Transition

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I talk a lot about the seasons. I talk about them a lot, don’t I? And I recently had a pretty lengthy conversation with our current house guest, my youngest brother, about how they really define the rhythms of my life. We also pondered the idea that in our part of the country, the changing of the seasons is a bit of a ritual for us. We open the windows in the spring. We dig in our gardens in the summer. We pull out sweaters in the fall and add extra blankets to our beds in the winter. We change our eating habits, our sleeping patterns and daily routines based on the temperature and the amount of sunlight available.

I’ve noticed us doing a bit of that lately. We finally, thanks again to our house guest, got some of the big painting projects out of the way. The moment we felt the first cool breeze, we were called to prepare our porch, abandoned for a bit during higher temperatures, in anticipation of fall afternoons and evenings of knitting, reading and listening to the cicadas. That fury spread to our living room whenever my painting sibling offered to tackle it for us. Alas, projects that were looming over us were marked off the list.

I suspect part of it had to do with momentum, but part of it also resulted from that inner voice that tells you that after autumn comes winter and we don’t tackle many projects in winter, do we? At least not ones that involve us carrying ladders in and out of the house and opening windows to let the breeze dry the paint for us.

And I find myself knitting sweaters. Two in the past month or so. Complete, blocked, folded and ready to go. I also pulled out my “real shoes” and tucked away my sandals.

I have been moving through the rituals of preparing for the next season and I’m not sure I even noticed. Perhaps my first clue should have been when I started bidding farewell to my summer garden, cutting back the flowers that were no longer blooming and contemplating mums.

As I left this morning for work, I noticed the owner of the small farm stand across the street was carefully placing gourds and pumpkins along the tables and in the boxes. He too was moving from summer and welcoming autumn.

So, we’re cracking out the honey and hot tea. I’m going to add a blanket to the end of the bed. I’ll start my obsession with butternut squash soon. I might put a roast in the crockpot and I’m wishing we had a fire pit.

 

Daybook 1

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I’m listening to: I’ve been listening to Patty Griffin. Right now it seems to be all Patty, all the time. However, I’m starting to sprinkle in some Counting Crows; I just can’t escape the 90s and well, they have a new CD out. . . due to be delivered any day.

I’m wearing: In an effort to appreciate my closet for what it’s worth AND to really make some decisions on paring it down, I am wearing something different every day for 30 days. Today it’s a thrifted linen shirt, my black capris and my glasses.

My to do list: I’m trying to keep my list short and sweet. Right now it’s full of “want to dos” vs. “have to dos” and I like it that way. I want to plant more Swiss chard in the garden. I want to listen to more music. I want to pull out autumnal decorations. I want to bake muffins.

I’m currently reading: I’m doing very little reading lately. . . honestly. However I’m drawn to pieces about and for writers. I think that’s an indication of where I’m headed.

I’m thinking about: Who I want to be when I grow up. I’m still trying to decide. And all I am certain of is that I want to be happy and loved. The rest will fill in as needed.

I’m praying about: Peace for those I love. Peace in my decisions. Peace in who I am.

I’m thankful for: Quiet. Words.

I love it when: I get my pillows positioned just right, and I can smell the lavender chamomile linen spray I just spritzed over them. And I’m perfectly comfortable. So comfortable that I begin to pray. Names and faces come to me. I pray for them, sometimes unsure as to what I am really seeking.

I love it when I find a sweet little ripe tomato in my garden long after I assumed the plant was producing anything.

I love it when I have my afternoon glass of cold tea and it is just enough to help me trudge through that last hour.

 

Time

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I get a little giddy over long weekends. The gift of an extra “free” 24 hours is just enough to make me dance. Granted, I can’t dance, and I have no rhythm, so it’s a bit pathetic, but I did want you to truly understand my joy.

It’s not that I had any big plans for last weekend. It’s not that I was really anticipating anything grand, but the whole idea of having some extra time away from the “grind”, well, it was exciting.

You’d think I’d turn that excitement into something marvelous. Perhaps build shelters for the homeless, contemplate the meaning of “Dirty Dancing”, find world peace or bake a cake. I didn’t do any of those things.

Instead, I hung out. Yep, I’ve perfected it. I hung out by myself on Friday. On Saturday we hung out with Cynical’s folks. That night we hung out over dinner and movies with my brother. On Sunday we simply hung out at home. On Saturday I did venture to Kroger, where we hung out a bit before going to my folks where we hung out some more. And that night. . . well, you guessed it, I hung out.

