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Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Simply Saturday

Misty mornings

                            foggy sunrise

                                                    I simply say

                                         A Big Cloud

                                                              come

                                                                             to fall

into

a Kentucky Hollow

at sunrise today

backyard cloud 

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For the last 20 years, when traveled home to visit family, we passed this house. It is like an old friend you sitting on a porch as you go into town. We watch for each other, greet each other and pass on by. I have seen it in various stages of seasonal dress, warm moods, stormy moods, desolate moods. I always wonder about its heart, about what kind of love lived in there.

What do you see, when you look at this house?

Do you see

this?

houseinfield4

Sometimes, I see Loss

At othertimes, Unsustainable Change,

Isolation

Left-behindness

Not what I asked for

Maybe Life without God

or

do you see

this?

houseinfield1

 Hope of Home Sweet Home

memories

that swirled

within those walls

Laughter wafting out the windows

 opportunity for Shelter

to put down roots

to build a life

out of

abandonment

brokendownness

Opportunity

Restoration

Security

New Life all around

Hope

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Each picture, the same house, one symbolizing hopelessness and confusion, the other hope.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)

Which House are You Living in?

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hallowween5I love Fall.  The smell of crisp, musty leafy air.  The crunch and skittering leaf sounds.  Blustery wind that sasses. It is the only time of year that I orange is my favoarite color.  Otherwise, I abhor it.  It is the only time of year a black cat gives me pause.

Walking up the main street of my hometown every day to visit my aunt, my feet kicking through red, orange, and brown leaves that crackled.  Robin’s egg blue skies and clouds, so white, so full as though they were heavy with the winter snow to come–the sky seemed like the roof of an old house, too low and me too big, like I could almost touch the ceiling–that’s autumn. Autumn is full of memores that wrap around you like a old, warm quilt made from blue cotton memories.

bigsnowtreesWhen autumn comes, I pull out my very favorite autumn children’s book, “When will the Snow Trees Grow?” by Ben Shecter. The little guys and I wrap up in our blankets, snuggle up with some hot chocolate for them and warm apple cider for me.  Because the “lemonade isn’t as sweet.”  The blankets feel just right.  And the wind rustles around the house trying to find a way inside. Shector poignantly shows how tastes and needs evolve with the seasons.

 English Ghost storiesAnother favorite book pulled out, for the older, more adventuruous among us is The Oxford English Edition of Classic Ghost Stories.  The stories collected in these pages are to horror movies what Belgian truffles are to cheap chocolate. No gimmicks, just stories passed own through folklore, sprung out of supersitition, imagination, and a dark night.  It is one of my husband’s favorite books to read, too  I heartily enjoy it, but don’t like reading it if he is out of town–BOO!

ciderOf course, since lemonade doesn’t taste as sweet, it’s time to pull out the crock pot and stir up some mulled apple cider, topped with homemade whipped cream and Starbucks Caramel Sauce. My favorite hot chocolate recipe is the way my aunt used to make it when I’d spend the night.  Milk warmed with Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa and made just like it says on the back of the box:

INGREDIENTS (Nutrition)

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream
  • Homemade whipping cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature. Top with real homemade whipping cream. 

 

smoremakerOne of my favorite parts about autumn will be different this year.  For years, the boys and the neighborhood kids would stop by in the midst of their afternoon play, no matter how cold the weather.  I would pull out my S’More indoor grill. The gaggle would pull up the stools to the counter, and S’More Snacks for everyone-a regular autumn event! The neighborhood kids might be in another state, but the S’More Maker is with me! 

The weather is cooling, the trees green, but have a washed out look about them.  The sky feels like it is starting to press downward.  The quilts feel snugglier.  I’m getting thirsty for some yummy cider.  The urge to curl up with a book that will make my hair stand on end, no matter how many times I read the stories, beckons, and, for some reason, the color orange is my very favorite color right now, a fiery, pumkiny orange. My scardy cat seems a little braver, her coat a little darker for some reason.

I so love the Fall!

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