Somewhere in the last week the leaves switched from a bit of color to full on fall. The bright yellows and reds make even a ho-hum trip to the grocery store feel like this full visual experience. The world always has beauty worth noticing, but the next week or two would make even the most negligent pay attention.
Anyway, lots of activity as usual. The 3-year-old had a Halloween party at his karate studio on Friday night, so the rest of us seized the occasion to go out for dinner at our favorite local Mexican place. We were out on the patio, which was heated, and featured many festive lights. Eating out becomes a lot more fun and relaxing when you don’t have any children with you who are under 5 years old! We’ve been trying to do this more with the big kids (and my mother-in-law, who’s visiting for a few weeks).
On Saturday I went for a “long” run — 5 miles. The slightly overcast sky just made all the colors so beautiful, and the cool weather made me want to keep running. I tried out a trail that lets me skip the busy street near my house (you have to cut through two neighbors’ yards, so I feel a little strange using it but apparently that is the official trail). I took three of the children to Hair Cuttery for cuts, with the required Wawa stop afterwards (it’s right next door…).
Then in mid-afternoon, my husband, my mother-in-law, the 14-year-old and I went to Chanticleer Garden. I’d taken my husband’s sister and her husband the previous weekend, but it was pretty and it’s a nice place for a walk, so we went back. Spring is lovely, but I am finding myself more and more enamored with fall flowers. There’s just something so unexpected about pink dahlias or chrysanthemums against bright yellow leaves.
After dinner, my husband took the three little kids to a Halloween party at their gymnastics place. I drove to pick up one of the 16-year-old’s friends and the three of us went to see…the Taylor Swift movie.
This was kind of an odd movie experience. My son and I went to the concert last May, so this was like seeing the concert a second time (albeit with fewer Pennsylvania references as the movie was filmed in California). I enjoyed cementing memories of some of the cooler moments. Swift has a lot of great music! I paid more attention to the choreography and back-up dancers this time around. Given that it was a cross between a movie and a concert experience, a lot of people (mostly 9-year-old girls, as far as I could tell) got up and danced in the front. Getting out of the movie theater parking lot was a lot easier than getting out of the stadium parking lot last spring!
Sunday featured church — the 16-year-old and I sang together in choir. I drove home after practice and before the service to get the three middle kids (my husband had the 3-year-old at soccer). We made our requisite post-church Starbucks stop, and then spent a mostly chill afternoon at home. Well, I went grocery shopping. Then while the 14-year-old (and my husband and mother-in-law) went to Ridley Creek State Park for a Scouts hike, I had the other kids play outside and go for a hike in our own yard. We found a deer leg bone, which some portion of my kids found interesting and some found disgusting. An interesting split. And some of my kids were excited to climb up on some fallen trees in the woods and others were not. In the meantime, I finished my fall puzzle of a water fall under a covered bridge in the woods. This featured a lot of muddy brown and took me well over a month to finish. I’ve also been reading gardening books just for decompression. And playing the piano… Now it is on to another full week, but the meals are planned, the activity schedule is set, and my laundry at least is done…
In other news: I’ve been writing sonnets each week, two lines at a time. I got asked for an example, so here’s a draft of one I’m calling “Migration.”
Such tiny wings, that’d fit into my hand
a glitter in the woods, this wisp alight —
he hardly looks as if he could withstand
the winds that fuel a thousand mile flight.
A pause here, just a moment, southward bound
then up into the sky to soar for days
with courage that forsakes the solid ground
this autumn world with all the trees ablaze.
What does it mean, to hope for things unseen?
To take off, feeling certain you will land?
The future book is written, here between
we trust in what we cannot understand.
This little bird has faith that is more pure.
My wondering heart — his wings are swift and sure.