Pin It Wood smoke drifted lazily through the late evening air as I navigated the streets home from work. Faint touches of autumn had graced the leaves of various trees along the roadway and—with windows down—the air felt not unlike hiking in the desert. I was reminded of camping in distant canyons and lonely mountains where it was just me and the wind. Only I felt just as fresh and clean on the outside as I did on the inside.
Autumn had finally arrived, and the last signs of summer were left groping for brief interludes of balmy afternoons. Also celebrating the passing of the seasons were mornings of frost-kissed grass in the park behind my house—another telltale reminder that the harvest was finally here, and that winter would soon be on its heels. I could only hope for a long, hawkish autumn with Halloween celebrated before the snow flew.
Halloween...however, that’s a post for another day.
As I drove by Medallion Manor, a home for those with mental or other handicaps, I noticed one particular resident—an older man—standing out in the yard again.
I’d seen him on numerous occasions before, sometimes waving, sometimes standing by the fence. At times I’d observed him helping to sell melons in a makeshift stand out on the sidewalk, or simply sitting on the park bench in front of the building watching the traffic as it passed by.
He always waved, and he always smiled.
On this particular day, he wore a pirate hat.
He grinned at me slyly as I drove by, his arms resting on the low, chain-link fence surrounding the yard. As our eyes made contact, he straightened himself and raised one hand in a wave-like salute.
I saluted back.
Oh, to be a pirate…