Thursday, October 15, 2015

A visit with October

by Helen DePrima
October in New Hampshire is all about fall foliage, attracting “leaf peepers” from all over the world. This year we have the added entertainment of Presidential primary candidates crisscrossing the state with stops at every fair, festival, and diner, but speeches and buses and yard signs can’t compete with the autumn colors. Campaigns come and go; the mountains will always dominate.

This October has been especially busy for me – wrapping up my gardening season and completing the initial draft of Book
Two in my Cameron’s Pride series about Professional Bull Riding. I managed to do a decent amount of writing during a recent road
trip to two PBR events --research, of course. As a special highlight, Into The Storm, the first book in the series is now available for pre-order on Amazon.


by Liz Flaherty
Well, here I am a day late and a dollar short. I don't know how it happens, but I do seem to always be the one dragging up the rear. Aren't Helen's pictures great? 
I had a writers' group meeting last week. We wrote about the senses and autumn. Since I don't have anything original to offer here, I'll show you part of my assignment. (We don't have letter grades there--a good thing, too!)
My office is in the garage and its door is probably 50 feet from the back door of the house. I make this walk upwards of 10 times a day. More if I’m restless or if the words are hiding from me. Less if my fingers can’t keep up with them.
Coming from the house, I look toward the east and west horizons to see if anything has changed since the last time. Are the beans out of the field? Did they spread manure—I can tell when they do. Are the suet feeders empty?
Going back to the house, I look down. For season-predicting wooly worms. For the nasty little black worms that come out in fall. To see if the cats’ bowls are empty. Again. To make sure I see the step that hasn’t moved in 10 years or so but still manages to trip me from time to time.
When I hear the noises, I know where to look to see the waving magic carpet of dark birds or the honking, straining vee of geese heading out for their long flight.
What I don’t hear will call my attention just as quickly, and I still know where to look. The deer will be sauntering through the lower slope of the side yard, slurping up water released by the geothermal system that keeps our house comfortable in all seasons. The cats will run down to join them, silent in their reminder that this is their yard, after all. The deer nod their heads in greeting—or so it seems to me—and go on drinking.
When darkness has fallen, its velvet cushion of quiet is often broken by sounds from the high school. We’ll hear the band on Friday nights when there are home games, kids shouting at other times. It never ceases to amaze me how loud and clear the voices are from two-point-three miles away. We laugh, Duane and I do, about our remote control bleachers.
 Sometimes we are in the real bleachers when our grandson plays or our son-in-law coaches, or in lawn chairs at soccer matches where a younger grandson runs and kicks with unbridled glee and without mercy. There is much said about youth sports being too competitive, but the memories that are made on fields and gym floors and ball diamonds are not ones I’d want to give up. They are ones I still hear and feel and see and smell in the soft-crisp nights of autumn. Those memories are like the scent of burning leaves and the snap of fresh apples in their sweetness.
I have walked between the house and the office twice already this morning and am getting ready to make the third trip. The grass is still an optimistic green beneath the scattering of leaves, the marigolds and the mums raucously bright reminders of the brilliance of fall. The cats mutter as they eat the morning food they had to remind me at least three times they were waiting for.
The Nickel Plate in Fall
The grain trucks are already rumbling over the roads this morning. The air smells of harvest time and makes me want soup and something pumpkin and desserty even though I haven’t had breakfast yet.
Soon I will walk my three miles on the Nickel Plate Trail. The leaves will crunch beneath my feet. I’ll laugh out loud and alone at the book I listen to as I walk. The air will smell so good. Feel so good.
It is fall in all its glory.

29 comments:

  1. I love your "assignment". It portrays the glorious fall perfectly.

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    1. Thanks, Evelyn! I think the word "glorious" was coined for fall, don't you?

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    2. Exactly, it's like glorious and fall are inseparable. They're meant to be

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  2. I love to hear the sounds of the high school band during Friday night football games. It's a sure tell sign of autumn. Nice job on your assignment!

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    1. Thanks, Jill. It's a sound that doesn't lose its charm, isn't it?

