Sunday, October 3, 2010


I’m going to blame my sudden attack of melancholy on the weather, an easy target like the full moon, the stars’ alignment, low blood sugar, and hormones. But the moon isn’t full, I don’t know the North Star from the Eastern Star since I’m directionally challenged, my blood sugar tested fine at my last checkup and I’m at the age when my hormones are basically nil.

It’s a Fall-perfect weekend that I should be enjoying especially since Fall was my favorite season growing up. I grew up in a generation and small Iowan town where we looked forward to school starting again, the colorful leaves that snapped, crackled and popped under our feet, and the changing of our wardrobe from crisp cottons to soft wools and cashmeres. Early nightfall meant drive-in movies fell within my curfew. I remember how I loved to snuggle under a blanket with my boyfriend in his old Studebaker while pretending to be watching a B-rated movie… oops, I digress.

Perhaps I’m melancholy because Fall means changes and I’m not changing? My life is as it is and that's not bad. I have a good job when so many don’t have any, I can pay my bills and still occasionally splurge on a pair of tennis shoes that are guaranteed to lift my tush and firm my thighs, and I have a collage of good friends. I have a son I’m ever so proud of and I have Shelby, a little dog who rules my world.

Or is it the losses that are making me melancholy? I lost Mercedes, a dear little blond dust-mop of a dog and Shelby's best friend, about two months ago. She was only three years old. Healthy one minute, gone within the next hour and no one knows why. I tried to replace that heartbreak with another little pup last weekend who visited us on a trial basis. This pup was literally nothing but skin and bones, a hank of gray hair, and huge eyes full of love.

I discovered that the pup wasn’t housebroken (nor had Mercedes been). I told the rescue group that I couldn’t handle that. But I lied. What I couldn’t handle was the way she hung on my every word with cocked head, like Mercedes had, and her developing raspy cough that panicked me into sending the e-mail, “Come get her.” I couldn’t open my heart right now to more pain. Or love. Or loss. Maybe later. So I settled for guilt instead even though I know the rescue group will find her another good home.

Or is because of the box of photographs that I found yesterday while cleaning out a closet? Pictures I hadn’t looked at for almost ten years. Pictures of the family I once had and loved so much. I’ve never written about Eddie, my husband, who died before his time. I still can’t. Maybe later.

Fall, a season of both changes and losses, is fleeting though. Especially in Texas. And so will be my melancholy.


  1. Reading your post today brought tears to my eyes. I know that place. I think I am there. And I feel guilty for being there still. No one outside of me is telling me to move along and be happy, but something inside of me tells me it is bad to feel sad....and isn't that sad?

    Thanks so much for writing again....and sharing it with my heart. I appreciate all of your posts.

  2. Great post, Betty. I think it's good to feel melancholy from time to time. Not only does it help us to appreciate happiness, but it allows us to experience life a little fuller. Sorry about the doggers. Love you.