Saturday, October 31, 2009
"To market, to market to buy a fat pig"... is that REALLY how the rhyme goes?!! Being primarily a vegetarian, I can't relate to the whole PIG THING, but I love, love, love markets. My favorite is Pike Place Market, but I go out of my way when traveling to find them and wander among the booths. Big cities. Other countries. China towns. I'm there. I love the sights, the smells, the impromptu conversations with interesting vendors.
There's a local market here during the growing season down in the national park. I'd never been there before until this morning. I was walking in the rain, pondering the wilderness of the soul after yesterday's funeral, when across the wetlands I saw the booths. "I've got to go" I said out loud to myself. (Exhibiting a behavior quite unfamiliar to me.) I shortened my walk, put aside my musings and headed to the market.
All the "earthy crunchy" types from our area were there! Unlike Portland and Seattle and Ann Arbor, we have to go looking pretty hard for the organic tofu eating crowd around here. Happily I found them under the trees in the mud... a full TEN MINUTES before the end of the market season! 11:50 October 31. Last day. Last ten minutes.
Next growing season I'll have to add that outpost to my Saturday mornings. It's not quite Pike Place, but it is market enough for me.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Life ebbs and flows between breathing space and deadlines. Fall seems to be more full with the latter much of the time. Such is the case in my life at present. The challenge for me is to move through the days and meet the deadlines without relying on an old habit of cranking up the internal adrenaline. A habit that was not good for me years ago and would not be good for me today.
I caught myself in that old trap today, feeling various deadlines approaching. A quick prayer for calm and perspective to break the familiar habit of getting all riled up on my own body's intensity. Whoa!! Slow down! Breathe! Prayers answered... a collaborative effort between my awareness and God's grace.
I will still walk my usual speedy pace and keep balancing all these current projects, but I'll lean on the shalom that's offered to me in the midst of it.
One project: Cross Country Banquet photo prints for dedicated students! Here's a beginning peek just so I could have something visual to post!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Today is the quintessential perfect day: warm in the sunshine, cool in the breezes, sunny and bright.
The paint splashes of the Master Artist can be seen in every direction. The delight of a perfect autumn day. It is also Leaf Season in my neighborhood. We call it “autumn” to be nice, really, but in reality there is an underlying dread of all the thousands of pounds of fallen leaves that must be dealt with before the snow falls. I tackled Leaf Session #1 this morning. All evidence will be gone by evening. Such is the way of the leaves.
However, there is value in the raking. The rhythmic timing leaves one’s mind free for pondering. And today, in the perfection of the day, I realized we see but “through a mirror dimly”.
Raking, I was mindful of Sam, Kenn, Barbara and others who lay in beds today hovering between life and death. The day’s beauty is muted by the reality of their inability to enjoy its perfection. I attended Bert’s memorial service yesterday. I ponder both beauty and death and I am reminded: “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
I am reminded that the beauty of this day will be so far surpassed by the beauty that awaits us, we cannot fathom that coming reality! I think of the many glorious sights, smells, sounds, moments, places, people that fill my heart with delight daily. These are God’s best gifts to us! Whether we know that Giver or not, he generously bestows so many good, good things upon us. When this dim reflection fades into God’s true glory in the life to come, we will stand in awe. We will not even be able to believe our eyes, or our ears or the hearts that will leap within.
Banish all thoughts of cutesy cherubs and angels with harps. New life will be full of all the good things we so enjoy now, but magnified beyond our wildest dreams! In these thoughts beauty and death come together with less fear and more hope. The quintessential day will be magnified a hundred fold and all those who are ushered into new life will enjoy its perfection forever more.
And so it will go this Leaf Season. I will rake and I will ponder and I will write.
Less fear and more hope.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
It's been beyond lovely for several days this week. The kind of days that make you want to breathe more deeply and sing for joy. Alas, a cold is keeping me from doing either very effectively, but I CAN pull out my camera and take it all in visually. The singing will have to come later.
I'm happy my neighbors asked me to take their Christmas card picture. We squeezed in a few minutes down at the lake in the sunshine. It's great fun to share this wee talent of photography I am cultivating FREE with others.
Reminded me that I can help some of my kid's friends whose families are low on income right now by taking Senior Portraits. I was happy with how my daughter's came out last year and I can only improve, right?? I've already asked one senior if she'd like me to help out. Will she go for it? I think NOW is the perfect time as the brilliant colors reflect the light and add a lovely glow to life.
Autumn. My favorite.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The fresh local food season is coming to an end all too soon. I loved being part of a wonderful CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)this summer! I would grow our own food if we had two feet of sunlight in our yard which we don't. (We do have plenty of walnuts which you are welcome to come gather, however.)
I started cooking my senior year in college. My very first Moosewood Cookbook is still one of my favs.
Soup. A family staple. We have a lot of favorite recipes and then there is "Dump and Throw". That's what I call any non-recipe creation, made with whatever ingredients happen to be on hand. This week it was "end of the harvest dump and throw" chicken soup in the crockpot. More nutritious than delicious, but that's the way it goes occasionally. I don't really care for many root veggies in spite of the fact that I eat a vegetable and dark chocolate based diet. I threw the last of the root veggies into the soup. They can still be detected among the potatoes, however, so my trick to hide them didn't quite work.
Strange vegetables and plentiful root veggies are either one hazard or one delight of belonging to a CSA. I never got my fill of egglplant and brassicas, but maybe next year. How lovely, however, when we were allowed to glean the basil plants which resulted in plenty of pesto for the coming winter!
Bon Appetit !!!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Ohio has its charms, no doubt, but Seattle has an undeniable energy that I love to absorb when traveling there. This time is was to drop off my daughter for her first year at college. Much to my glee (and strong desire to be a student there myself!), I found a bike path one block from her dorm that runs along the shipping canal all the way to Puget Sound. One can take it the opposite direction into downtown Seattle or take a small detour, merely 5 bike minutes from campus to Freemont.
This eclectic community likes to think of themselves as the center of the universe. All well and good for those who are less than humble. Nevertheless, the place is fun and energetic and full of whimsy...light and dark. Here's a quick peek for you. My college community did NOT look a bit like this one! Kind of too bad, actually :)
For years now I have had the privilege of teaching elementary school kids how to sew! They've made pillows, lounge pants, dolls, quilts, wall hangings and lots of other small projects. This fall's project was a quilt for the school auction. I had a special challenge this session of having kids from 1st to 6th grade and no grown ups to help. Sewing had to be easy and flexible so I had to do less of that and more of other things. Part of our time was spent sketching marvelous children's art to be incorporated into the final project. They drew, cut and stitched.
When it was time to put the layers together, our "old fashioned quilting bee" looked a little different than it would for the over 60 crowd who mostly don't sit ON the tables to complete quilts! The binding is going on the quilt this weekend and it will be on the auction block in a couple of weeks! This fetching piece of artwork should fetch a pretty penny!
Praise God for all these little talented, joyful hands!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Turning 50. Launching my first born. Embracing my artist self. Deciding to start a blog.
This decision has been a long time in coming. I have been regularly inspired by the blog authors featured in Stampington Company's Artful Blogging which I have been devouring since it first hit the market. So, thanks to all the bold, beautiful writers and artists who have been so willing to share yourselves with the likes of anonymous readers like me. This is one tangible result of your honest efforts. Such as it may become.
Sending my daughter off to college seemed like the right time to birth something new! Here is that something new. I believe I've already begun to "think" like a blogger. Little random essays are continually written in my mind. Now is the time and place, with some added accountability, to actually WRITE those essays and life vignettes. Will I be the only reader? Perhaps. It will still be worth the investment of time.