Have a Marlis Day!

Archive for October 2012

 I  step out into the fall morning. The air is crisp, the sky blue. My little dog gazes at me in wonder when I dash back inside for my camera. My walk takes me down our lane and around the lake. I pause and try to capture the beauty, the splendor of this October day. I don’t recall the hardwoods ever being this colorful. Could I have forgotten? Should it seem new to me every year? The trees appear dressed as if for a party, and I love how they reflect in the water. Maybe if I lock the images into my memory, this spectacular day will return to me on winter days ahead. I don’t lose my focus as I shoot the scenes, each more breath-taking than the previous one. Even my grandgirls riding past on their paint horses doesn’t faze me as I snap each astonishing scene. I’m sure the girls don’t understand why I’m so enamored with the beauty of the season, since I’ve seen it many times. I pick up a some gold-burnished leaves, a few acorns. Squirrels spot me and scamper up trees topped with brilliant reds and glinting golds.  I pause and say hello to the young goats and donkey peeking from their pen, the first autumn for them. I wonder idly if they notice the treetop fire. Nearing the woods, I sense unseen deer watching and nudging their fawns into frozen silence. The English teacher in me remembers James Whitcomb Riley’s famous poem: When the Frost is on the Punkin and Joyce Kilmer’s Trees. A great blue heron soars over the lake and I wonder if it will leave before winter. This brings to mind Rachel Field’s Something Told the Wild Geese. As I continue my hike, I think of putting flannel sheets on the beds and digging out my old IU Hoosiers sweatshirt. I need to go in, but what if this is my last chance to enjoy the peak of the season? It could rain. A mighty wind could come along and ruin it all. Ater my trek I carry my lunch to the front porch, settle into a rocking chair, and savor the glorious day a little longer. Maybe this time, I will burn the images into my memory as surely as my childhood prayers, to be pulled forward and cherished again and again. Finally, I head for the kitchen and prepare chili soup for the crock pot. But I peek from the kitchen window often and smile. October: One of God’s greatest gifts to us.

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Yes, this is me riding the Orbitron at our town’s fall festival last weekend. What fun! I felt like an astronaut floating weightlessly in space as the ride took me upside down, then over and around in every direction. This suspended sphere was so perfectly balanced that simply tossing my head turned the wheel to another direction. I also thought of Peter Pan, who never wanted to grow up. I’ll admit I felt a bit foolish standing in line with all the children waiting my turn, but it was worth the whole $3.00 ticket.

Our fall festival raises money for the Blue Jeans Center, the old high school turned community center. Friends and neighbors arrive for the weekend festival which includes a queen pageant, 5K Run, basketball tournament, flea market vendors, food stands, fireworks, parade, home cooked meals in the school cafeteria and music on the stage of the old gym. Tents, rides, and huge inflatables fill the front lawn. People feast on homemade ice cream and barbecue by our local cook-off kings. It’s a time when old friends meet and sit in lawn chairs in the shade near the school where they learned to read. It’s a bit of Norman Rockwell Americana that touches my heart and makes me glad I grew up in a small town.


Hi! I'm Marlis.

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