I’m a big believer in traditions.
As a military family our surroundings changed constantly. Each move brought new experiences and ways to celebrate the Christmas season so things that happened within our family every single year were essential to defining our sense of home during the holidays…..homemade Chex Mix, the tree with the careful placing of ornaments collected over the years, watching It’s A Wonderful Life and White Christmas, making butter cookies and countless batches of english toffee, the sending and receiving of cards that connect us to people all over the world, the choir singing Christmas carols at mass, a house that glows with tiny white lights, both inside and out.
It’s just not this time of year without those things.
Except this year it’s all different.
Christmas is in storage.
Last week this little bit of magic happened at the edge of my driveway on a cold, blustery November day.
The out-of-season quince bloom was enough in itself, but not to be outdone by Mother Nature, the Wind added this element.
Today, on this Thanksgiving weekend, I’m thankful for my friends in the blogger world. May all of you find delight in the simple and unexpected gifts in your life.
Sometimes something small can change the course of lives.
In this case, a handful of tiny seeds.
Last week I visited Meadowbrooke Gourds Farm in Carlisle, PA and learned the story of those seeds.
Today is Veterans Day and so it’s most appropriate that this evening a group of ten woman will gather on a gorgeous autumn weekend in Pennsylvania for some much-needed fellowship and frivolity. You see, we come from all walks of life and we live in cities scattered across this country, but our link to each other is that we were all military spouses.
Our common link is that our husbands were B-1 crew members at some point in their military careers.
Our enduring link is our love for each other.
Think what you may about social media but Facebook is what brought us all back in touch on a regular basis. Emails and then smartphones gave us instant access to each other. Long ago friendships forged through toddler rearing, military exercises and Bunco nights were rekindled and then one day the Sisterhood of the Traveling Tiaras was born.
We’ve been an “item” ever since.
It’s edges are a little ragged, this leaf that was so recently young and startlingly green. For a long time it graced a branch, with many like it, absorbing the sun, sheltering birds, shading those below it.
It’s days are shorter now and it’s nights, longer. As the chlorophyll wanes it’s veins begin to stand out and for a few short weeks, or perhaps just days, it transforms into the brilliant color it was always meant to be.
October makes me happy. It’s the time of year when my soul seems to rest and soar at the same time. As the days gradually get shorter I look forward to winter’s interlude and longer nights in front of a fire, even as I revel in the bright colors and brilliance of autumn. Knowing this season is a swan song does nothing to damper my spirit in October.
When the sun shines and the wind blows on autumn days, I’m delighted because the leaves dance.
Several years ago I wrote in more detail about dancing leaves. Little did I know that one day, after my husband retired from the Air Force, I’d be returning to live in the state that post was written about, where fall arrives quietly.
I didn’t expect to be here as October turns to November but today I’m still in the state of Virginia, where autumn arrives in a blaze of color and sensations. Although I’d like to sell my home and get this move underway, I can’t help but feel that God’s timing is allowing me to experience this shining season once more.
This is where I started, this house on Clifford Road in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. My bedroom was right above the bay window on the driveway and I used to sit out on that roof at night. Very quietly, I might add, so as not to wake my parents, who would not have approved.
All of my childhood memories are centered here. It was the house my father grew up in and where he later raised his family. The house number, 4273, is forever etched in my memory, as well as the phone number, 791-3542.
It’s where I’m from.
I’ve not been local since 1980 and this house, as well as the city of Cincinnati, looks very different from the days of my youth. Yet I find that matters little. When I’m there my heart delights and rests.
When I’m there I am home.