Hello October!

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My granddaughter last fall as we explored along Natchez Trace Parkway

Today is October 1, 2016 and I actually woke up a little excited about that.   Anyone who has read my past blogs or who knows me very well will recall that we have entered my favorite month.  The only thing casting a shadow on this otherwise lovely day is the horrible storm churning about in the Caribbean Sea, its sight seemingly set on Jamaica.  I pray earnestly for those in the path of this hurricane.

Somewhat selfishly, I am also vexed with the thought that the storm will interfere with my carefully laid plans to spend next weekend in North Carolina with my daughter and granddaughter.  I have been looking forward to spending a few days alone with them, taking in some Blue Ridge sights as we enjoy some of the changes of the season together.

I long to don a sweater, have my nose tickled by a blustery breeze and watch my granddaughter gracefully navigate a pumpkin patch somewhere along the way.  I am dreaming of slurping warm seasonal soups and sharing a slice of apple pie with my daughter as we catch up.  I envision us dancing along trails as we forage for adventure.

I know the trees will have already begun their dress in more vibrant hues of gold and scarlet.  They remind me of debutantes aspiring to be the belle of the ball as they slip into their fanciful attire.

The ground may not be carpeted with the crunchy relics of summer yet, but in a few short weeks, the riot of color will cover the mountains.   If I could stay for the entire month of October, I would.  Better yet, I would stay until the last leaf floated down from the place of its origin and the skeletal trees shivered in the bitter winter wind, heralding winter.

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My granddaughter last fall as we explored along Natchez Trace Parkway

Daily Post: Graceful

Come, Elegant Autumn

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I’ve said before that God created seasons because He knew we were fickle creatures who would get bored easily.  My favorite one is Autumn so when I saw that the Daily Prompt was Elegant, I thought about the distinct beauty and grace of the season and wrote down a few of my very passionate feelings about the coming of Fall.

Come, elegant autumn and show off your style.  I have been eager for your dignified arrival for months now.

Envelop me like a comfortable sweater and display for me the beautiful foggy nights by your harvest moon.

Tantalize me with the classic aroma of pumpkin and spice and not just on Thanksgiving Day.

Surprise me with briskly changing foliage before the colorful leaves are poised to plunge gracefully to the cool earthy ground at the first windy day.

Bring on your slight chill so we can forage in our closets for the stylish leggings, cozy boots and colorful scarves.

Let my eyes feast on the beautiful cornucopias, pine cones and amber colored candles smelling like apple cinnamon. 

And be content to stay for a good long visit, you wondrous golden visitor.

Related stories:  Come Autumn and especially October  and Goodbye July

Come Autumn and especially October

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Great Smoky Mountains

Those who know me well know that fall is my favorite time of the year.  I prematurely long for October beginning in June or July.  In this, my 50th fall season, I endeavored to determine why.  After all, every season holds the promise of something new.  It’s as if God knew our fickle natures would tire and need a change.

As I pondered my preference for all things autumn, I mentally made a list of all of the possibilities for why this season holds such charm.

For one thing, this month is the month of my birth.  Granted, that isn’t nearly as exciting as in years gone by but perhaps in my formative years, it was one reason I developed a strong preference for the beginning of autumn and for the month of October.

It also holds the promise of the rapidly approaching holiday season and cooler temperatures.  Although I am a Florida native, I’ve always favored the chillier weather, and I am grateful that I travel a lot and get to partake of it more often.  The drop in temperature means that even we Florida girls will get to wear boots!

If all of that wasn’t enough to help me understand my love for fall, I was reminded of something else just this morning.

I live in what I would describe as a small fishing village.  One of the livelihoods is stone crabbing and if you are a local, it is very likely that someone in your family is or was in the stone crabbing business or benefits from it in some way.  My dad was a stone crabber and my husband added a crab boat to our business just last year.  You may be wondering what crabbing has to do with my October love.

Well, you see October 15th is the first day the crabbers can begin pulling stone crab traps and bringing in their catch.  Today signifies the start of a more lucrative season for crabbers.

When I was a child, after a long penny pinching summer, it was exciting to wait at the docks and see how many pounds of crabs daddy had caught that day.  Even as a child you felt that fiscal tension ease up quite a bit within a couple of weeks after crab season started (as long as it was a good season).  The question of how many pounds was often a precursor to what kind of Christmas you were going to have.

So this morning, around 4:00am, when I began to hear the sounds of those diesel engines as the crab boats headed out, I smiled and reminisced for a while and then said a prayer for a bountiful harvest and safety for all.

Now, if I could just get the days to slow down, so I can thoroughly enjoy every moment of my October.

Work instead of whine

puffy clouds

puffy clouds

 

The wind is strong and fierce today, whipping noisily through the trees

It blows through my open window; sends papers sailing on a breeze

Birds are singing heartily as they hunt and perch and play

And I’m stuck at my computer as I work the day away

What is it about this windy day that beckons me, “Come Out!”

Autumn always grips me; I want to frolic all about

Soon enough, my workday will end and my time will be all mine

But for now, I must be content to work instead of whine

A somewhat silly poem by me (and I waited until after work to write it)

Hydrangeas

Not my usual Friday

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Today dawned cool and quiet (well cool for SW FL) and after coffee, prayer and devotions, I was ready for whatever came my way.

