Autumn Leaves & the Goat-Man


It’s that time of year again! Fall. Brisk, cool nights, cloudy skies, rain and wind! Each season here in the Pacific Northwest is so different than the others and usually the change from one to the next is sudden. Our summer was hot and so very dry. The skies were more polluted at times than I’ve ever seen them due to forest fires in Canada, Oregon, and Washington. Leaves fluttering about in the wind and the gray sky above are both welcome sights! 

It’s been a busy week here between a working vacation to the 2017 Spokane Zombie Con, working on ROTTEN, helping the kids stay on track with school work, making homemade canned applesauce, and getting ready for Halloween. Oh, and planning our Thanksgiving, which will be a new experience for us (a camping potluck). And of course Christmas! 

We live in an interesting neighborhood. Most of the homes here are 70-100+ years old. The history is rich and some of the views are spectacular. Sadly, there’s also a considerably large population of low-income and homeless residents. There’s also a significant drug problem, and along with that crime. There’s a lot I’ve had to learn to be patient with, and our family is actively working to make a difference to some of the most vulnerable of our neighbors. One of the hardest parts about living here is my intolerance of noise. I have to force myself, at times, to talk myself down and do my best to ignore it. It really does make a difference in emotional well-being.

With all of that being said, this summer brought a new noise to our home. My husband and children experienced it before I did. Ordinarily this type of noise would drive me crazy. There’s a man who parks his old red car alongside our side yard. He spends a great deal of time just sitting there. He smokes. He smokes a lot. He listened to his car radio, and usually it’s pretty loud. It’s even louder in the middle of the night. I assume this man with long hair and a cowboy hat who listens to loud music and sits in his car smoking a great deal is homeless, aside from his little red car. I’ve grown to enjoy this gentleman’s company from afar; from our side of the fence. I doubt he’s aware of who any of us are, just that we live in the house behind the fence. I think I forgot to mention that along with his car radio, he sings. He sings loudly. When he sings, he sounds like a goat that’s being slowly slaughtered. My kids say it’s more like a weed-wacker imitation. There’s every reason the entire scenario should bother me, but it doesn’t. With the change in season, we’re hearing him less and less. I don’t know what his “story” is, but I hope that he’s found a warm dry place to sing…and perhaps will be back when the weather gets better.