Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Last evening I was at it again, taking an after supper walk. Hadn’t done it in a while – since early summer. But something pulled me outside and I just had to see how things were on Plum Tree, our back road.

The end of summer is like my bedroom dresser. Kind of dusty. And maybe like the leaves are ready, or almost ready, to change clothes. The lawns are weary of being cut and the squirrels dart about, looking up briefly when I pass, and then on with the business of putting by. It hardly seems possible but in a few quick months the wind she will blow and the clouds that once harbored rain will scatter snowflakes instead off raindrops.

A flight of swallows dips and dives above my head as I make my way around the first bend. Gosh, they’re pretty. A distinctive cut to their wings and swift as all get out.  What fun it would be to be up there with them instead of having these earthbound feet. But I leave them behind and forge on. One neighbor has covered his roof with solar panels. I wonder how that works and if we should give it a try. Might take something away from the 200 years of charm in our old place, though.

At the next bend I kick through the thick grass cuttings that were thrown onto the road by another neighbor's ride on mower. It will dry and blow away eventually, but I felt like a kid as the clippings flew from the toe of my sneakers. I couldn’t resist.

I wasn’t alone as I walked. Two people were behind me. A young runner with shorts and flying hair. She passed me twice and said a laughing “hi” each time. Yeah, I was going that slowly. My mind was doing just fine. It’s the joints that complain about being too old for this nonsense. I tell them to zip it.

The other girl had on a bright red shirt and held a device in her hand. I’ll bet she was Pok√©mon Go-ing it. Probably one had been spotted on my back and she’d soon close in for the kill. By the time I’d constructed the whole hunt, capture and victory chant scenario of her chase, however, she had dropped so far back I couldn’t see her. I walk on.

On the last stretch of road I veered off onto the grass twice. Once to snatch a bit of Queen Anne’s Lace to twirl in my fingers and once to check on the bittersweet bush. There was a lot of lace, but sadly, the bittersweet was nowhere in sight. I know it’s an invasive plant and the berries that burst bright red and orange after the first frost are deadly, butI still like it. Perhaps it had succumbed to the blight or something.

At last I turned back onto the county road, on the lookout for traffic and the odd stray deer. Lots of them everywhere this year. Summer’s on the wane and part of me is sad. But I cherish the final busy days of the season. I’m canning and, like the squirrels, putting the garden by for winter. The grandkids are excited for school to start and I wonder where the leaf rakes are. With these thoughts swirling, I reach home, collapse into my recliner and take off my shoes. It was a good walk.

Monday, August 15, 2016

It's Hot! Not For Long

On the hottest day of the year I usually find myself musing about the coldest day of the year. They tend to balance each other out and – yikes – from where I’m sitting right now it looks like we have a doozy of a winter coming. The ancient wisdom goes that way. Hot summer gets you a cold winter and vise versa. I dread both. The other two seasons can be delightful though, right? Here’s why I love them.

Fall – The garden is a weedy, rotten vegetable mess. But the freezer and pantry are full. Shiny jars of pasta sauce, jams, dilly beans, salsa and pickles sit smugly on the basement shelves. Warm stews, cozy throws and pumpkin lattes loom, begging us to hunker down and love life.

Spring – The snow and mud are giving way to little green pop-out-of -the ground things. Old Man Winter is gearing up for his last rodeo. Yay!

Fall – “Even the air is colored!” This expression of awe and delight was uttered by my sister-in-law when she and my brother visited from Texas last October. She’s right.

Spring – Earthy aromas waft up to me as I zip through the rain heading for my car to run errands. It’s enough to stop me in my tracks for a moment or two, inhaling deeply.

Fall – Kids are riding the big yellow bus again. Book bags and crayons. Homework and new sneakers. Pulls me right back into my own elementary school days of oh, so long ago. It makes me smile.

Spring – Hubby starts the garden seeds indoors. We’ll do kale again, but no broccoli raab. That experiment from last season failed. Blech. But by mid April there are little black pots of other good things all over the place, though, eager for their journey into the great outdoors.  