My eldest called and we chatted about her family’s healthy eating and her participation in the Spartan Race tomorrow.  She is one of those Crossfit crazed people, but whatever keeps her motivated sounds good to me.  I mention this because later it would inspire me to dig deep.

I blogged a few days ago in “Painting in Circles”, about helping out my husband with his new venture into stone crabbing.  Today he needed help loading several hundred crap traps onto a trailer, hauling them to the local fish house where he will sell his crabs and unloading them once there.  They would be “poured” today with cement. (to help them sink)

Of course I offered to help and he gladly accepted since most of his friends were working or otherwise engaged today.  Loading the first 200 or so was easy – I loaded onto the trailer while he stacked them.  We drove slowly over to the unloading site and I began unloading as he prepared the rows and lined them up properly.  I was easily lifting three at a time and stacking away, pretending at times that I was doing crossfit; bending at the knees, careful not to overextend, staying hydrated.

Before I knew it, we were getting back into the truck to come and get another load.  My nephew who was helping us, would stay there and continue lining up the traps in neat rows, readying them for the concrete.  I was hot and my elbow (the one with a tad of tendonitis was stinging), but all in all, I wasn’t much worse for wear.  We loaded another 220 quickly and went back to unload.  I’m not going to lie, I was getting tired of playing crossfit by now in the now 90 degree heat and began working harder and faster to finish the now grueling task.

We got that done and headed back for the remaining 90 or so which we loaded right away.  “Babe, are you coming back over there with me”, he asked.  “Well, I really need to get some laundry done”, I replied, doing my best to look tired and pitiful.  He thanked me for the help, kissed me and rushed off to finish the job.

The ice cold air greeted me like a long lost friend as I opened the front door.  My shower felt like a blessing from heaven and last nights left-overs satisfied my hunger and made me want to go to take a nap.  Since I know what I put my body through today, I went ahead and took a pre-“onset of pain” Advil.  It’s not that I don’t work out, walk and try to be healthy, but I used arm muscles today that I haven’t used since I carried a baby around.

After a glass of refreshing iced tea, I got a second wind and proceeded to finish a little wreath project I started the other day.  Now, I am feeling accomplished and awash with that good tired, the kind where everything aches a little but it’s okay because you got stuff done.

With all that said, I will leave you with a picture of my wreath and I welcome any comments good or bad.  For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know I don’t always have the best of luck with crafty things.  You won’t hurt my feelings if you provide some corrective criticism for my next one.  Good night and sweet dreams.  I will be probably be dreaming about lifting something.

Owl fall wreath

Owl fall wreath

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

Weekly Photo Challenge:  The Hue of You

The challenge this week was:

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO INCLUDING THE HUE(S) OF YOU!

I’ve always loved earth tones, so for this season, and this particular time in my life, those are the colors that are grabbing my attention and making me want to surround myself with them.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns

From the Weekly Photo Challenge:

lines to patterns. We see lines and patterns in the world around us, in nature and things man-made. Sometimes we don’t realize they’re there: on the street, across the walls, up in the sky, and along the ground on which we walk.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO (OR GALLERY) OF SHAPES, LINES, TEXTURES, OR PATTERNS.

Next season please

Sure sign of Spring - Robin - Bird

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

 A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

 A time to gain, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

 A time to tear, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and a time of peace.  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about seasons this week.  It’s so funny how they do parallel our lives.  The bible even says to everything there is a season.

When I’m asked what my favorite season is, I often say fall and winter.  I think this has always been due to the accompanying holidays and knowing I’ll be spending quality time with family and friends.

However, after contemplating it more carefully, I have realized that my favorite season is the one that’s around the corner.  The one that isn’t quite here yet, the one I’m currently longing for.

Take right now, for instance.  We’ve had our fill of winter (some more than others, depending on our locale); the cold, dreariness, the bare trees and raggedly looking lawns and landscapes.  We are ready for spring.  We desire something new; the flowers, the birdsong, a change in the weather, some refreshing showers.

I remember at the end of last summer, I was dreamily desiring the arrival of fall.  I could almost taste the fall flavors of pumpkin and apple cider and smell the cinnamon and feel the slight dip in temperature.  In my mind were visions of scarecrows and carvings and leaves turning and descending to the earth.  It was something to look forward to and thinking about it filled me with anticipation.

When the temperatures began to drop and I began my Christmas shopping, I was already giddy with excitement for winter and the hopes of seeing snow (if I traveled out of my home state).  Bring on the sweaters and scarves and boots.  The love of Christmas and thoughts of enjoying more time with those I care about made me anxious for this glorious season.

And around it goes, year after year, season after season.  I guess the old saying is true, “we always want what we don’t have”.  We eagerly anticipate the next chapter, the next season.

It’s like our Creator to know this would suit us; the changing.  We change; our lives are lived out in seasons.  Our short lived attention spans and longing for more is somewhat satiated by the change in seasons.

So on this last day of winter, I say,  bring on the spring!  May yours be filled with a spring in your step, March madness and April showers, Easter and excitement over things to come and abundant love, joy and peace!

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