...good. It smells really good outside today. So crisp and cold that the inside of my nose retracts, like brain freeze from a Slurpee - nose freeze sans Slurpee. The leaves are falling from the trees now and crunching under foot. J is outside practically every day with the snowblower, trying to keep the leaves under control with moderate success. As the leaves crackle and twist under foot and tire, the aroma breaks through the air and...smells really good. Musty and freash at the same time. When they get wet and rot, it'll be awful, but today, it was just lovely.
The sun was shining with yet enough clouds in the sky to keep it interesting. It was the perfect fall day; not yet cold enough for the air to smell of snow, but I could imagine it creeping in any day now. We've had such wonky weather since September with summer hanging on long after it had worn out its welcome. It was a lovely relief to need a coat today - or at least to consider wearing one. One of the reasons I like living in New Jersey is because we get all four seasons here in all their glory and misery. I could never permanently defect to the hotter climes my sister now enjoys down Arizona way. Fond as I am of the sun and devoted as I have been to its worship, I am easily bored and need variety. And you gotta admit, few places offer as much variety as Jersey.
In more ways than one.
I thought fondly of Gordon today accompanied by a rare fond thought for Massachusetts in general. I love Gordon College, almost in spite of itself. I am, however, less fond of the state of Massachusetts for various reasons. Autumn at Gordon is a truly unique experience. Coy Pond in all its glory bursting forth in colors that can never, ever be matched by man. Walking the back trails towards - er - the other pond whose name just flew out of my head. Watching lithe, muscular, sometimes (if I was lucky) half-naked young men scamper around the quad playing soccer and ultimate Frisbee.
I've had Gordon on my mind for the past few days as I've been plowing through the YA novel Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White, the fourth book in a series about the daughter of the first female President of the United States. In this new installment Meg, the daughter is starting college - after surviving being kidnapped by terrorists. The book is great and I happily sank into all 700 plus pages this weekend, emboldened by the fact that I haven't read a book in nearly a month. Shocking, I know, especially for a woman who used to read while walking home from grade school. But I can't write with someone else's voice in my head, so I've had to abstain. A particularly painful discipline when you consider that I have about 30 books in my TBR pile thanks to my NJRWA conference booty, plus a few others I've picked up on recommendation of the Dear Author Web site. I'm deprived, I know.
The college life descriptions while often vastly different from my own experience (what's this weird thing called e-mail and why is it in the dorm rooms? Jeez - we were glad to just have a phone in our rooms, much less a cell phone.) have stirred up college memories. With the book on my mind, the bump from the weather, and a valiant assist from Facebook, I've had Gordon on the brain a lot recently.
So today's weather reminded me of those autumn days at Gordon. For the whole ten minutes I was outside. At Gordon there would be 10 minute walks from Drew to Lane Student Center - before they closed off the road and went all posh. Now, as a responsible (ahem), working adult, my leisurely outdoors enjoyment was comprised of the 15 seconds it took me to walk from my front door to my car (no two block walk to the car - oh happy day!), the 45 seconds from my parking spot to my office door, a repeat of that to walk back to the car, the same from the parking spot to the doctor's office door and back again, and then another 30 seconds back at the office. So really, about a minute and a half altogether.
But it was a "fondly remembering" minute and a half there.