View From The Glen

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Autumn Glory

I know, I know, I wax on and on about fall. Always have. Likely always will. It's by far my favourite season, and this particular weekend has been incredible. I considered joining Andrew and the two older kids who headed up into the Laurentians camping with the Venturers, but have a document to edit and papers to grade, so in the end stayed home with my youngest (currently looking long and lanky and making cupcakes while I edit).

And what a weekend.

First, it's been gorgeous. Summer weather, but not so sticky. And no bugs. The veranda was my office and I sat grading papers in dappled sunlight. The house is surrounded by colour. Out of every window, there is brilliance and wonder.

Second, it's been peaceful. A friend and her daughter came over last night and we sat outside under clear stars with candles and wine and black bean dip and cake and talked until late. The girls serenaded us with their saxophones for a while, the sound carrying through the open windows. So nice, and I have to remember to make more time for evenings like that.

Third, it's been productive. Rounded up some recalcitrant sheep with the help of a likeable young shepherd and his crook. Edited a government document. Got through the bulk of 65 papers. And did four loads of laundry, all of which got hung out to dry. 

Fourth, it's been tasty. My friend, Jeanne, brought yummy dip, I got to make fresh salsa. The girls shared some of their chocolate. And I tried a new wine. Cupcakes are now in the oven, and tonight I have a fresh pork tenderloin which I plan to stuff with spinach and walnuts so it's ready when we get home from swimming. (I exercise primarily in order to enjoy food guilt-free...makes sense to me.)

Finally, it's been lovely to just spend some time with my fast-growing, more and more independent, curious and witty 11 year old. Precious moments before she's all grown up.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Perfect September

It's no secret that I love September. After the long hot summer (not that we had one of those this year) cooler days are a respite. The leaves are turning, and the gardens have their last bloom of colour, graceful even as the foliage fades.

There are metaphors here, but I am ignoring them. It's simplicity I want today: cutting back withering perennials, dividing some ancient daffodil bulbs, pruning shrubs. Small focused tasks that restore order and rejuvenate the gardens. 

Rejuvenating myself too. I taught all week...the busy, content-heavy first week is always exhausting for faculty and students alike...despite the remnants of a lagging cold and losing my voice, and though I am on the mend, I am fatigued. 

Today, I am home, taking advantage of having no Friday classes this semester. Normally, I would be at my desk organizing for Monday, marking papers, and I will still have to do that over the weekend.

But not today. Today, spending time here in the gardens, in these cooler temperatures, with the smell of the damp earth and the freshness of a fall wind, is just what I need.

But first....

Coffee. Outside. On the mossy, stone steps beside a patch of late-blooming Black-Eyed Susan. With Galadriel, my grey cat, visiting for a head scratch.

September: "Season of mists and yellow fruitfulness..." (Keats)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

School is in!

It is that time of year again. The final sticky days of summer when mornings are still humid and the sun shines doen hot even as the first leaves start to turn colour around the edges; when coffee on the porch is swapped for a 6 am run, bowls of oatmeal, and packed lunches in bright containers on the counter; when hair is brushed, forms are signed, and at least one child is sent rushing back inside for something forgotten.

Back to school time. In our house, it is a positive change. Summer is always fun, but we enjoy the transition back to routine and order. Even if it is a bit rushed at first as we get back into the swing of things, the year once again has boundaries, structure.

It's easier now everyone is older. They make their own lunches (Halle-freaking-lujah) and clear away their own breakfast dishes. No longer do I need my "Get up and go" playlist that for years got everyone out the door on time. Now the music is as varied as the kids who choose it, and might even include a live saxophone rendition of Crazy Train. 

Yes, that time of year again. Welcome back.