EMBRACING MY INNER AUTUMN
So, I needed, no wanted, some pumpkins to scatter in our landscaping. The sign placed along the highway pointed to a rural pumpkin patch. When I got there Friday, I spotted a large assortment of orange pumpkins of various sizes, along with a good many miniatures in white and orange. But where were the prices? Then I saw this money box, above, and this sign, below.
WHO does that? Who entrusts his large crop of pumpkins to consumer goodwill? The Hoosier farmer who lives at this residence, that's who.
So I looked around, trying to decide which pumpkins I would cart home, how many I needed, and where I'd place them. The farmer spotted me and walked down his driveway. He told me to take what I want and leave what I thought was fair. I looked around some more. Maybe they weren't perfect, but neither am I. And how perfect do they need to be to adorn our landscaping and porch just fine?
Then ... he walked back to the house and left me to my own assessment on what the bounty is worth. I hope he liked what I left. I think I was actually more generous than had I bought them at a pricey agri-tourism attraction, well known for its annual harvests.
I was touched.
And inspired by the generosity he offered to not only do up the exterior of the house, but hang the fall wreaths, get out the beautiful fall pillow friend Gay gifted me with in the summer, and fill a bowl with cinnamon-infused potpourri.
Then Sunday morning, when I got ready for church, I decided to wear my new sweater. It's a goldenrod hue, a color I never wear, but I like it. It was on the final clearance rack at a favorite local consignment shop, Sisterhood Exchange, in Pendleton. I was drawn to the subtle ruffle along the row of buttons. But what sealed the deal was the $1 pricetag. I'll be sporting this a lot this fall.
Happy fall, y'all!
Oh my goodness.
What fun we had Saturday when we traveled back in time to visit friends we haven't seen in decades. Brian and I spent almost all of the 1980s in Fountain County where we rented farmhouses in the country for $200 a month, where I started my career in community journalism, and Brian launched his as a school administrator.
It's where we had a baby, Sam, and where we made a life.
We've been gone 30 years this summer, and the regrets we have in leaving are in that we don't get to see these and many more beloved friends in person anymore. If you've been on this planet a minute or two, you know how it is. Life is filled with eras, and the 1980s, for us, were adorned in Mustang Blue and Gold, and centered in the farming communities of Fountain County.
Yesterday was set aside to reconnect. Thirty-years later is a good a time as never to do just that. So we rounded up some folks who seemed interested in a get-together, set a date, and hit the Beef House.
A kind onlooker at a nearby table, a retired teacher from Illinois in fact, asked if we would like for her to photograph the table full. Why yes, please. We have from left, clockwise, Jane Colson, me, Tom and (hidden) Judy Booe, Carolyn (hidden) and Ron Howard, Barb Clark, Phil and Cathy Rash, Debby and John Williams, Ron Howard.
Following our steaks, burgers, salad bars, black-bean soups, ROLLS, tenderloin sandwiches and more specialties of the house, and a constant murmur of chatter, it was time to go. BUT ... for those who could, the party wasn't over. We went back to Barb's house (Hostess with the Mostess) and continued our conversations. Thank you Barb for hosting everyone! And for the sweet treats and beverages!
Saturday was a great day in Covington and Veedersburg! We are grateful for the opportunity to reconnect and catch up with folks with whom we can pick right up where we left off ... back in the '80s.
Let's not wait another THIRTY YEARS before we do this again.
AN URN-EST EFFORT
Fall arrives in snippets around here. Even though I tend to hang onto summer as long as I can, once September arrives, there’s a yearning to dig out the fall decorations.
When I decorate for fall though, I like to mostly do so in a way that will remain relevant on through Thanksgiving.
I decided yesterday was the day to swap out the three urns in front of our garage doors. For too long, I tried keeping small green living shrubs planted in them. But in long or short order, the shrubs would die, I’d yank them and start over. Yes, the definition of insanity!
There is no shade on these urns and the evening sun drills the space. So real plants aren't really an option. But the space calls for some softening and decoration. What to do?
I fake it.
This spring I filled the urns with the most real-looking fake lavender I could find. The stems held up so well that I’m stowing them away for a future spring.
I decided to go a similar route for the fall version. I started with stems of autumn leaves I have had for years, along with some faux pumpkins.
A couple months ago, friend Patty Redmond had a trunk full of things destined for Goodwill but asked her friends if they wanted anything in there. I spotted the long twigs and was glad to get them, knowing they would be just right for this arrangement. From those three “elements,” I added stems (on sale) of fake mums and some sticks with small pumpkins on the ends.
I still have the porch to change out but that won’t come until probably next week. I’m giving away the summer summer ferns and they will be picked up this weekend.
In the community where I work (30 years this month!) there’s a successful program called New Castle Downtown. It’s a localized version of a program you might know as Main Street.
Director Carrie Barrett told me that when she first heard the organization’s recommendation to place pots of flowers downtown and keep them maintained, she thought, “Flowers?”
But the pots are a big success. She said they show that someone is home, and that someone cares.
In New Castle, the plants are real, and at Christmas, the greenery is real.
My urns have fake foliage. But I’m OK with that. It’s not your great-grandmother’s plastic flowers anymore. And the material will be around for years to come.
Here in the Hoosierland, recent temperatures have been a delightful preview of fall. Ideal weather. Today they are headed back up where they will remain for a few days.
But cooler days will follow those. And my urns are ready.
How and when do you decorate for fall?