Some days, it's hard to face the mornings...

About two weeks ago, the leaves started to change and fall. One evening last week we turned on the heater for the first time and put the comforter back onto the bed. This week we turned the heater on for the first time during the day. Yesterday it rained all day, the cold gray drizzle that is the hallmark of the Northwest winter. Today, they forecast no rain, but the skies are a dull gray, a taste of the cold and the dark over the endless weeks and months ahead.

Tomorrow I plan to mulch the trees I planted in the backyard spring before last, they are young yet and need care and attention to make it through the winter. Next weekend we plan on taking down the apple tree in the front yard, it's dying and threatens the house if it falls in the winter storms certain to come.

Today I skipped what would have been my second funeral in a week's time.

Two weeks ago today, the house two doors down burned with a small child asleep inside. The heat was so intense the neighbors could not get inside, and even the firefighters could not reach the bedroom until the fire had been beaten down, reported the local newspaper. Such a simple sentence for the fear and horror and helplessness and anger we felt.

Monday, the owner of a local art gallery died. Even though Tony had been dying as long as I've known him, the ending is still a great shock. His energy and inventiveness will be missed in this community for a long time to come.

A flower that never had a chance to bloom, and a mighty tree, both swept from this earth with equal impartiality. Nothing but signs of winter and cold and death with the hope of spring, someday.

Some days, it's hard to face the mornings...