Sunday, October 26, 2008

Everything has a shelf life

"Everything has a shelf life."

-Our friend Sam during my recent trip to Kentucky, referring to restaurants that have closed, shops that have gone out of business, and people who have died.
Sam (and his lovely bride Thelma) are our family's oldest friends. One of the greatest memories I have as a child was the time Sam put me in his lap and let me steer his car while driving on the Bluegrass Parkway. I felt like such a grownup. My dad, sitting in the front passenger seat, was considerably less than happy with the arrangement but remained a good sport about it until the next stop. I love to tell this story to kids as an illustration of how things we took for granted 40 years ago would now get you locked up, or at least get you showcased on the news as a cautionary tale.

Sam's shelf life comment was, I think, perfect and beautiful in its simplicity, and in its recognition of the inevitability of time's passing. That phrase has stuck in my head for the past couple of weeks, especially now that the leaves are falling, the days are shorter and the air colder. Tempus fugit, y'all. Everything has a shelf life.

Today was the last day for our local farmer's market. The high winds meant that a lot of the vendors didn't set up their usual tents, and that made it look even more sparse on the last day:

What is it about the quality of sunlight that changes so much this time of year? A sunny morning in June bears so much promise; a sunny morning in October feels like a reproach-a last glimpse of all that warmth and sunshine about to disappear for the next few months. A reminder of all the warmth and sunshine you didn't take advantage of when you had it, and now it's gone, or about to be.

We loaded up on peppers, the last of the real tomatoes we'll see until next summer, some Brussels sprouts and carrots. We said goodbye to the farmers we've been buying from every Sunday for the past four months, and then we left.

This was one of those weeks that just disappeared.


Mnmom said...

Tempus Fugit indeed - one of my favorite phrases.
October is bittersweet - so much beauty and everything being boxed up and put away for another season. We had windy snow today - yes, snow! Too warm to accumulate but snow nonetheless.

Another favorite - "the days are long but the years are short".

DCup said...

I had to click on the pictures and see if I recognized things and I did. The water tower made it easy, of course, to place the intersection.

October has that feel of change and you're right - the light reflects those shifts from warm to cold, light to dark, growth to die back.

Even here, as the greenish leaves still hang on the trees, the light looks different.

Cormac Brown said...

You are not kidding about October. It hit the low 50's in the day time in New York last week and the low 40's at night. The chill does alter how we see the sun's lighting.

BTW, I was told yesterday that Portillo's is so good, it would make me want to move to Chicago.

Doc said...

At least you siezed the day! Now go dig out your long johns. You're goina need 'em soon.