It's the last day of November and over morning coffee, I'm listening to some of the last geese flying south as winter begins. Well - the geese here fly west in fact - they're quite consistent about it. Evidently their internal maps don't direct them south until some later point in their journey, but they are leaving. And of course winter doesn't really start officially until December 21st, but the twelfth month has never felt like fall. Autumn's over and it's winter. To make this perfectly clear, the first snow is falling.
We have a new neighbor - Tom's house across the street finally sold. Tom had been at best an occasional presence, living most of the time with his girlfriend, and stopping by once a week mainly to drop off garbage, and pick up whatever branches had fallen from the dead tree in front. When he got serious about selling the house, Tom had the tree cut down, and bright mums put in its place. Now the house is lived in again - lights on in the evening, curtains at the windows, and more flowers on the steps. But next door, we lost an old neighbor last summer when Dot died - the For Sale sign marks her lawn. In this economy, it may be there a long time. Slow waves of change.