Eleven years ago this week this blog was unintentionally launched onto the Internet. Frantically searching into the wee morning hours, I was unable to find Blogger directions for removing that content I had been writing experimentally. I couldn’t phone friend or family at that hour either for help. I understood so little about digital technology then as I was still teaching myself how to use a computer which I had acquired for the first time earlier that year. I panicked at the thought my words were irretrievably “out there”, which I’ve long since realized hardly mattered at all. But, given my Internet naivety I reconciled myself there was nothing I could do but continue with the blog to save face, so to speak.
Writing for my blog, coincided with a major life change following my husband’s sudden death earlier that year. Natural reminiscences prompted by his loss, my gradual aging-related recollections with the increasing passing of family and friends, has often stimulated my thoughts to reflecting on my feelings and life experiences. Often when I’ve sat down to write a blog post I’ve gotten side-tracked with some of those tangential tales.
So, I began writing those stories as they emerged, but in no particular sequence. I’ve recounted a few, or portions of them, here, but the rest I consider personal, to be more appropriately appreciated for sharing with my adult children and, likely their children one day. One fond memory, in abbreviated form here, often comes to mind when I think of fall -- and especially Indian Summer.
October, or autumn, has also happened to be my favorite time of year. Living many years in a Great Lakes State we were treated to fall’s magnificent leaves colors of golden yellow, shades of flaming reds to rust and rich browns embracing the trees before gently falling to the ground in preparation for winter’s snows. I looked forward to those years when late in the season we’d experience a period of cold temperatures or frost, then unexpectedly a brief episode of unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather would suddenly intrude ….. Indian Summer arrived…..as has this memory in subsequent years.
I had ended a relationship the previous year and a lengthy period followed before I began to notice in the Spring the presence of a nearby resident to whom I had previously never paid any attention, when he and his parents had moved there from out of state many months earlier. I now became aware of this handsome young man who had a light olive complexion, short dark hair slightly receding at the temples, that said to me he was older, possibly close in age to my 23 years.
He had a physical build one would expect to see today on someone who regularly did body building, though his 5' 11" trim muscular stature was just natural. Few men engaged in exercise workouts then that I knew, as many do today, nor had he, I later learned. I didn’t really date that much and didn’t really think of him as the type I expected to date.
I was quite pleased though when almost simultaneously with my awareness of him, he phoned me for the first time. That spring and summer we enjoyed each others company in as many fun activities as were available in the small town environment where I was living then. I remember the increased rush of feelings I felt on those occasions when he began periodically coming to transact business where I worked instead of where he previously had gone, though we had no direct contact in the business place.
We sometimes played penny ante poker with my parents. He was clearly gambling card savvy, generally winning, and my strong suit of bluffing seemed not to work with him. There were afternoons and evenings swimming at a large spring fed lake nestled in the hills outside of town. Sometimes, we just walked together, talking or in silence, holding hands, sauntering past stores on the few short blocks of the downtown main street, only a short distance from where we each lived. Sometimes we visited the one popular darkened interior atmospheric watering hole, or further up the street there was the attraction of the local Isaly's ice cream store – which, coincidentally, has returned to the marketplace this year.
Television (black and white only, as color came years later) was becoming accessible with cable installations enabling more people to receive broadcast signals from the distant stations. Their reception had previously been unavailable due to topography interference. I don’t recall that we watched any TV, however. Little did I know, though it had always been in the back of my mind, that before the next year ended I would be employed at one of those commercial television stations -- in spite of the fact Public Broadcasting was what initially interested me most.
High Fidelity was being enhanced to stereophonic sound on our long playing (LP) vinyl records for the music we enjoyed. Occasionally we went to the local movie theater. Then there was the annual County Fair with those colorful “Dancing Waters”, rides including a Ferris Wheel, Tilt-O-Wheel, the fun wandering among the various animal barns, treating ourselves to the fast food only available at traveling fairs and carnivals.
We experienced the always surreal to me Indian Summer that year after the summer turned into fall. I remember those occasions when we lost track of time as conversation and our friendship took a more serious turn. I think this may have alarmed both of us, since we each had quite different plans for our lives. Just as suddenly as we had started dating, we stopped. I had mixed feelings, but neither of us reached out to the other.
Indian Summer inexplicably signaled the finality of more than just the season after a very special spring and summer. There have been times over the years when I've wondered what became of my bronzed young friend. I do know that though we would not have been a good long term match, fall seasons that have an Indian Summer are very special to me.
Here’s Sarah Vaughn’s rendition of a favorite “Indian Summer” jazz melody: