Tag Archives: #Autumn

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Happy Thanksgiving!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving Memories

It’s the time of year when fall ends and the Christmas season begins (although in retail stores, it began in October!).  Sweater weather is here.  In the Midwest, it’s been around for a couple months.  In Los Angeles, it has just begun.  Too bad I brought only one sweater with me.  I’m currently in LA visiting, and I’m certain the weather will warm up soon.  This is when I put an optimistic smile on my face.

pumpkin-1706702_1920Over the years, I’ve had many memorable Thanksgiving Days.  In my youth, we headed over the river and through the woods…Oops!  Wrong story!  We drove past open fields covered in snow with their crops harvested for another year.  We would arrive at my grandparents’ home.  It was a white cottage down the road from a country church where my mom taught Sunday school before meeting my father.

Anytime we went to Gram’s house was a special occasion.  Whether it was a Sunday dinner or a holiday feast, she would have put together a meal suitable for a crowd of hungry farmers after working in the fields all day.  Instead, she had a handful of little rugrats and their parents to feed.

Holiday dinners would always have two different types of meat, typically a large turkey and a ham.  Multiple side dishes strained the table with their combined weight.  Mountains of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, corn, baked rolls, cranberry sauce, jello salad and a number of other treats were prepared with great care for her family.  I give thanks for Gram’s love.

After the meal, the adults would sit around with full stomachs and converse on the topics of the day — news, local gossip, the weather, and sports.  You would know they were ready for dessert when they began talking about food again.  I give thanks for my extended families — aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

In later years,  our celebrations were smaller when the preparations became too much for Gram.  We would stick with our nuclear families and visit Gram in her little apartment.  When we lived overseas, we would invite other Navy families and single sailors to our Thanksgiving Day dinners.  I give thanks for being privileged to have served my country.

On this Thanksgiving, my active duty son will be gone serving his country.  I am 2000 miles from my husband and eldest son.  I’m spending this Thanksgiving with my new daughter-in-law.  I give thanks for my lovely family and their health and safety.

New traditions will begin as our family grows and changes in the years to come.  This is why I give thanks.



Autumn Sojourn

The town where I grew up has an awesome apple orchard.  There is a gift shop, restaurant, children’s activities and of course, delicious apples!  Each year, my out-of-town siblings and I travel back home for “Scarecrow” soup and warm apple pie with cinnamon ice cream.  It is a tradition that we look forward to each fall.

My husband and I ventured to the orchard today.  It was foggy and cool out.  Hardly anyone was in the store and restaurant.  We were able to browse the assorted jams, jellies, and other tasty food items without fighting the crowds. There are many wonderful orchards across the country, but I think of this one as being ‘ours.’ It has been the scene of many family gatherings over the years.

The sun made an appearance later in the day, so I took my husband to the lake.  It’s a small lake with a golf course, located adjacent to it.  The same course where I played golf in my high school and college years.  The temperature was pleasant in the mid-sixties, and the sun shone brightly.  Few people were out and about, although the day was one of the dwindling warm days left before winter blasts us.  Children ran down the hill towards the lake while their parents called for them to return to the picnic table.  A small boat with some fishermen could be seen slowly moving near the shore.  Geese were parading on the beach while others floated on the surface of the lake.  Across the way, the Veteran’s Memorial sits high on the hill.  I mentally made a note to take my husband there in the future.

For me, autumn is a sensory delight.  I look forward to the vibrant colors of the turning leaves and the crunch of those same leaves underfoot.  I long for the smell of baking pies and the unique scent of firewood burning in the hearth.  I can’t wait to dig out my sweaters and soft scarves.  The roar of the crowd cheering at the high school football game takes me back to my youth.  As I watch the little children running from one home to the next yelling “Trick or Treat,” I see my sons’ joy during those special Halloween nights.

Autumn provides not only fond memories but opportunities to create new ones.

Enjoy your autumn days!

Falling Behind

Just as the temperatures fall from the humid 90’s of August to the pleasant 70’s of September, and Autumn heralds its imminent arrival with the subtle changes in the color of the trees around us, I feel the panic of Falling Behind.  

I’m an erratic list maker.  I have lists on my iPhone, in the notebook I use for jotting notes for my writing inspirations and in my journal I have fondly dubbed “My Brain”.  It holds the items my aging synapses are unable to retain in any order.  In my fifth decade, I blame it on all of the names, phone numbers, account numbers and birthdates I have tried to compile in the (let’s face it!) minute amount of gray matter I was born with.

I have a special To Do List which I made three years ago.  I cataloged all of the updates I wanted to make to our home.  I went around room by room listing all of the changes and maintenance items I needed to tackle.  I have crossed off about two things on the list.

Oh, I have my reasons.  Summer overwhelms with family events, camping trips, and outdoor concerts.  Last summer, I had a broken wrist and for much of the summer, I wore a cast.  After it had come off, my dominant right hand and arm were weakened to the point I couldn’t accomplish many of the items on my list.

This year, in addition to the multitude of summer affairs we attend, our youngest son got married on an island in the Carribean.  Yup, I didn’t get very much done.  Now, I am looking at a list older than the two year old, furbaby next to me.  Thinking to myself, ‘If it wasn’t raining, I could’ve painted outside today…’

How many of you have To Do Lists with still too many “To Do’s” on it?