Saturday, update – Falling ahead

The kids and the Pink lady apples - a bright, sunny, and beautiful afternoon

It has been a while, too long a while. But, I’m back. Over the past two weeks, I’ve had so many ideas to write, but so little time. I know that almost sounds like a whine, and it is. I really enjoy the time to sit, think, and create. When I started writing MtDC in May 2010, I had no idea where it would take me or what it would teach me; all I knew was that I wanted to be a better teacher and that if I was going to teach writing, I had better get good at it. I really wanted to write about Making the Days Count and I think I have, though at times it is more diary than other blogs and chronicles how the days count to me and the people and things I care most about.  And, it is Saturday morning, it is quiet.I am plugged in on the deck, mainly because Ivy wants to be outside and I have to watch her. Plus, it is light, warm enough for me to sit and write outside and those days are numbered.

My facebook picture and post from last Saturday....

The last time I sat down to write, it was Saturday morning and it was quiet, just like this morning, but that was two weeks ago. Last weekend, I needed my rest and slept until the kids and Beth awoke and then my time was gone, and it was family time – time for softball, chores, and family. Last weekend, was a beautiful fall morning and it blossomed into an incredible fall afternoon, and ended as a cool autumn evening. Perfect. Olivia had a softball game at nine, which meant we had to be up at eight, and there by eight-thirty. We left William at home, sleeping – he needed it. After the game, Beth, Olivia, and I headed to the downtown French Market for flowers for our anniversary, our twentieth. It was a beautiful morning, cool with the sun illuminating the trees so that they appeared brighter than ever. I peered up through the aisle and at a tree that was a burning red, snapped a picture and uploaded it to Facebook. I’m not much of a FB user and I can’t don’t want to imagine what would life would be like if I spent more time on it – YIKES!

When we came home, William was lounging on the couch – exactly what I would have been doing when I was his age. “Who me, what homework?”  Would likely have been the reply. After a bit of discussion, putting the roses in a vase with fresh water, and sorting through options. We decided to head west – yeah, go west, young man and go appling and pumpkining. A great fall adventure. There is something about driving west out through fields of corn and beans which are almost ready to harvest, but not yet, that rejuvenates my soul and all of our souls.

It was a bright sunny day, clear, cool and perfect for picking apples and selecting pumpkins for the squirrels to eat or rather to decorate our front porch for Halloween. Beth is known in the neighborhood for her pumpkins – her eclectic pumpkins – and over the years, I have had great fun carving and decorating, but it is her drive to find interesting pumpkins that makes the front porch – pop! It was such a great day all of Chicagoland had the same idea as we did and the apple orchard was packed. The trees we wanted to pick, for baking apples, were picked over and we came home empty handed, at least with apples. But, we did get a few pictures but the trees – full of Pink Lady apples were off limits – which is why there were so many apples on the tree.

gourds galore, and more!

We left the apple orchard with a few large pumpkins and headed home. It was the time on a fall afternoon when the sun is at the angle that provides wonderfully bright light but the heat is starting to fade. We stumbled upon a small farm and a self-serve pumpkin stand with on-your-honor payment. Their pumpkins were huge and cheap, we selected, paid and added a couple more to our collection, and then continued on our way home. We’ve been doing this for years, since the kids were small, and even BK (before kids) and we have a few favorite farms. There is a family farm we stumbled upon a sveral years back which always has fabulous pumpkins and we go back every year. One year the farmer was harvesting corn and we stopped to watch. William was young, maybe about six or so. We watched as the combine ate twelve rows of corn at a time. After one pass, he stopped the combine climbed out, and motioned us to come over and invited William along for a ride. I have never forgotten that, and I am sure William hasn’t either. We visit that farm every year and we weren’t disappointed. Though the pumpkin variety was down, the variety of gourds was amazing and Beth gobbled up several. The kids had fun looking at the farm and playing with the orange farm kitty and it was time to go.

William helps harvest the corn - seven years ago, and seems like just the other day!

