Monday, October 29, 2012

Bagged and blown away

Winds and floods pound and rise far to the east of us. But across our street this scene. A beagle and a retriever rolling in the leaves, their owners raking tawny-melon colored leaves into giant piles, pressing them into bags. The scene is so idyllic I want fall to stay for weeks and weeks so we can bag the warm golden light this old maple channels into our living room. Yesterday, lawns were mowed a final time. Hostas, the last to fade, were cut back, even gutters were cleaned.

Today, all the leaves are gone. Bagged or blown away. The maples and lindens are dark and bare.
I could have imagined all the world is all right for a day or two.

For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited- he says: I am the Lord, and there is no other,  …those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 45:18, 49:23

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I was happy

... the weekend we invited people to lift a glass of champagne and hear a reading from The Exact Place. It was beautiful but surreal. Around 50 people came to Toad Hall. Anita did all the planning. There were candles inside and out, flowers, sparkling glasses in a row and my grandmother’s lemon angel pie (one of the recipes from the book) ready to share. Me: useless, standing in front of closet wondering what to wear, or does it really matter? It doesn't, silly woman.

...I sensed people walk in, take a deep breath, exhale and settle into a chair for the evening. Then I relaxed, too. That people would actually come. That friends, and Anita, and Denis would take charge and make folks feel welcomed. That there was a real book to hold after so many years of claiming “I’m writing a memoir.” All I had to do was remember how to spell my name. It actually happened.
The dining room table made a good spot to sign.
Night falling by arrival time.
Looking from the kitchen out to the front door.
John Eddy & Denis arranged chairs to seat around 24.
Leslie Van Orsdel and Anita with last minute details.
Sunday afternoon reading. Randy & Barb Kinnick in foreground.
Big hug from my littlest sister, Roxanne.
Signing. Karen Vinson, Shelly Bergen, Melissa Hake. (Front to back.)
Thanks, Anita, for making beautiful details!
Two special surprises: John and Leslie Eddy came from New York for the weekend. The other: my youngest sister, Roxanne, arrived for the Sunday afternoon reading. She is nine and a half years younger than I am so by the time I left home for college, she was only seven years old. For most of the story – the part of my life I write most about – she was the little girl sleeping in the crib or my shadow following me around the farm and my best-est sleeping buddy. She still has enough sassiness to keep my writing honest. We don’t often see each other often enough.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Golden Fall

Looking down the front sidewalk
I walked through the front yard this morning to stand among the leaves. If it’s quiet you can hear them faintly whispering as they drift to the ground. I wanted to capture them spinning, slowly falling, but couldn’t. By the end of today there will be a completed golden carpet on the lawn and sidewalk. They will be gone in a few days. Mulched by the mower or blown to the neighbor’s. I love fall. I wish these days lasted longer. My great treat early in the morning, before anyone else in our house rises, is to wrap up, pretend I don’t have my pajamas on under my coat and sneak down to Caribou, lining up with all the medical folks getting ready for early rounds, and I order a soy latte. Back home, I sit by a window and read and watch the day begin.
CSA members picked up on our front porch.
 CSA is over for the season. The sign down. The boxes going into storage. I already miss the weekly box of vegetables from HeartBeet Farm. Each time the box comes, we open it like it is Christmas. Golden squash, huge, sweet red radishes, bright carrots, red potatoes, ripened red peppers, kale and more kale. It didn’t get old. Nor does it get old supporting these young friends who work hard to bring people the produce of their gardens. It was a pleasure to be their drop-off point for 26 members, who stopped by every Wednesday afternoon to pick up their boxes. We’ll be doing it again next year.
You can see the sprinkler going, one last good drink before winter.
Mornings are especially cold this week. But I like that. Denis is waiting until Thursday to turn on the furnace, since the high that day is only supposed to be 48 degrees. This morning the moon was almost full and still up in the western sky when the sun rose. There will be bleak days ahead, but for now I’m enjoying the glory of fall, and I hope you can, too.