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Autumn – Pumpkins, Hayrides, and the County Fair

Photo by <Matthew_Hull> at Morguefile.com (altered)

I remember a time when autumn meant hayrides, jumping in piles of leaves, the county or state fair, and pumpkins everywhere.

Going to the fair was always inexpensive fun. A few dollars got you a few rides, a funnel cake, a corndog, and maybe even a caramel apple, or some cotton candy. It was a great place to run free and ditch your parents if you were old enough. I was a big fan of the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Himalaya rides but only considered the haunted house if someone was with me every step of the way. I was never a fan of the Ferris Wheel after getting stuck atop one at Cedar Point in Ohio.

My favorite thing to do, though was go on a hayride. We didn’t have haunted hayrides back in the day because they were on all autumn post harvest season. It was always best if you had a boyfriend to snuggle up with in the cool autumn night. Our hayrides were generally taken on the public roads throughout farm country. Now, the only ones I see advertised on on private farms or apple orchards – at least around here. I once ruined my sister’s yellow mohair (or was it angora?) sweater on a hayride. She was not too pleased let me tell you. Have you ever tried to pull hay out of a loose knit sweater?

Corn mazes have become a popular attraction as well, but I have never been to one. Our weather is still rather warm for getting lost in a corn field.

We got out of the habit of carving pumpkins or even putting them on display for decoration when we lived in Florida. The heat got to them too quickly and they soon turned  into a mushy mess. I remember when I visited Vermont one year in October and they do autumn right! Everything was decorated with apples and pumpkins and hay bales complimenting the vivid fall colors.

I always liked celebrating autumn for autumn’s sake. We focus too much on holidays I think and don’t spend enough time just enjoying the season.

Do you have any special things you enjoy as a celebration of autumn? Suddenly I am craving some mulled cider.

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One Liner Wednesday – Fall or Autumn

Sorry. It is technically two lines. 


One liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by the lovely Linda Hill. Please visit Linda’s blog to read the rules, read other one liners, and possibly join in the fun!

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Monday Missive – Not Quite Fall

Stuffed peppers
“And then the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and Autumn was awaked.”
Raquel Franco

The sun is shifting and mid mornings have golden beams of light flooding the living room. Fall has not fully taken hold because the sun moves more quickly now rather than at the timid pace of fall and early winter.

  • I am finally working in my studio some. I am experimenting and getting comfortable with tools right now. A photo essay to follow later in the week.
  • The Covid-19 news this morning was bleak. Cases on the rise everywhere it seems. The CDC said the airborne transmission covers a larger distance than 6’ and stays airborne longer than first thought. Unfortunately, the CDC is no longer trustworthy since we know politicians were deciding what information would be posted there.
  • This past weekend we bought more fall vegetable starts. More spinach, kale, lettuce, shallots and garlic. Hopefully we will get them planted today.
  • The weather has turned cool. Our low last night was 47°F and has now warmed ip to 58°F. With the humidity also low, I can almost breathe again.
  • We have seen a number of migrating birds making a stop at our feeders on their long voyage south. The news is not good for migrating birds in the west. Between sudden cold weather and fires in the west. Hundreds of thousands of birds have perished. You can read the article posted on Audubon.org.
  • Hubby found an old Scuppernong grapevine on our property – in much need of care. He picked a hand-full of grapes and brought them in the house. The aroma takes me back to my childhood – the smell such a distinct one. It will be the source of another story about my childhood coming soon.
  • Last week we had 8 inches of rain, 6 inches of which fell in one day when Hurricane Sally came through south of us. This week looks to be seasonally sunny and mostly dry. It is the kind of weather I thrive in.
  • The death of Justice Ginsburg is having political impacts here in the U.S. donations from democrats have reached record levels. Sadly, she will most likely not receive the respect she deserves from this administration.
  • The stock market also took a major hit with the news about the spread of the virus and the anticipated struggle about filling Justice Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court.
  • Good news, good news, good news…think. My family is well and healthy thus far. My joy comes in the little things. Video chats with my grandchildren, and text and phone conversations with family help keep us going. It is a lonely existence otherwise.
  • We started watching “Top of the Lake” on Netflix. I also saw that “Call the Midwife”, season 9 is available now, too. I have not had the mental focus to read much of late.
  • I did make stuffed peppers out of our garden harvest which turned out well. Now I look forward to making a hearty soup this week. It is that time of the year.
  • And last but not least. I am looking for recommendations of bloggers to follow in Ireland. If you have any, post the link in the comments.

Have a good week. Stay in, mask up and stay healthy.

 

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To Everything There is a Season

This morning I woke to a smattering of leaves, fallen on the driveway. They are the first stitches of the fall quilt that will soon blanket everything. I made new hummingbird food for the feeder, which may be the last of the season. The last brood of bluebirds have been very active, the juvenile birds flapping their wings, beaks wide open waiting to be fed.

There are signs of the approaching fall everywhere, yet life still struggles to hang on. While the dogwoods change color and their berries turn red, little wildflowers make their way to the surface, determined to be seen, yet so small they are easily overlooked.

I welcome fall, but there is a particular melancholy that floats through the air like the last butterfly of the season. It is the acknowledgement that life moves on, everything having its own season. I am very aware of the feeling as I feel the loss of a summer lost to the virus. When I think we have lived in this uncertainty for a full season, it seems unfathomable.

It feels like the months that follow after losing a loved one. The loss heavy on your senses, changing the taste and smell of everything. The uncertainty of tomorrow while trying to hang on to what once was. Will life ever be the same?

I long for my family. To share a cup of coffee, or snuggle into each other to watch a movie we have seen a thousand times. There is comfort in the familiar. Knowing how the story ends leaves time for hugs and giggles and enjoying the presence of those we love.

Our blueberry bushes produced so many blueberries this year. Yesterday I made blueberry pancakes. My seven year old grandson said he missed me and remembered when he came to my house and he had pancakes with smiley faces. He feels the loss, too.

Tomorrow I will celebrate the change of seasons. Today, I sip my coffee, allowing myself to feel the heaviness of a summer lost. Just for today, I want to breathe it all in.

 

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1LinerWednesday – Come Ride With Me

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L. M. Montgomery

Yesterday when we saw the prediction for two days of rain we decided to rearrange our day and take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The rain and wind coerce the leaves to fall to the ground creating a caramel-colored brown carpet woven of the remnants of summer. We wanted to see the splendor while the trees still had the color in their hair.

The black bear cubs were out again where we had seen them a few weeks before. I captured a couple of photos and a short video. At the end of the video when the bear retreats into the woods, you can hear him growl if you listen closely.

I tried to capture a little of the winding road as we weaved in and out of the trees. The light plays tricks as it changes from sunlit spaces to dark protected shadows.

Hubby snapped a photo of me in front of this vibrant red tree. I am not sure what was with that stance — ha!

And these photos that follow? They need no explanation.Just enjoy them. I certainly did enjoy taking them.

 


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