It was nearly 6AM before I took the dog out to drain this morning. It was still dark, of course, and raining as steady as it had done all night. Planning ahead, I took my cane with me for a weapon, as well as the flashlight. I always check for danger with the flashlight first before stepping out the doorway. These aren’t the days of my youth when all you had to worry about was the occasional errant snake. With the coast clear, I took the pooch to the driest spot I could find by the porch and let her do her thing. Telling her to jump, I gave her a “power assist” in leaping back up to the porch, an advantage of using a harness, rather than a collar.
I told her to “go to the rug,” meaning the welcome mat next to the door, since I knew it would be dry and would warm up to her body heat. Let have her own way, she probably would have gone over to the damp area near the edge of the porch. She much prefers being near the edge; I suppose she can see more there. I sat down on the slightly damp porch swing, the slats feeling cool on my bare legs.
I don’t know why it is, but some nights are brighter than others, even when it’s cloudy, it’s rainy and there’s no moon. This was one of those times; even down by the back of the house where no lights could reach, you could see the lay of the ground easily enough. The front yard and side yard were lit up better than one would expect by the street light and the neighbor’s drive-way light posts 200 feet away. The street light had been pretty useless through the summer, this far away, but last year’s needles have been rained and blown from the big white pines out front and the oak leaves are thinning, too, so it’s back to lighting up that side of the yard.
The edge of the woods, only 30 feet away, looks as if someone strung up those tiny white Christmas lights that some folks use when decorating. The leaves, not being perfectly flat, reflect the distant lights only from that tiny portion that’s just the perfect angle. They twinkle at a rather fast rate as the breeze moves the leaves around. There are even some “party lights” on the ground, though they’re stationary. Two lights from the neighbors are trying to peek through nearly a quarter-mile of woods for the first time this fall, proof that the leaves are thinning substantially. The lights still come and go with the breeze, though. I wonder how soon I’ll be able to see the airport lights again?
The pooch lies happily on the mat, but I notice that the left side of my body feels a bit cooler than the right. Luckily, the wind has abated from its speed in the night and my left leg is staying dry. Sitting here listening to the light breeze and the falling rain drops, I’m transported back to my childhood home and the days of my youth. I remember lying in bed, with the screen in the window (if the wind wasn’t blowing), listening to the raindrops fall on the leaves of the maple, the poplars and the walnut tree in the front yard. Then there was also sitting in the glider on the back porch and sitting in the barn door doing the same. Some days, I even laid down in the hay and took a nap.
I hear no sounds of wildlife sitting here, only the sound of tractor-trailers on the distant four-lane. After a few minutes, the first poor soul heads by on the county road, on his way to work. In the next few minutes, four more drive by. The workers of the world are astir. I envy their paychecks, but not their early hours, or what some of them have to endure to earn those checks.
The missus is still asleep, or she would have come out howling about our porch sit going to be the death of both of us. Still, it seems like we’ve been out here long enough, so I pick up my cane and flashlight, speak to the pooch and head inside. There, I see that we were outside a bit over a half-hour, time both of us found pleasant. As I enter the back room the missus arouses, none the wiser that we just spent time out in the dangerous dark and damp. I’m not going to tell her either. - LOL - Copyright 2018