One more fall weekend

Often, between overnight freezes and storms, the leaves are mostly down by now. But October featured enough warm days that fall seems to have stretched out a bit. The upside: one more weekend of peak fall color.

This was a much more relaxed weekend than the last one. On Friday night, I met a friend downtown for drinks and dinner. It was so nice to do something like that again! She was in town assisting a mutual friend of ours, a prolific romance novelist, who was signing books at the Indies Invade Philly convention. My friend sent pictures the next day of lines down the hall, which just made me so happy that people were treating authors like rock stars.

On Saturday, the seven of us plus Max the dog met some of my husband’s colleagues at Wissahickon for a hike. The fall leaves and stone walls and rushing water were just so beautiful. The kids amused themselves by trying to catch falling leaves — harder than it looks, even if there are a lot of them.

On Sunday, I’d arranged a few hours of childcare for the toddler, and used this time to go for a run amid all the pretty fall leaves, and play Christmas carols on the piano for a while. Well, and clean the house because we had another showing this morning.

Then it turned out that schools were unexpectedly closed today, for very tragic reasons. So we all wound up going for one more fall hike this morning. We didn’t know Mr. Hughes (my kids feed into the other high school in the district) but I’ve been pondering a lot since we got the news just the image of him leaving the school on Friday afternoon, and no one knowing in that moment why school wouldn’t open on Monday. Life can change so much in an instant. It’s easy to go about day-to-day life forgetting this, and then sometimes you get a sudden reminder.

The wind has now kicked up a lot and the leaves are falling fast off the Japanese maple in the picture on this post. It turns out that now is the time to plant these trees, though, so we bought some for the new house, so (hopefully) there will be future falls with bright red leaves as well.

5 thoughts on “One more fall weekend

  1. Life is/can be so short.

    It’s hard to strike the right balance with this, but it definitely brings your memento mori reminder back full circle (also prominent in Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks).

    To imagine leaving work on Friday and never coming back Monday is…sobering. We never know when something/someday will be our final goodbye. It does help to highlight the importance of cherishing the moments we do have – no matter how imperfect.

    1. @Elisabeth – for sure. I think a lot about “last times” that we don’t know are the last time. That Brad Paisley song – a last time for everything. Sometimes we do suspect – I made a trip to see my grandmother for that reason – but certainly not driving your kid to a soccer game on Saturday morning…

  2. These untimely accidental deaths seem to drive home the message to appreciate each day especially strongly. Our beloved pediatrician died in an accident on his way to the office two years ago. It was sobering to say the least–the idea that you say goodbye have a great day to your family and … don’t ever see them again because of a misstep.

  3. So sad…the line that got me in the article is that the son is expected to “fully recover”. I’m not sure how one ever fully recovers from losing a loved one, especially a parent, in such a tragic way. My prayers are with the family and friends and the larger community.

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