It was a good time and it did our souls good to be outside and drink in the sun, the air, and autumn. We stopped for dinner on the way home and it was fun. We were talking and sharing and I said something in my dry humor, deadpan and Beth burst out laughing then William got it, and he too began to laugh. It was a funny, side-stitch funny, a family funny, and it was good for the soul and I smiled, mostly at myself – as I was the butt of the joke. But, as I have learned stupid mistake plus time always equals comedy and it was one of those moments.

We got home, it was dark and I unloaded pumpkins and gourds, and that was Saturday. Sunday went almost as quickly and Monday was staring me in the face, as always and the stress of trying to keep everything going hit and I spent Monday morning asleep, after I dropped sub-plans off at school.

Monday, then Tuesday slipped by and it was Wednesday, our anniversary. I came home early and picked William up at cross-country along the way home. Then there was picking Olivia up after Brownies, then she was off to hand-bell practice at church, and we were home by six-twenty. Usually at that time it is time to make sure homework is complete, or in progress and then dinner. But, it was our anniversary and we went out as a family.

Sunday's late afternoon sun lights up the neighbor's tree with the moon sliding across the sky

The leaves have really changed since I last wrote, though they haven’t started to fall, but they illuminate the neighborhoods in yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, and pale greens. Their time to fall will come, as my time to pick them up will come, too. But, Wednesday evening was a beautiful and as the sun edged its way closer to the horizon, it lit the trees along the streets and seemingly setting them ablaze. Dinner was great and I didn’t have a funny, like our last meal, but we had a good time together.

Thursday disappeared and Friday was over and it was Friday Night Lights, Chicagoland style. Our team was on the road and William had a sports camp so that left Olivia and I together. My middle school is split between two high schools – half the kids go to one school the other half go to another school; it hasn’t always been that way but it the way it is. One is green, one is blue, and both are gold. The blue team is the new high school and has been on top for past few years. The game is played at North Central College and heralded as the War of 204. There is great fanfare and I like to watch, when I can. Olivia and I had a date and she had a great time watching the green student section go wild, though they were dressed in pink for Breast Cancer awareness. I have never seen so much pink in one area, it was impressive. Several of the players had pink, too – socks, towels, wristbands, and other scraps of pink. Green scored first, then blue, then green again on a long run and it was half time and green was ahead.  I had fun watching the game and former students, Olivia enjoyed the hoopla of the raucous student section. It was a good time. Green was the home team and their band played, then the second half began. After a scoreless third quarter was ended when blue scored on a long break away run and the score was tied. The airburst out of the green, I mean pink section, leaving them deflated and it seemed blue had the upper hand, again. Green had enjoyed being on top after years of crushing defeats and it seemed they headed for another disappointment.

Our plan for the evening was to meet up as a family Five Guys and Fries for dinner and Beth called to let me know she was there and waiting. Blue scored to take the lead as Olivia and I left with just a few minutes remaining. I was sad, I wanted green to win and had worn a gold and green shirt to school Friday, to show my support. We weren’t the only ones who left and Five Guys was packed with high school kids, mostly in blue, but a few green. Beth and William were ordering when we walked in and I sat and waited, following on Twitter, or trying to find the final score! I was munching my burger and fries when I saw the tweet below.

the tweet says it all, go green!

The fries tasted better, the burger, too.

Normally, we watch the Tigers – orange and black, and I kept trying to find their score, but couldn’t. I finally found the score when we got home – Tigers 13, Glenbard North 7. Another victory and with two games left, playoff hopes still alive.

Another Friday Night Lights, and the kids went to bed, Ivy, too. I tried to read in bed but kept falling nodding off and gave up. Sleep came fast, and so did the alarm a few hours later. Ivy was happy to greet me and she lay in my lap as the coffee brewed. I let her out and noticed she seemed more interested in staying outside than coming in, so I joined her.

That was a couple of hours ago, and now Olivia has joined me and a yard crew is noisily mowing the neighbor’s yard and it is no longer peaceful. It is time to get moving and shaking. A new day awaits chores to check off, gutters to clean, poop to scoop, papers to grade and so much more! Today, is gonna be a great day, possibly the best day ever. Making the Days Count, one day a time – it works better that way!

What are you gonna do to make YOUR DAY COUNT?

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?