Mrs. Little, who kept bees and sold honey, put “harbinger” on the vocabulary test in our sixth grade class and the word and its meaning have become unforgettable having been instilled at the age of eleven.
That said, I look around and seek harbingers of the season, each one, and now that it’s Fall what’ve we got?
Apple picking days are, sadly, over what with the kids wreaking havoc on campus and at work. So I’m left with Bella Viva: Simply the best dried fruit on the planet earth. I know we’re heading deeper into winter–bare trees and what not–when I place the order and a box arrives of dried pluots, dried apricots, dried yellow nectarines, and walnuts. (On Wikipedia, it is said that Floyd Zaiger invented the pluot. I say we have a Floyd Zaiger Day where everyone takes time away from work and sits by a body of water with a basket of dried pluots while contemplating nature.)
Another harbinger are the frantic squirrels: OK, they are not monkeys, but they’ll do. Why, just this morning about a half dozen were skittering around some shrubs in pursuit of The Holy Acorn.
Fun Facts: Did you know that squirrels are religious? That they have sects, schisms, etc.? That there was a Reformation among squirrels? All true, look it up, if you don’t believe me.
Another sign? Fattening up. My appetite, like that of squirrels, accelerates with the chill in the air: Scarfing down bread, pizza, pasta as if there is no tomorrow and then heading straight to the gym to lift weights and run so as to stay trim for my Title Fight in December.
Probably the biggest sign will be the cracking open of Nueskes bacon and French toast Challah.