The last farmer's market of the season with pumpkins on the sidewalk, the tables heaped with squashes and knobby brussle sprout stalks. Already the lady who sells honey from her small batch of backyard hives is gone, and textiles---woolly hats and scarves fill up stalls where in mid summer sunflower bouquets and fancy heirloom tomatoes jostled for attention.
The sun, bright overhead against a backdrop of blue, makes the leaves shine golden even though the foliage season was a bust here, with a killing frost before the leaves could turn to crimson the way they usually do. We walk down to the lake with coffee and ham and egg sandwiches, still hot.
Bean, bundled in layers of fluffy fleece and mittens, screams furiously every time we add a layer, but naps contentedly as we sit together on the swing, kicking our legs and watching a hubbub of mallards quacking on the water. All the boat slips are empty now and white gulls perch on the power supply boxes.
Across the lake, a band of snow still on the mountains, but the air is warm in the sun. By midmorning we take a run, wearing shorts and hats and long sleeves. The edges of the path are slick and yellow with fallen leaves, wet from weeks of rain. Other runners are out. Everyone smiles as they pass, soaking up sun like lizards.
Downtown some shops have their doors open, and on the sidewalk a dog lolls, tummy up. Today teenagers are wearing wigs and bits and pieces of costumes. They walk down the promenade giggling, smoking cigarettes and looking self conscious. Yesterday the big parade brought throngs of kids dressed as cows, superheroes, witches and firemen and doting parents; tomorrow, trick-or-treaters are sure to come knocking at our door.
In the afternoon we take a drive southwest of here, to look at a farmhouse, then land, and lastly the town we'd maybe like to settle near. 180 years old with a gnarled apple tree out back, the farmhouse is a dream. A clawfoot tub, a laundry shoot, a huge hearth in the dining room. But as we leave we can't help but notice how the unplanned urban sprawl has crept up: farmers selling acreage; subdivisions encroaching on the view.
A sunset for the first time in months, soft pinks spreading out across the sky like delicate gown hung up for airing. The waterfall pounding below the bridge in town sends whole trees over it's crest. They gather at it's base, circling, bumping up against each other like toothpicks. Bean stares wide eyed. I play with aperture, noticing the word Bean's been saying all week on a sign on the window of an empty store.
We drive home in early darkness, daylight saving's time has set us back. We talk together quietly as Bean takes a late nap. Stars are above us as we bring our things inside. We heat leftover lasagna and then eat pumpkin pie.