Wow, what a beautiful morning. I am on the deck, again. I came out to supervise Ivy. You would think one would not need to supervise a dog, but, they are like children: curious and they can get themselves in a jam when you are not watching. A couple of weeks ago, she had an encounter with a raccoon and won. Last week Beth found a dead chipmunk. And, a notice came from the wildlife center that the raccoon had distemper a seriously nasty canine virus. I checked and she’s vaccinated, but I am not going to let her out in the yard and assume she can fend for herself, not!
Especially, since last night, we returned to the neighborhood after a trip to country in search of pumpkins and we met the distinctive odor of a skunk and a lot of them! We rounded the corner and found several emergency vehicles with lights flashing lined up down the street and around the corner. Our (Beth and mine) first reaction was that it was our ninety-year-old neighbor or his wife. We pulled into the driveway and Beth and the kids ran down the hill to find out what was up. I took the quicker route and noticed a fireman in his truck calmly waiting and I asked what was happening and he told me, “Gas leak or probably the skunk.” And he chuckled. I unloaded the car, Beth and the kids came back and reported the news, skunks, and someone thought it was a gas leak. The firemen did dispense a bit of advice, watch your dogs, skunks are on the prowl and active more than ever this fall.
Ivy decided to go inside and I stayed, it is a haven, for the time being. The kids are awake which means my peace and tranquility is at risk. While I’ve been out here, leaves have fallen around me as I read, think, watch Ivy, and plan my day. It is easy to get distracted and lose my focus and forget what I am supposed to be doing.
Yesterday was a twin, triplet, or duplicate of the past several days. Whatever I call it, it was a beautiful fall day with clear beautiful skies, warm afternoon temperatures, and cool evening temperatures. Perfect for being outside, perfect for sleeping with the windows cracked. In our neck of the woods, these days are numbered and cooler, much cooler days and nights are on the way. So, I must savor them when I get them. After church, I had a wild-hair and if you know me and have seen my picture lately I have a lot of them, but that is another story, entirely. This wild-hair had to do with forgoing all responsibility for house, grades, and any sensible activity and heading west in search of pumpkins!
Beth looked at me and said, ‘you just want to get out of work.’ I replied, ‘no, I am worried we won’t get pumpkins.’ I know she really wanted to work outside, but I also knew she needed what I needed, fresh air, farm scenes, and a Fall adventure.
We had a place to go and we headed west as the sun was sliding dipping down the sky and we drove directly into the sun. Once we got off the highway and on to the farm roads, we could see the clouds of dust kicked up by the combines the red, blue, and green combines with tractors and trailers pulling in the harvest while the weather was dry. They ‘ll harvest as long as light will let them and some will harvest with headlights until they can’t drive any longer. Their days are numbered, the cool wet weather is coming and they are determined to make hay while the sun shines, as the saying goes. There is peace in the country where the ways of the city and suburbs with all of its hustle and bustle are behind us, even for a brief moment.
We wound are way through fields of corn and beans some of them bare and harvested, others full and waiting. We passed barns and silos and homes. I silently wished this was home and wondered if I could make the transition from city-boy to farm boy and if the kids would even want to. It is all I know. The kids unplugged from the movie and fought over who could use the camera to take pictures and chronicle our quest. I drove and searched and we slowly found our way. We looked for landmarks, gas stations and stops to help us find the farm we remembered. As we passed the gas station, I slowed looking for the turn and found it. There was also a sign for pumpkins and a haunted house – confirming our find – three miles away.
Three miles down the road, we came to it, a farmhouse, a barn, a silo, and several farm buildings and ancient trees shading a front yard filled with pumpkins. Light was beginning to fade and we piled out of the car. The kids and Beth went to the fence and the cow. I took in the yard and the entire scene. Eventually, the kids found the other kids and they remembered each other from last year’s visit, and the year before and so on. They played with the bunnies, the goats, swung on the rope in the hay barn, went through the haunted house, and had a great time. Beth and I looked for pumpkins. Pumpkins with the right look for the front -porch and Halloween. We found big ones, small ones, orange ones, green ones, grey ones, taupe ones, and bumpy ones. We found what we were looking for and Beth piled them in a one pile comparing how they looked together, how they fit, how the colors complimented each other and we made our purchase and loaded them in the car.
It was dark when we left and headed home and we stopped and had dinner in the town in a bar and grill that screamed local. I had pulled pork, William ribs, Olivia wings, and Beth fried chicken that was so moist and flavorful it reminded us of home. And, it was. I am sure we stuck out, every one there probably knew each other and wondered where we were from, and it was a great time.[fgallery id=22 w=450 h=385 t=0 title=”Fall pumpkins”]
And, that brings us back to the drive home and the firemen, and the skunks. Right now, Ivy is in the yard enjoying being outside. Olivia is sorting through a box of crap where we have tossed stuff over the years and discovering ‘new’ things and enjoying every minute of it. Today is gonna be great day. I am sure of it, I have it all worked out. Well maybe, I have it worked out. Whatever it might be I am gonna work to Make the Day Count.
What do you that helps you remember what is really important? Where do you go?