Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pictures Taken and Stories Told

This time next week we who live in the Eastern Time Zone shall note that our time is not designated any longer as "E.D.T." but rather "E.S.T.", which signifies the end of Daylight Savings Time for another year. If your work habits are anything akin to my own, it signifies not simply the return of Standard Time but something far more depressing - the return of Mole Time. Beginning one week from tomorrow I shall descend into a period of several months during which for five days out of every seven I shall not see my house in the daylight. I shall leave for and return from work in the darkness Monday through Friday until we spring forward in the Spring of 2012.

Usually it is the Sunday that harkens the return to Standard Time that is my least favorite Sunday of the autumn for it serves as winter's herald. The joyous part of the fall is over. Leaves no longer change colors. They simply fall off of the trees and die, leaving the trees bareboned in the face of winter's onslaught. Cool, crisp days are replaced by cold ones. The sun is in the sky for considerably less than half of the day and for at least 50% of the time that it is aloft, it offers light without the pretense of heat. I think November served as Yeats' inspiration when he wrote, "Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy."

This fall, next Sunday shall not occupy its usual place on the gold medal platform in the competition of Sundays I loathe. Nope. This year that honor is reserved for November's final Sunday. For it is on that date that Suz shall begin her own great migration west (southwest actually) to life in Texas. I am more proud of her than I can adequately express in words and at least twice as happy for her as I am proud of her. None of that takes away from the fact that in our little corner of the world, that day is going to royally stink. At day's end, she will no longer be here - in it - with us but someplace altogether different.

The Missus and I have some experience at the bon voyage party. Suz's departure for Texas follows Rob's for Wyoming by just about three years. One of my favorite photographs of the four of us is one that has top shelf status on one of the bookcases in my office. I do not know who took it but I know it was taken at Rob's going-away party:

He pulled up stakes and headed out at the beginning of Thanksgiving week in '08. He and Margaret made it to Wyoming in time for Thanksgiving morning. Margaret will not be riding shotgun on Suz's journey. Ryan - who set up shop in Houston himself just a few months ago and who is serving as the other half of the Texas Dream Team - shall serve as Suz's co-pilot and travel partner. Rob will not be in New Jersey for Suz's farewell bash. The plan - as I understand it - is for both of them to be in the State of Concrete Gardens for Christmas.

And although the four of us will not be in the same place on Suz's final day under the familial roof, I shall make it a point to get an updated group shot when both of them are visiting at Christmas. I have an empty spot on the top shelf of my bookcase that I am itching to fill.

Because every picture does indeed tell a story. And some stories are worth reading time and again even if they bring put a tear in your eye and a smile on your face at the same exact moment. Tears dry. The wrinkles made by smiles? They last forever.


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