Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Autumn Leaves and Other Things

Driving to Katherine’s house on Saturday, I was finally seeing yellow and light orange leaves on the trees along the roadway. Bright red was very rare. The next day, however, as we drove to church, there seemed to be considerably more scarlet, and the orange was brighter. But there is still much green on the trees, so I hope the color has not peaked yet. Does anyone know why the coloration comes almost two weeks later than it used to? For many years, I counted on fall beauty by the middle of October—not the end.

Years ago I was directing a play at Marion High School--The Thread That Runs So True about Jesse Stuart’s rural classroom The students were to decorate the room with colored leaves. Right on schedule when the play was performed, the leaves were gorgeous and available for us. For many years our church went to Ferne Clyffe on the middle Sunday of October. Many couples camped there for the weekend; and then on Sunday, some wonderful volunteers cooked the fish, hush puppies, and potatoes for our noon-time feast, which we supplemented with other dishes and desserts. Always we were surrounded with glorious colors as we worshipped, and I am still warmed by those wonderful memories. Why are we now having to wait so long for the leaves to change?

Although we are still eating sliced tomatoes twice a day from the garden, they were gathered awhile back. Frost killed the plants over a week ago, and Gerald.cut down them down along with the tall blackened orka stalks. Now we can look out the kitchen window and see the flourishing and still green strawberry and asparagus that Gerald planted last spring. Green tomatoes are in the garage wrapped in newspaper waiting for later use after ripening there.

Most fields are bare now as farmers have finished up their harvests. I feel relief because I worry about our son-in-law as he stretches his days into the night making sure their crops are safely gathered. I hope he is catching up on his sleep, but he probably is catching up on other things neglected during harvest. Mary Ellen not only works hard for her real estate customers, but she is also there pitching in at the end of a day helping move machinery or bringing late night suppers to the field. I breathe easier when they do not have to work so long and so hard.

Gerald has worked for several weeks cleaning out ditches on the other farm so that the water will drain off freely. He has chopped and knocked down saplings and thick tall weeds with his tractor equipment and prepared the sides to plant with fescue. It is now up and ready to grow through the fall to hold the soil in place.

I no longer do much fall housecleaning although I have washed a few windows. I am most proud that I went through a box of papers in the garage that the mice had found. I have no idea why that paper mish mash and those magazines were ever put in the garage in the first place some years ago, but they were. Now most are in the trash barrel to be burned, and the field mice will have to find something else for nests when they come in during the cold weather.

While Gerald was in town yesterday, someone handed him a flyer announcing “Stand Up for Vets” on Saturday, November 7, at 1205 West Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale. If you know a veteran in need, offer to take him or her there. Warm coats, blankets sleeping bags, and other items needed for the cold winter ahead will be handed out. There will be hair cuts and health checks, educational and resume information, hygiene and food items, applications for housing, drug and alcohol treatment information. I had been reading Susan Walmsley’s Facebook posts about collecting, laundering and filling racks and tote bins in her pole barn with clothing for these veterans. I am so grateful that people like Susan and Christ Community Church are using this fall to help people prepare for winter challenges. If you aren’t located to be able to donate to this cause, remember that all our soup kitchens are in need right now because of Illinois’ budget problems. Help the helpers get ready for winter needs if you can.

1 comment:

Florence in KY said...

Thanks for the news, Sue. Someone said the reason the leaves are late turning is because we needed a good frost. Sue enough after the frost they began to turn/ They are now beautiful down our way. Keep a-writin"!