Autumn…….Fall

Mama always called it “Fall”. Autumn is for a place that actually has a time of cooler weather with all the trees showing beautiful colored leaves shimmering in the sun before fluttering and dancing to the lawn.

Fall is for a place that has a time of cooler weather followed by hot weather again, followed by cooler weather followed by hot weather……….usually in the span of a week. This goes on until the rain starts.  Then, we can expect gray, damp, chilly days followed by the most beautiful shade of blue on the planet.  Texas Winter Sky Blue.  After a blue norther comes through signaling Winter’s arrival.

Before that time comes, we have Fall. Some of the trees give up their leaves, dry and brown.  He doesn’t like sweet gum trees because of the balls they dump on the ground.  I forgive them the balls littering the ground because of the blood red color the leaves will soon turn.   Sycamores make the biggest mess of all our trees.  But the yellow leaves shining against the blue sky are lovely.  When they have shed their golden treasure, the stark white of the ancient trunks gleams brightly.  An invasive species of tree I only know of as a tallow tree does have a wide arrange array of colors and a large bank of them makes a fine show.

This is the time of year when my loved ones start asking for a fresh batch of hot chocolate mix. I will blend up a round in a few days.  I keep promising to make marshmallows again.  Perhaps this year I will tackle the sticky challenge.  There is no comparison to store bought with these treats.

S’mores were never part of our camping trips when I was a kid. I first experienced them at the campfire of our best friend and his bride when their boys were tiny.  We have had them a few times through the years.  I have gathered some recipes on Pinterest for variations of the s’mores theme.  I want to practice some different things to see which to do for Hallowe’en weekend.  We have a couple of events that weekend and I want to bring a traditional fall flavor with a new twist.

I love pumpkins and Hallowe’en decorations and candy and costumes. Many childhood memories involve fire department, church or school sponsored Hallowe’en carnivals or Fall Festivals.

Then, of course, Fall means hunting and football. Or football and hunting.  Depending on the day of the week and the weather.   We don’t have a deer camp to go to this year, since changing clubs.  He is making me a fire pit under the trees in the yard.  I will be able to pretend I am off in the woods….and still have a flush toilet available!

Bright fall colors, slightly cooler weather, hunting, football, baking goodies (cool enough to turn on the oven), Hallowe’en events. Fall is here.  By the time it gets to be winter, the California Jewel will be arriving in San Dimas.  This is going to be one of my favorite Falls of all time!

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Time On My Hands

This past weekend, I had time on my hands. I spent most of Saturday sitting in a deer stand and part of Sunday afternoon, too.

It was raining Saturday. The woods in the rain are lovely to experience.  The rush and patter of the rain.  The whoosh of the wind.  The dance of the trees and swirling of light over raindrops.  The noisy quiet of nature.

I spent time trying to focus the vision. I know one thing for certain.  I am a home keeper at heart.  Everything seems to come back to home.  I love to travel.  But home is my vocation.  I expend a great deal of energy and thought on my home.  Trying to figure out how to make it better.  How to make it stay cleaner.  How to make it more comfortable and user friendly.  How to make it kid-friendly, both crawler size kids and grown, married size kids.

If I move this over there and rearrange this closet. If I get rid of this and try to find something like that?  So it goes with me.  Drives him crazy.  I don’t mean to make him nuts with all my moving and changing.  Sometimes I get things situated and think it will work and it doesn’t.  Or something changes.  Or it doesn’t fit the way I thought it would.

I do the same in my deer stand. I have three chairs in each of my stands.  Each chair serves a different purpose.  It took me a bit to work out the best arrangement. I like to be comfortable.  It is a long time sitting.

But the reward of the confined space in the open woods is great.  I have to sit still and let my mind be my occupation.  I take my journal and write page after page of gibberish.  But, amid all the static, I hear that voice telling me this is the way.  I see the light for the next step.  The fog clears from the vision for a moment and I have a chance to make a note on my pages before it is shrouded again.  But, this time I am not in despair.  I have captured a glimpse of the vision on paper.  I have words I can refer to when I get unsure again of the next step.

Take the broom and sweep. Put away the paraphernalia let over from the past days’ adventures.  Clean the fish tank.  Pull a few weeds.  Cook a good pot of tortilla soup.  Get the coffee pot ready for the morning.  Figure out what tomorrow’s chores will be. Decide what closet needs attention.  Another page in my life has been written.  Today was a good one.  A good one preceded by good ones.

I just realized I am doing what my mother and her mother always did.  My mother’s sisters do the same thing, too.  That constant moving and rearranging in our homes.  And so the family connection flows.

I love hunting season. One of the main reasons is the time to unravel my mind.  And let Him show me wonders of his world.  And have time with him adventuring in the mud and rain.

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Adventure

I had a lovely opportunity to chat with one of my favorite people in the world.  My cousin is a few years younger than me.  But, he and I are close enough to have had some adventures when we were children.  Distant and hazy memories of times at our grandparents big house here in East Texas.  Blurred flashes of moments in time at his parents big Rock Church in the cedar brakes on the Paluxy River.  Our older cousin sat with us a moment as well sharing a glimpse back.  The event was to celebrate his mother’s 80th birthday.  She is sister to my father who passed away several years ago.

Driving home from the short afternoon affair held in a community event center, I wondered what was missing in these days.

Adventure.  So much of my time with my family and friends is spent simply gathering for a short meal or brief gathering.  Once upon a time, our families gathered in smaller or larger number to fish, hunt, camp, hike, swim.  Play.  Work.  Celebrate.

I think that is why my 48th birthday last year was so wonderful.  The children, he and I had adventures on the river and at the deer camp.  The trip to Oahu to visit with my son was special because it was an adventure with him.  The trips I take with my daughter to the beach are special because they are adventures with her.  The time I spend with him at the lease or on the boat are special because I never know what might happen next.  Always there are adventures with him.

All adventures don’t have to encompass a long trip or exotic location.  Those kind are wonderful, of course.  But, my thoughts and dreams tend to flow toward any kind of diversion. Whether croquet and horseshoes in the backyard; coon hunting in the woods after dark; floating in the cold clear river waters; sitting around a campfire reflecting on just which way that deer came out and turned before the shot was taken;  sitting silent and still for 24 minutes waiting for does to move away from the food plot unalarmed two months before the season starts;  watching all types of crazy moves on tractors and ATVs; riding along flooded roads and through wildfire smoke filled trails just to see and know;  checking hog traps after dark; watching him chasing hogs through the woods or across the cow pasture shooting at them; being married to him.

Life with him is an adventure.  It takes much of my energy and attention.  I love all of it.  Even when the fish don’t bite my hook and the deer wind me and the red bugs cover me and the wolf spiders try to murder me and the mosquitos bleed me dry.

I would like more adventures with my cousins.  But, this world has changed.  We have changed.  Things have changed.  I must make a new way.  Figure out a new plan.  Try a new adventure.  I will keep following my husband to the ends of the earth or the end of the dirt road.  But, I want to make time for some old time adventure buddies, too.  I miss them.  The kids we were.  The simple things cousins did.  Time together.  Period.  Time together.

Closer to now.  My adventure partners as they looked a little over twenty years ago:

 

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Magical days of childhood, who are these grown-ups I am talking to?  The names are the same.  The faces are oddly familiar.  But, who are they?  I loved the children they were so dearly.  I wish my memory was not so weak.  I would love to recall like it was yesterday, what we said, where we went, how it finished up in the evening.  I will, though, be content with my flashes of sight.  Like old grainy photos of the forgotten past, my mind flashes the sight of our past times on the screen of memory.  Adventures.