I accomplished nothing, unless you count a few loads of laundry, clearing some well done flowering plants from our yard, and cooking every vegetable I could think of or knitting about 40 percent of a would-be sweater.

That’s the glory of extra time, right? More time to hang out, uninterrupted, free from pressures. And we seized every moment.

Right now. . .

I am savoring time with my brother.

I want to create.

I am anticipating a gorgeous and rejuvenating fall season.

I am planning handmade Christmas gifts.

I know I am blessed.

I am bidding farewell to my summer garden and absorbing lessons learned.

I am praying for peace for those I love.

I am feeling the call to write and write big.

I am ready for big change.

 

Away

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Last weekend we got away. It was a little getaway, but “away” is key here. It was only a two-hour trek and it was only for one night, but I am always amazed at how such a little bit of time can rejuvenate you.

Nashville is just about two hours south of here. Lots to do. Lots to see. Good food. But what we seem to enjoy most is good thrifting. So, that’s how we began our day, thrifting. I had been looking forward to some good food, but sadly, our recommendations didn’t pan out and it was less than stellar. . . that is until Jeni’s Artisan Ice Cream saved the day. Alas, what can’t ice cream right?

Perks from the hotel, a nice large room, a hearty breakfast. . . it wrapped up our short little trip. We came home with a trunk full of finds, a grateful heart for some time alone and a lesson learned when it comes to reservations.

As for the rest of our week, it’s been peaceful. I’ve been fighting off a bug, which seems to have slowed me down a bit. That’s not a bad thing, afterall, to slow down a little. The summer garden is coming to an end. My carrots are still growing. I couldn’t resist pulling a few as I thinned them.

And there has been some television watching and some knitting. I’ve talked a good game about painting, but have yet to dip the brush into a bucket of paint. I’m hopeful the fact my painting brother is still in town will motivate me.

I’m pondering a trip to visit family. I can’t seem to nail down a date, but I find myself missing those Asheville folk so very much.

Summer

photoSummer is coming to an end. We all knew it would. And frankly I typically am very ready to bid farewell to hot, steamy days, mosquitoes, grass mowing and cat hair shedding.

As I’ve gotten older (yes, I just played the age card), I’ve come to appreciate summer. Fresh vegetables, eating outside, festivals and music in the park. It’s all good stuff.

Couple that good stuff with a very, very mild summer overall . . and well, I am going to miss the summer of 2014.

We’ve had time on the porch. We’ve ventured far and wide for indoor and outdoor music. I’ve had my share of iced tea, fried green tomatoes and fresh squash. It’s been good, very good.

Fall awaits and soon my “to do list” will contain a whole new set of things to accomplish. Cleaning the porch will fall off my radar. I won’t need to venture out to pick fresh basil. I won’t be cutting flowers back in the beds. I’ll be making chili, renting movies and pulling out the crockpot.

Each season brings its own delights. Fall will deliver a chance to wear warm sweaters, drink hot tea and add a few blankets to the bed. We’ll be raking leaves instead of mowing. We won’t be cursing mosquitoes, but will miss open windows.

And we’ll talk of the delights of the season past.

Alas, summer is almost over. . . but fall awaits.

OK

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Lately I seem to be reminding myself that it’s ok to do this, ok to feel this way or ok to say this or that.

It is ok, isn’t it?

Recently I announced to a close friend that I simply don’t like someone. I literally  marched up to her and said, “I don’t like (this guy).” Suddenly I felt a little lighter. It was ok that I didn’t like him. I don’t necessarily have to explain it. I don’t have to offer up a debate. I don’t like him. I have plenty of reasons, but the bottom line is that he’s not a member of my tribe. That’s that.

Since that time I’ve tried to back out of it, primarily for fear of how I will seem to others, being all crass and not liking this really unlikeable person. I even broke that quiet rule and offered up a few excuses.

And why do I do that? Offer excuses for my feelings, my likes, my desires and my actions. It’s one thing if my actions hurt you, cause you harm or distress, but when they don’t, it’s ok. It’s ok not to like this guy. It’s ok.

I spend a lot of time apologizing for who I am. I suspect I am not alone in this. How often do you say, “I’m sorry” or “Just sayin'”? Or offer up an excuse when there really isn’t a need for one.

I would love to try to stop this madness. Perhaps it’s one little step. I don’t like him and you can’t make me.