Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a longtime friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times I know the person, but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.
As an unusually mild, rainy summer was melting away, or rather frosting its way, into autumn, I took to noticing signs that mountain people have always used to judge the forthcoming severity of winter.
Only one thing scares me about dying. It is so momentous it rocks my heart with grief whenever I think of it. It is a tumultuous rocking that resembles the Mississippi River in New Orleans when the ocean is signaling that a vicious hurricane is headed that way.