Fall – Please let us get through all the fun of this season before we have to think of Christmas. Okay? I want to glory in the fat pumpkins from the garden and crunch through autumn leaves and watch the kaleidoscope of color in the maple trees before I put the wreaths up. I don't think it's too much to ask. 

Spring – Baseball! Can’t wait ‘til we can get out there and cheer our grandson on. Sometimes we’ve had to huddle under quilts as we watch the boy pitch, but it’s worth it. Hot dogs, ice cream cones and strawberry picking on the horizon, too. What fun. 

Fall is coming. My favorite season until it fades into winter and brings the coldest night 'round for a visit and I begin to dream of spring. Then that’s my favorite.  Wish I could make up my mind.

How about you?

Image: “Sunflower Field” by panuruangjan      Free Digital Photos

Friday, August 12, 2016

We Have a Winner

Congratulations to our winner -  
Karrissa (Trowbridge)Howard of Houston, Texas!

Thank you, Sierra, for drawing her name. I'll be in touch with Karrissa and sending her prize on its way to Texas. 

And thank you to all who entered. Enjoy the rest of the summer while it lasts. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Enter to Win!

End of Summer Contest!

Just as I promised – here is my end of summer contest. I’ll be putting together a fun filled box of goodies and draw the name of the winner in one week on August 12.


None! Oh, well, you do have to leave a comment. That’s only fair, right? Be witty and clever. If you want to enter say something like . . . “I’m in!” or “Please be so kind as to enter my name,” or “ I’ve read everything you’ve ever written” (lying allowed). Pretty easy, huh?

The winner will receive some really good stuff including:

Two signed copies of my books, romance or mystery, your choice.
Some awesome recipes
Kitchen gadgets
One surprise item

All of this in charming tote.

How does that sound? Can’t wait to get your entry.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer Things

Well, here’s a dilemma. I’ve been off my blog for a month or so and in that time I’ve thought of several topics that I just know you all would love to read about.  They’re knocking around in my head like an army of demented squirrels and the competition is fierce as I sit here now trying to choose among them. So . . .

Would you like to know about our eighteen-year-old granddaughter who visited all during July? How in her grown up face I still see the giggly toddler, the energetic third grader and the edgy middle schooler in dreadlocks? She was the first of the grandchildren I set up on the kitchen counter and said, “Promise me you won’t get any older.” Each had lived all of three years at the time. Each has defied that direct order and grown on. Some Field Marshall I am! How can I be so sad and so happy about that all at the same time?

Maybe you’d rather read about the black eye. Or eyes, I should say. Our youngest son, a little friend of our Anna and myself each sported one this summer. Son got clobbered by a golf club as he was instructing his five-year- old at miniature golf “Give it a good whack, Sierra”. The following week it was me. I skittered across our patio (thank you slippery sandals!) and smacked into the screen door knob catching it just below my right eye. OUCH! And ugly black, purple, blue and red. Just gimme ice and avert your eyes, please. Little friend also had an eyeball encounter with a golf club and now has her right leg in a cast from a trampoline accident. Yeesh, we live in dangerous times.

Our garden is awesome this year in spite of an appalling lack of rain. I’ll be canning up a storm in August and September. I’m especially eager to see if the grape leaves work. They’re supposed to keep my dill pickles crisp. According to my Internet research, that is. We have wild grape vines everywhere. They often eye the house shutters as a possible bridge to the stars. They do climb.

I taught four of the grandkids Pounce this year. It’s an old family card game I used to play with my mom, sisters and Aunt Marie. Kind of like double solitaire, but gets pretty hairy when four people are trying to get the two of clubs onto the only ace in the middle of the table. Lots of yelling and laughing. We hope to incite a Pounce  Tournament at the family reunion at Rumbling Bald Resort next summer in North Carolina. I’m still pretty good so I hope there’s money involved.

No, no. None of these topics will do. So – I’ll announce the contest I promised at the end of June. Except I haven’t got that all figured out yet. But look for it by the end of the week. K?

How’s your summer going?