and after the heat
the welcome cool
of autumn brings
a final burst of brightness
the happy ending
for green leaves saying farewell
with cheerful shouts of red and gold
a fond goodbye that looks ahead
not fearing dark and cold
a festive reception
of the arriving chill
This evening we returned home after quite the trip, touring western Washington with my brother and his wife. Brandon served as our intrepid and expert guide, being himself a native of the sprawling megalopolis, Duvall, WA (population: a staggering 5,980); Brandon's family were our charming inkeepers; my sister-in-law, N., our brilliant tactician; myself a quiet, functionless parasite now turned chronicler; and my brother, P. ...
My mother said recently of P. that he cannot stop talking, to which he immediately replied, "I know. I tried; it didn't work!" Having him along on a roadtrip is like having the radio always on and tuned to a consistently amusing comedy show.
Driving around Whidbey Island and nearby areas, after every stop, we seemed to find ourselves behind the same car. "They must be tourists," said Brandon, the ironically disdainful local. "No," said P., "there are four of them." We were all confused as he paused before the punchline: "They must be four-ists."
A little farther on, Nancy pointed out some cows, and a bull who was a little ways off, alone. P.: "He is out standing in his field."
P. works for Enterprise, the rental car company, in their insurance claims division. He was behind the wheel one evening of our trip, telling Brandon about how he sometimes takes over cases from less competent Enterprise employees, correcting the inefficient way they handled the situation. After describing one such situation: "Brandon, this goes to show how awesome I am: insurance companies save money by switching to me."
Such a fun trip. I have the best siblings (and siblings-in-law) ever.