Monday, October 4, 2010

Frosty Sunday

Sunday morning... I awoke to the sun shining in my bedroom window. The room was warm the way a room with big windows gets when the sun is shining right in. The carpet was really warm where the sun was hitting it. I could hear Gavin chattering away to himself in his room. I crawled out of bed to go get Gavin and put him in our bed. On the weekends, he likes to "watch a wee-vwee" in the morning, while snuggling up in our bed with us. It's usually more climbing and bouncing than snuggling, but it's still nice.

When I opened my bedroom door and stepped out ino the hallway I felt the immediate temperature change. The hallway was about 10 degrees cooler than our sun-filled bedroom. The first thing out of Gavin's mouth when I went into his room was "Watch a wee-vwee?" We're still working on "TV". I got him out of his bed and brought him into our room to snuggle with Cliff while I made breakfast. Burnt French Toast and bacon. Burnt or not, it was still delicious. The house had that breakfasty aroma - coffee brewing, bacon frying on the stove, and the sweet smell of pure maple syrup. It was that scent that makes it actually FEEL warmer in the house, which was welcome on that frosty morning. I looked outside. The birdbaths had a layer of ice on top. The grass was white with frost. It's October 4th and it was freezing outside! I grabbed the camera and stepped outside barefoot for a minute to snap a couple of quick photos. The concrete front porch was cold on my feet. I ventured a bit past the steps and onto the grass. I think my feet went numb immediately. The grass felt like I was standing on a frozen lake. I was only out there for a minute, but when I came back in, I couldn't feel the bottoms of my feet!

It was chilly out! The day remained mostly cool. We bundled up in warm sweaters and hats around 11:00 and headed out to the woods for a walk. We drove the Ranger through the soybean field up to the woods and parked it along the edge of the field. Cliff finished combining that field on Friday night, so it was clear for us to drive on. We hopped off the Ranger and headed into the woods, carrying Gavin through the thicker brush along the edge.

The woods were magical. The ground carpeted in yellow, orange, and pink maple leaves. Mushrooms sprouting here and there, covering the sides of rotting logs. Nuts sprinkled the ground, ranging in maturity - some still covered in their soft green husk and some peeled, brown, and dry. A couple of red seed-heads from the Jack in the Pulpit still stood tall and perfect from this spring, as if nothing ever passed through there, knocking them down or stepping on them. It amazed me that they looked untouched. I looked up at a tall and dark maple tree. There were only branches at the very top of the tree, but the trunk was tall, narrow, and almost black. The few branches at the top were covered with glowing pink leaves and the rich, blue sky was visible between the leaves. I wished I'd had my camera. I wanted to capture that. I called Cliff and Gavin over to stand where I was and look up. Cliff pointed out the beautiful leaves to Gavin. Gavin LOVES "the woods". He even loves the small patch of woods behind the shed in our yard and says "walk in a woods" when he wants to go in there. The patch of woods in our yard is mostly elm trees, a few pines, and a lot of buckthorn and honeysuckle, so we don't get the beautiful fall colors from the maples and oaks like we see in the woods on the hill. Little by little, we're trying to add maples and oaks to our yard, but Mother Nature seems to be against us on that one. This year alone, our best, tallest, nicest maple tree that we planted in the back yard, has lost four of it's main branches, one by one, in storms. It now needs to come down and be replaced with a new tree. We planted that tree before we ever even built our house and it was looking so good. One night it was strucj by lightning and the center main "branch" broke off. Then a week or so later, wind caught it and the second most main branch broke off. It now stands with two more branches hanging from it and just one "branch" left standing.

On our walk through the woods, I collected maple leaves, sumac leaves, hazelnuts?, acorns, fern leaves, and some neat dried weeds "wildflowers". After our walk, we stopped along the cornfield and chopped down some corn stalks to make a few shocks (is that how you spell it?) to decorate the front of our house. We got home a little after 1:00 and were very ready for lunch. Cliff made spaghetti & meatballs with garlic bread. Yum. After our late lunch Gavin went down for nap and I headed out to the grocery store and Target. It was the kind of day where you're roasting inside the car, but freezing the minute you step out. The sun was so warm and the air was so chilly. When I got home from the store, Cliff mowed the lawn while I put the groceries away. I LOVE the feeling I have when I have the groceries all put away. Anything that was beyond it's prime in the fridge has been cleaned out and the fridge has been restocked with lots of fresh options. I love knowing that A.) there is nothing outdated or spoiled in there that we might accidentally eat. and B.) that there are all sorts of options for when we need a snack or a quick dinner idea. I know it's just groceries, but it's like all is right with the world again. There are some staples that we always have to have. We always need bread, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, grapes and cheese. Gavin could likely live on these things alone. Cliff needs to have lunchmeat, frozen pizza, and chips as well. I even went through the junkfood drawer in the pantry and tossed all bags of snacks that were either stale or mostly empty and now there is an open bag of tortilla chips, an open bag of salt & vingegar chips, a new bag of pretzels, and a new bag of bugles. Of course, we also have granola bars, pistachios, and mixed nuts in that drawer as well!

The walk in the woods must have really worn Gavin out. He is fighting a bit of a cold and was coughing during nap as well, so we let him sleep as long as he needed to. He didn't wake until almost 6:00 last night! We had a quick snack and then went outside to tie up our corn shocks before it got too dark out to see.

It turned out to be such a lovely day! I'm sure that the leaves will really start showing their beautiful fall colors now that we had a good hard frost. Better get out and plant bulbs quick before the ground freezes!!

Happy Fall!   

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