Autumn Hugs

I’ve been thinking about blessings shared, passed down, autumn traditions, and friendships.

Jon said that he’d found a scarf in a box and asked if I wanted it. When his dad brought it to the house, I realized it was the ‘hug’ a friend made me while I was caregiving. A lap robe crocheted from mismatched yarn she called a hug. Of course I wanted it!

I usually make edibles to pass on and share from recipes others gave to me. I have a pie crust recipe I use often. It is from a Tillamook friend. I’d toyed with the idea of pumpkin tarts this next week, but realized tradition says make a regular one. Watching my kid cover his piece of pie thoroughly with whipped topping is another tradition, one we can’t discard!

Almost all the leaves are gone. Mum’s been gone more than a year. Many recipes I use are from friends who have passed on. Yet, they and mom stay alive in traditions and in the scent of spices as I cook. Hugs made from the loops of faded words on a card and the burst of flavors surrounding me in memories.

Laughing

Laughing at animals is pretty easy for us two leggers. Jonathan saw a squirrel doing something odd and called me into the kitchen while he snapped photos. The squirrel feeder is made so the critter can sit on either side of the rod to snack. A dried corn cob is threaded over the post by someone tall, providing easy to get food. This furry tailed rodent cleaned off the cob, was sitting on top of the post, and bending down to chew the leftover cob. Jon and I couldn’t imagine how he could balance so securely! We laughed for a long time at him..or her!

Cats have been entertaining this last week, as well. Mittens was chasing rainbows on the kitchen floor from the crystals hanging in the window. Moses decided the dried up pen I’d tossed on the carpet was perfect for a mini wrestling bout.

I’m not sure which is the bigger blessing, laughter or animals. Together, they create joy. The best blessing of all!

Not Entirely Frozen

I’ve missed Alaska. There is so much I can’t do here cuz it’s there. Yet, I do have a few things here I can complete. I’ve missed the incredible vista of nature right outside my window at any hour of the day.

I went outside briefly this afternoon, in Oregon, and discovered the tiny pond in my yard had been tidied and restarted. It firmly froze in the night and left a blessing behind. Beautiful ice formations surrounding the cascading stream of water. A mostly frozen masterpiece.

Iditaheaven!

It is 160 days til the Iditarod begins for the fans, but for the mushers, it has already started. It probably starts days after they return from Nome! I’ve always wanted to meet a musher or dogs. I didn’t believe it would happen, but it did!!!!!!! This week, I was able to meet Sarah and Travis from Turning Heads Kennel. I was so excited to meet a woman musher and to meet another one I’ve followed was strawberries in the cheesecake! Sarah is Tony’s age and was 34th to Nome last year. I’m so proud of this woman!!! Travis has already signed up for this next race. He flies helicopters and runs with dogs. I’m still smiling as I write!! I’m so thankful to have had the chance to meet these two wonderful young people and some of their kennel. A blessing and an Iditadream come true.

Promises

Fall has arrived early in the north. I have always liked autumn. More so in the lower 48, where the colors are better than they are on the Peninsula! I enjoy how this season heralds winter, my favorite time of year. I like to look at fall as a promise. It is a time of rest before starting out new all over again. Babies are still nursing, but I think it isn’t as important as it was earlier in the year when the calves were much smaller! Young ducks are getting their wings ready to fly south, greens are changing fast to gold, and little birds pop up in crazy spots. These beauties showed in the last two weeks of August! I hope you are blessed by them, too.

Morning on the lake, Alaskan moose with her calf just steps from the sidewalk next to the house, ducks flying off, and a real live snipe!

Looking at You

While out in the kayak I saw some ducklings-and they saw me! Mom steered them around my dubious looking unnatural orange craft! Later, I heard crashing in the woods and looked up from my book to see a young bull who wanted to visit the lake. Alas, he, too, was careful about my being on the lake and eventually left!

It is so much fun to note what is going on around you when you are in nature. You need to be aware or you miss things. If that moose had been quieter, I probably wouldn’t have stopped reading! Even sitting at the window, I like to keep it open a bit to listen to what is going on outside. I heard splashing at midnight the other night and looked up to see one of the moose wading on the edge of the lake. I did try to record the sounds while I was in the kayak and even now, at almost 1 am, I can hear birds and loon and the sky is a pale peach fading to twilight blue. The trees are etchings of black and they are rustling in the breeze, talking to each other about the long lovely days. Then, man breaks into the music score with the notes of machines and pet dogs! Snipe are almost as eerie to hear as loon. I see and hear a tiny duck family. They are down to two babies already. Not sure what took them out. Loon, eagle, or those dogs-it is a rough and gorgeous world out there!

Gull Moves

One of my very favorite books (Do know I have MANY favorite books) is ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’. This photo I somehow managed to snap, reminds me of that story. The gull landing seems to be concentrating on landing well in the wind. The other gull, that one is just looking for food. Jonathan was a gull who strove to be better at flying and then at living. He looked beyond where he was to what he could be and what he was supposed to be. It is a reminder for me to do the same. To not be hung up on the moment and what is in front of me, but to make sure I catch the wind properly and land well. And if I foul up, to try it again til I get it right. I am a bigger person than just the woman wanting to be loved, sorting through debris, angry and forgiving mom at the same time, and existing on a plane of not much at all. I need to expect good things will happen to me, not just to others around me. To rejoice in those little things I write in here AND know those bigger ones will follow. That I matter.

I guess it is a gull thing!