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Season's Change

Ahhh! It’s finally cooled off down here in South Texas. As acclimated as I am to the high heat and higher humidity of the San Antonio summer, I get cold easily. But it feels soooo good. Back home in Colorado, when the temperatures reached the 60s, that’s t-shirt weather. Here, we break out the jackets and sweat shirts. In the forties we blanket the horses, the thirties we talk about for months. Should it even drop into the twenties? Lord have mercy! We’ll never survive the winter.

Yet, right now with the temps dropping at night (we can at last turn off the a/c), and the days still in the seventies and eighties, this is perfect. Fall is my favorite time of year. Summer’s heat is a memory. The leaves change color – er, ah – in places other than this, that is. Thunderstorms light the night skies. I see more of the possum that eats the cat food off my porch. Beyond all that, this is perfect riding weather. Saddle a horse, go for a ride with a friend or two. The horses are happy they aren’t sweating buckets and we don’t have to bathe them after. Back home, we’d ride through the National Forest and admired the aspen turning gold. Tourists come from all over to see the aspen turning. A Colorado native, I frankly found that boring. Aspen turn only one color. I must admit, however, clumps of gold amid the dark green pines are quite lovely. Riding my horse across the Colorado Rockies in a beautiful Colorado autumn – there’s nothing like it anywhere.

With or without a horseback ride first, there’s nothing like a chilly fall evening, a bonfire and beer with friends. I love to huddle in my jacket and stick my feet as close as possible to the flames. Naturally, I get ripped by my friends when my shoes start to smoke, but what the hey – its all in fun. (No, my shoes, don’t actually catch fire.) We spend hours talking, laughing, arguing, telling stories and giving one another loads of shit. My friend Coy and I never fail to bring up the horseback ride that ended with his horse rearing, Coy rolling off and breaking his collarbone. Yes, it was his fault, not the horse’s. I regale our audience how angry I was when he wouldn’t let me take him to the hospital, call his wife or drive him home. Nor will he fail to address the fact that he smoked a cigarette and laughed at my fury, despite his pain. I’m sure this tale will come up yet again this Saturday night at our planned beer and fire party. We have a new audience, you see.

Cats are creatures of comfort, as cat owners all know. My cats haven’t really said whether they like cooler weather or not. They still do their normal cat activities: stalk, lick their butts, eat, sleep, crap in the litter box, sleep, eat, sleep, lick their butts, sleep, eat and then stalk something. But when I lay under a blanket on the couch with my wine to hand and a good action movie on the box, I attract all sorts of attention. A minimum of two cats unerringly find their way onto my stomach, lap and legs. As I’m not very tall, there’s not much room for more than three – that’s my max limit on cats using me as their bed warmer. There they knead the blanket, scratch me with their claws and purr before finally curling up to lick their butts and nap. Others will hang about, and look at me longingly. I love it. Now someone needs to invent a very tall, self-chilling glass for us wine/cat/cold lovers. No sooner than the cats get to sleep when I need to pause my movie and get up to get more wine. Then we start the procedure all over again.

Hmmm. Maybe I need to invent a tall, self-chilling wine glass for all wine/cat/cold lovers.

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