The Summer of '62; Episode 61
The Indian summer of ’62 was Rich's most memorable.
Indian summer is the warm spell usually occurring in October after the first frost and lasts for a couple of days or so. It’s a period of time that seems to confuse the internal seasonal clock and natural rhythms of life. Everything appears as though it is fall but it feels like summer. The maples are at their absolute best hues of reds and yellows. Sometimes they cast reflections that appear to be a fire. The sun is at that particular angle in the sky that gives your mental sundial the intuition it is fall.
A breeze rustled through the lifeless brown corn stocks sounding like the applause of a polite audience. Plumes of soy bean dust spewed from distant combines harvesting the fields. In the Larsen's yard two heaps of rotted apples lay beneath an apple tree smelling sweet like cider. It was a dry warm Saturday morning.
It was Saturday morning, early October. It was going to be a day of repose for Rich. Sleep was elusive the night before and he awoke to an empty house; Mr. and Mrs. Larsen had gone to work and Uncle Bob's car was gone.
It was nearly noon before Rich began to nudge himself mentally to mow the grass.
They had a small tractor with a drop-arm mowing blade. The buckhorns were the only thing that had grown. Cutting only the buckhorns would be adequate. With the tractor’s mowing attachment it could be done in an hour.
A peculiar odor arrested Rich's attention as he made his way through the house. The oder was almost like burning leaves. He slipped his shoes on and walked through the kitchen.
Through the kitchen window he saw smoke raising from the barnyard. Rich moved closer and peered through the kitchen window above the sink to see where the smoke was coming.