various surfaces and see what kind of tone it made. Trees, boulders, metal pipes, a street sign. At the post office, she played a little tune by finding three metal posts next to each other that each resonated at a different pitch. I’m not one of those moms who stops throughout a walk to point out different kinds of leaves or identify birds flying overhead, but Holly made this walk educational in her own way with nothing more than a small flat stone.
We saw friends, dogs, and a little boy dressed as a Minuteman for a pre-Halloween event. Holly bought the obligatory snack at Ferns, and I mailed my letters and deposited my checks. We saw the middle school soccer team returning by bus from an away game, and we discussed whether an area in a field where a large tree recently toppled over would make a good spot for a future picnic. (Holly’s idea of planning a picnic is reciting to me a list of all the menu items I’ll need to make. In this case, it had better be planned for at least two weeks away, and we might need a pack mule to help us transport the food, based on her ideas.)
Walks don’t necessarily progress very fast when Holly is involved. Dusk settled; then darkness fell before we were home. The warm air made it enjoyable to be out walking even after dark, though. We scuffed through piles of dry leaves as we headed down the driveway in blackness at the end, well into our usual dinner hour. It was late, but we’d had a great time. An unseasonably warm fall day: a long slow late-afternoon walk. Yesterday, it was a perfect combination.