Monday, October 16, 2017

Garden Report, Week 20: October 16

After another unseasonably warm weekend, Fall is in the air this morning.  The garden is long past prime, weary of the growing from the previous months.  

My raggedy plants have little left to harvest, though there are still tomato blooms, which is lovely though not especially promising, given the late date of the season.

The green tomatoes that remain are in a race against time; there is a frost warning for Tuesday night.  I expect that this is the final garden report for the 2017 season.  

I’ll pick everything left before the chill descends and offer thanks for the garden season that was even as I begin my daydreams and planning for the next garden season.  That’s the beauty of a garden; it’s a place for patient hopes and dreams.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Here and Now

When I first became a single mama, in the enveloping sadness that followed I found that the prospect of future happiness suddenly felt elusive.  I missed the ability to look into a future of assumed happiness.  Over time, I came to appreciate my immediate blessings.  My world felt more fragile but I found a way forward to moments of happiness.  As my heart healed, I once again came to see a future with happiness at the core.  That was a blessing for many reasons but especially because it gave me the chance to once again dream of the future.

It’s tricky to always look forward to happiness because it puts me at risk for failing to appreciate the here and now.  I’m especially aware of this conundrum now, as JT applies for college and I prepare to send him from the nest.  Last week, my parents visited.  These days, time in their company always reminds me of the rapid passage of time.  

In the midst of a Senior year which seems to be all about JT’s future, I’m more determined than ever to enjoy the here and now; to appreciate the moments at hand.  The future gets it fair share of our thoughts and imagination but in the here and now there is the beauty of happiness to be found.  I plan to claim it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dogwood Wednesday: October 10

The last week has mostly been filled with warm, humid air.  Good for the tomatoes, but bad for folks like me who wish to sleep with the windows open to an evening chill.  My parents are in town to visit with us and watch the boy in a few Cross Country races.  Pumpkins and mums are everywhere, but otherwise it hardly seems like Fall.  Enter the dogwood, always at the ready to provide a charming display.  Up close, these leaves are well on their way to a Fall celebration.

In the mornings, the backyard squirrels scamper up and down the limbs.  In the afternoon, we are sometimes lucky enough to see the cardinals that hang out here.  It’s a treat to look out the back window and see the tree as it embraces the season.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Garden Report, Week 19: October 9

I wouldn’t say that the garden is flourishing at this point, though the warmth of the past week ensures that I still have a few tomatoes to pick.

Historically, the first frost should be close at hand.  But it doesn’t quite feel like that today, with a humid and rainy day on tap.  As long as the cool weather holds off, I’ll have fresh-grown tomatoes to enjoy.  I’ll take it!

Sunday, October 08, 2017

October Front Porch

October is the month that first inspired my monthly porch decorations and it remains one of my favorite months to enjoy the porch.  For starters, the prospect of cool weather is usually very welcome come October.  Mums, jack-o-lanterns, gourds, and ghosts are some of the best treats of the month.

My flag welcomes visitors.

So far, it’s been a warm October and so there are summer plants still comfortable outside.  They’re tucked into a corner soaking up the warmth and sunlight.

By the end of the month, I’ll have trick-or-treaters to go with some cooler evenings.  That’s happy!

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Family Pastime

My parents are in town to enjoy the Fall and watch JT in a few cross country races.  Last night, we watched baseball playoff games.  We don’t have a dog in the hunt, but baseball is baseball and so we watched.  JT and Grandpa were watching together and there was pretty constant commentary when a Cleveland player connected and in unison they called, “that’s gone.”  Gone it was and JT smiled and said to his Grandpa, “we both knew that.”  Grandpa is the source of his love of the game and watching baseball together…..well, that’s happy!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Dogwood Wednesday: October 4

Fall is really starting to hold on around here and the cool evenings have led to some excellent sleeping weather.  While I rest, the dogwood is clearly getting after it.

That’s happy!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017


Cross Country races occur at courses all over the state, some nearby and some further away.  I enjoy the road trips that get me to the courses and I’ve found plenty of pretty parks in the process.  Last week, JT’s team completed against a local school at Natirar Park, a lovely, hilly park that was a former estate.  JT has run here before and that’s an important thing in cross country because it’s hard to lead a race if you don’t know the path to run.  

Natirar has wide swathes of green grass, woods, and hills.  The race starts in the middle of a big field, and then sweeps through the woods and up the hill seen here.  From there, the course rolls up hills in and out of the woods.

JT started strong and as I glimpsed him running in and out of the woods, he moved into first place.  That’s where he finished the race.

He didn’t run a personal best time, but it’s his first race with a first place finish and he was best pleased by that development.

Cross Country fans are the best.  They cheer for everyone; it’s not a sport with contact or personal fouls and the fans reward effort as much as they cheer victory.  We stay until every runner crosses the finish line.  I’ve spent plenty of time cheering my son as he finished a race in the back half of the crowd and always I've been proud of his effort.  But I have to say the first was pretty damn sweet as well.

Monday, October 02, 2017

Garden Report, Week 18: October 2

The garden is looking raggedy and dry; the tomatoes plants are clearly coming to the end of their season.

But as long as a warm sun shines, I water the garden.  So there are tomatoes to pick and enjoy each week.

That’s happy!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Old Man Tree: October

After a wet Summer, September was a dry month.  The leaves had started to turn as the month began. Temperatures warmed for the latter half of the month and it was hard to believe that Fall had arrived.  But the lawn is covered by a carpet of leaves when I set out to mow each week.

When I run the mower, I mark my rows by the mulching of these leaves.  

When I look overhead, I see that Old Man Tree is nowhere near shedding his leaves.  His embrace of the next season is more stately than mine.  There is a lot more raking and mulching to come.

Cool, crisp mornings have once again taken hold; evenings arrive sooner.  There are pumpkins and mums on the front porch.  In the coming weeks, the pace of leaves changing colors and dropping into the yard will pick up.  I keep watch for a glimpse of the harvest moon as I step out back under the limbs of this tree that has passed many more years than I have.  I offer a thanks to Mother Nature for all those years and a wish that Old Man Tree weather many more of them.