Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Twenty-two tiny turtles

Exactly as it was meant to be.

I took Biscuit out for a walk at about 5:30 yesterday afternoon. It was just starting toward evening, with the sun done with its work for the day and darkness just starting to come on. We came upon one very tiny turtle, just hatched, marching across our street and headed toward the river.

I'd been watching, recently, for turtles. We'd seen one back in the spring, laying its eggs, and we've rescued other hatchlings on other fall days from other spring layings. You'd think it would be easy enough to see a turtle crossing the road, but they are incredibly easy to overlook.

I ended up having an experience that would have looked cliched in a movie. First, one turtle. I picked him up gently and moved him forward in his journey, onto the grass headed toward the river and off the road. Walking a little further, I found another. A few more steps, and another. Suddenly, it was as though they were materializing right out of the macadam; I found myself surrounded by turtles. Twenty-two in all. All alive, all rescued off the road.

After making sure I'd gotten them all before any neighbors drove home, I went back to get Dean. He's at the age of being able to beg the question and know the answer -- "can't I keep just one?" and "these belong in the wild." We marveled at the reality that, even given the vast difference in the size of the turtle's brain and the size of our brains, that turtle possesses the knowledge, the instinct to know exactly what to do to survive, while we have no idea how to appropriately care for a turtle to ensure survival.

I wondered if the turtle we'd watched lay her eggs could have been responsible for these babies, but Dean artfully pointed out that we were talking about two different species. Oh yeah. That.

Dean named one Toby, set it down with some mates, and wished them all safe passage. As long as we don't find any dead on the road, I'll be so thrilled.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Small Sunday

Warm and toasty dry inside on a rainy Sunday.

The perfect weather for pumpkin waffles (thanks to Amy for putting the idea in my head and the recipe in my hands). Although -- please -- I did already own a heart-shaped waffle maker. I omitted the ground cloves because sometimes they can be a little too overwhelming for Dean.

Can you smell them?

Really wonderful with a glass of fresh cider (although, had I been thinking, I would have had my cider hot).

Meanwhile, I'm in awe of the flowers that hang on and continue to put on their show, even though they must realize summer is over. Elegant ladies, dancing flamenco.

While others get ready to take center stage,

one last small cache of sunflowers seeds, stolen and planted by some small mammal, push through and burst out one small flower, just to complete the cycle on time.

My small Sunday.

Monday, September 21, 2009

In a word: spectacular

Pretty much without fail, New England itself gives to those of us who live here an annual gift. It's why we stay here, even if we don't realize or admit that it's the reason.

We call it 'fall.'

Fall makes everything else worthwhile. It makes harsh, long, icy winters worthwhile. It makes 'mud season' and 'black fly season' (the two things we get in lieu of 'spring') worthwhile. It even takes the sting out of long, hot, dry summers that manage, generally despite the lack of rain, to be pretty humid (I don't even know how that's possible, but New England serves it up that way).

You'll hear varied opinions throughout the course of any year -- those who hate winter and those who live for opportunities to ski, those who wilt in the heat and those who drink it up. And it's popular to comment about spring's being the last bit of winter's agony that you have to get through until early summer comes.

But nobody dislikes fall. Nobody. People walk around happy, smiling, commenting regularly on the progress the leaves are making in their annual turn. Nights are cool (down even to the 40s) and days are warm and sunny (upper 70s today). Not. one. cloud.

We've been taking advantage. Long hikes in our local state forest (with plans written in on the calendar for several more), with room in our hearts and our car to take Biscuit along. Plans to pick apples, and stops at farmers' markets. Apple cider. Oh, how I love a hot cup of apple cider....

Soccer games played in conditions that make you just plain giddy to be alive, to be so lucky as to be sitting at the edge of the field, watching the boys play.

Plans and energy to cook interesting things for dinner, to start thinking about crafting again, to star-gaze. If you've been around here for a while you may have heard me ponder this sort of thing before: would I revel in it this much if we had it all year long? Would I notice it, notice the quality of the light and the scent on the breeze if that were how it was every day? I have to admit that I'd probably get tired of it, probably would take it for granted, probably would yearn to travel somewhere else for a change.

But for now I'm staying put, and loving every moment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lavender's blue, dilly dilly*

Some details, as promised. Of Gina's gorgeous quilt. The one she made and gave away, and that I won. Oh happy, lucky me!
The photos were taken in ultra-bright sunlight which washed the colors out a little, but you still get a sense of her beautiful, perfect fabric choices and workmanship.
I love it. We are planning to make-over our family room before the winter holidays. I'm not sure if 'family room' translates; we certainly didn't call anything the 'family room' in the house where I grew up. We said 'front room,' even, and not 'living room' as they do here in the East (although that's different from the 'family room'). Anyway, it is the room on the ground floor of the house, next to the kitchen, where the sofa and tv are and where we hang out. So my point (yes!) is that Gina's quilt may in fact become the focal point of that room; I was going to hang it in the bedroom but it deserves a wider audience.
Meanwhile, The Season has begun. Hurray! A 6-1 win last week, and the next game is tomorrow. Dean moved up a division and is loving it more than ever. He's a different person in some ways on the field -- takes no guff. That's MY ball. Not in an inappropriately aggressive way, just in an appropriately forceful way. Great to see.

*Lavender's blue, dilly dilly, lavender's green,
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you shall be queen.
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
'Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.
(and Burl Ives sings it best)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh nine oh nine oh nine!

Couldn't let the date slide by, inasmuch as I've let so many others do just that.

No mix of lame/legitimate excuses, just forging ahead.

With about eleventy million things to catch up on, I begin with some of the most important:

Can you believe I get to say the words, "this is the quilt I won from Gina!"? I still can't believe I get to say those words, and I always refer to it as 'Gina's quilt' because I haven't gotten my head around the fact that I could call it my quilt that Gina made. Dean took the photo and I realize that while he did a fine job, I'll owe you some detail shots because this is truly a thing of beauty. Gina, I can never thank you enough!

Next, I get to say that this was Dean's "best first day of school EVER," because that's what he says. Nothing better than having him so totally love his school, his teacher, his friends. And what a luxury to have Ken home with us after school to enjoy the perfect afternoon.

Even Biscuit is just happy to be alive. More soon -- I promise.