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    2. Hi Jill, isn't Liz's essay wonderfully evocative -- full of wonderful images. Here in NH October comes with the sound of chain saws. We'll soon be bringing in our wood for this winter and getting two more cords to cut and stack for next year. First we have to pick up all the sticks knocked off the top of the woodpile by our resident flock of wild turkey when they use it as a sunbathing deck.

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  3. Thanks for this wonderful testament to the beauty of Fall, my favorite time of year.

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    1. Thank you, Laurie. It's my favorite, too--until the next one, which will also be my favorite. :-)

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    2. Hi Laurie, you must get nostalgic for autumn in the Northeast this time of year although you can go to the Smokies for a reasonable facsimile.

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  4. Well, it’s spring here!

    https://instagram.com/p/8j0BX4mgn1/
    https://instagram.com/p/8fJxhfmgmu/

    I would LOVE to celebrate Halloween, but unfortunately that's mostly an American event... I experienced it once, and it was fun!

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    1. Halloween is fun. I don't think that was the intention, but it's what it became. :-) The flowers in the pictures are gorgeous!

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    2. Hi Sonya, Halloween was great fun when I was a kid in Kentucky. My cousin and I trick-or-treated with our pony as a pack animal and then a wonderfully scary party at a different cousin's house. The whole idea of taking on a whole new identity even briefly was so alluring. I didn't have to nerve to be an actress, but I can act out my fantasies in my writing.

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  5. Ladies, love your peek at fall. As of yesterday it still felt too much like summer here in Tucson. However, weathermen promise starting today we should have a cooling trend. And when I walked this morning I believe I can smell fall in the air. But I envy you two your beautiful colors and crunching leaves.

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    1. The colors and the crunching are things that would be hard for me to give up, but you'll probably enjoy January and February more than we do, Roz!

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  6. You both make me yearn for the colors, smells and temperatures of fall. Maybe by next month I won’t need my air-conditioner anymore.

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    1. We're still using ours sometimes, too! But I am loving fall.

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  7. I love fall foliage, we happen to be having a good fall with warm days and cool nights so although not at peak color yet, we're getting there.

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    1. I think we have a little while yet, too. Where are you?

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  8. Helen - Spent a weekend in North Conway one fall and it was the most gorgeous sight I've ever seen. Wall to wall people in town, but the woods were gorgeous. And a place called - I think - Franconia Notch. A Quaking Aspen grew in a pond of water. The reflection was so glorious I wept. Liz, YOU make me weep because the manner in which you share what you see and feel is so right where I live. Which I could visit one of you and take you on to visit the other.

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    1. Make that 'wish' I could visit you.

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    2. Oh, Muriel, I still remember driving through Franconia Notch the first time we went to see the kids in Vermont. I didn't cry--I was driving--but it was glorious. I've never forgotten it. I wish you could visit me, too, and I'd like to make a return trip to the PNW, too!

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  9. Liz, your writing is pure poetry andcaptutes our Indiana autumn. I'm with mRion, my eyes have misted over and my heart has been touched. The leaves here are spectacular even on an overcast day, the slate skies serve only as contrast backdrop to the brilliant reds and gold like rubies and diamonds against black velvet. I loved the photos... This was a lovy post
    . Thank you for sharing with us.

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    1. Thanks, Catherine--you definitely know what we're talking about!

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  10. Fall is my favorite time of the year! And I'm watching to see how wide the stripes on the wooly bears are this year...I hope they're not narrow--I don't want another winter like last year! The Nickel Plate looks like a great place to walk and think!

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    1. We have no stripes. They're just dark! The Nickel Plate is wonderful--I wish there was a way to share it with everyone.

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  11. Hi there Helen and Liz,

    and what a gorgeous illumination of everything that's going on around us right now! Starting to fall in love with Autumn again as my boys learn about the seasons - things are getting colder around here, but the colors are striking!

    Thank you for a lovely read, it warmed me right up ;-)

    Nikki

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    1. I love watching kids in autumn--they have and are a different kind of energy then!

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  12. Lovely post, Ladies! You made me crave fall. Even though it's a gorgeous time of year, I'm usually not that excited to summer fade away. But this year, after all the heat, I'm ready for it! Your post makes me want to throw some soup in the crock pot.

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    1. I just did that this afternoon, Carol! Well, the chicken for it, anyway...

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