I’m sitting in the dentist’s office lobby, waiting to be summoned and wondering if this will be my only four and a half minutes of peace and quiet for the week.
A neat row of magazines – yes, actual magazines – was topped by Family Circle. I could not resist, because I’m old enough to remember when having Family Circle around the house represented a certain degree of middle-class respectability and when that sort of thing still mattered. Good recipes, nice lifestyle tips.
On the cover was a turkey, a perfectly roasted turkey. I cannot resist picking that up.
Hold on. That means Thanksgiving is on the horizon. This is always welcome news, and yet it cannot be right. What happened to … June. Wait. Must have missed that one. And September. You get the idea.
I hold this truth to be self-evident: Fall in Missouri is hard to beat. This year’s lingering summer and what feels like the hint of an early winter – I haven’t yet measured the fuzz on caterpillars – only make each autumn day more precious.
But still, did someone hack the cosmos and put Earth into a faster orbit, speeding the change in seasons? Darn kids and their foolishness. Something has to explain why life on this planet is not moving at the speed I approved.
The days do fly by. I have a running list of things to find time for above and beyond the daily grind. It is growing, not shrinking. It occurs to me that at one moderate do-list task a day – an hour for this, 15 minutes for that – I would arrive at Christmas with check marks all checked but wondering how in the world I let an entire year slip through my fingers.
Last weekend the Scouts camped. It was chilly, and the sun set early. The campfire felt good. The moon was cool, and so were the owls and coyotes.
I made a Dutch oven pineapple upside down cake. (The recipe was from Scouting magazine. Sorry, Family Circle.) This required thought and preparation. It consumed my undivided attention – that rarest of things – for some time as the owls hooted.
It felt like a complete project, and it tasted pretty good. This might be my legacy for 2019.
Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter at @FoxEJC.