Autumn fog has begun to appear, clinging to the hills which surround us...
At last, morning temperatures are dropping, and I can feel a chill on my face when I venture out walking..
I love Autumn, always my favourite season:
brilliant blue skies during the day, early nightfall and cosy fires at night.
My last Aunt died the other day.
Once I had five aunts, and one by one they have slipped away.
Auntie E was 90, a long life, mother of six and grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother to so many that I lost count!
Auntie E was funny and feisty, she lived on a farm and had the strength and resilience of many a farmer's wife.
I remember visits as a child, to a house without electricity - kerosene lanterns at night, a big wood-burning stove, making fresh butter by hand from cream from their large herd of dairy cattle.
The only time I have ridden horses was on that farm.
They were a family with six children, and so were we.
The noise and energy resounded in that little farm-house.
I really don't know how we all fitted in, but I do remember an arrangement involving pillows at either end of a bed, and feet meeting in the middle!
I flew north to her funeral, and met my cousins again, some after many years. It was fun; a happy sad time.
Aunties are a bit like your mother, but not quite the same.
They can know your secrets and not tell, and sometimes can be very perceptive because they are just one step removed.
Aunties sent parcels at Christmas, full of cheerful little gifts.
Auntie E lived in the tropics, in the area where my parents once lived, and where I was born. My mother used to tell the story that when she had me, her firstborn, she knitted an entire baby outfit in fine wool, including dress, coat, bonnet, and booties, and a large shawl! She proudly dressed me to come home from the hospital. It was December, the hottest time of our year, and after a lengthy car trip, they called in to Auntie E, already a mother of three, to show me off.
E took one look, and saw one Very Distressed little baby.
Without a word she pulled off all my finery, and lowered my overheated temperature. She may have saved my life!
My poor mother, she had grown up down south in a much colder climate and did not know not to over-dress her baby in the tropics. Especially in wool.
'Bye, E, and rest in Peace.