I like my job. No, let me rephrase that, I love my job. (Nope, I am not trying to convince myself or you. It’s a simple fact.) But, like with all jobs there are some duties about it that are certainly more pleasurable than others. For instance, I am terrible at paperwork, especially my time-sheet. I seem to goof that thing up every which way a person can. (See, contrary to popular belief, I am not perfect.) Now, this weeks addition is not about the things I don’t like or am not good at or even things I goof up on, daily. Nope, this is about Autumn. Oh, and my job too.
You see, about three times a year I have the distinct pleasure of getting paid to take a walk. That’s right. I get to take a nice stroll through Old Town Portsmouth and check on historical markers, graveyards and monuments. Make sure they haven’t been defamed, damaged or misplaced. Yes, occasionally they do get misplaced, usually into someones back yard or garage but we find them and persecute the evil-doers who’ve committed such heinous crimes against such a wonderful and historical thing. (<= Big time run on sentence)
I usually try to schedule these walks Ocober, January and May. Why? Simple, cool weather. Care to guess as to which one of these three walks is my favorite?
If you said October, then you’re correct. But, I have no prize for you. Just my blog…
Walking through Old Town is an amazing experience for me. The history that leaks out of the bricks of the buildings is absorbed into my pores like sunshine. The Autumnal weather makes that joy even more spectacular.
What always strikes me first though are the sounds. The crunchy, crisp breaking of the dried leaves under my shoes, the rustling of the wind through the skeletons of the trees, the Geese honking on they semi-annual trek South, the caw of the crows looking for food mingled with the wrens sweet chirpin the bushes assualt my brain like a symphony. I could go on decribing the sounds of the neighhorhood that resides on one of the largest working ports in the world but I would be here for hours.
The smells are the second wave of mental intrusion, well, the smells that invade the wonderful aroma of my cigar I usually smoke on these strolls of solace. Wood burning stoves blowing smoke up into the sky with an aroma that just screams of headiness and home. Even the scent of gas furnaces being fired up for the first time with their noxsious poison is welcome, like a long lost friend you’ve just run into at the store. In the air I can sense the deteriorating foilage under foot all damp and musty, which brings a smile to my face. The sweet smell of the last cutting of the grass for the season has a different feel to it. It feels heavy and sorrowful it knows a long slumber awaits.
The sights are next, the beautiful colors of Mother Natures last gasp of life is truly a spectacle to behold. Orange, red, brown and green all blended together makes a person feel as if they are walking inside a fireworks display. The trees desparetly try to maintain their diginity while the seaons change only to fail in the attempt and become just skeletons of their former beauty. A beauty that realy does not fade, it transforms into a new, minimalistic beauty of itself. Brown, gray and black fading into each other, waiting in hopes of some white to come from the sky. Another line forms on my face.
These walks, if taken by a tourist or casual citizen should take no more than an hour or two. For me? About 90 minutes is all I can stretch out of it before my cell phone starts ringing. Usually it’s my supervisor asking me how much longer I will be and have I noticed any damage or missing markers. My answer is usually in the negative and I am always unhappy on my walk back to my office to fill out the reports.
But I always have my memories.