Fall is flying by in a haze of too many activities. A few weeks back one of my good friends was staying with me and telling me that she cannot believe how social I am for being an introvert. Keep in mind this particular friend is the most extroverted person I know– but in marrying an introvert, she has learned that she has to take care of his introvert needs. Seasons like this make me think I need someone to watch out for my introvert needs because I am so incredibly bad at doing it for myself. So… fall is a season of strangling my inner introvert, slowly and surely. I love my people. I love and look for ways to spend time with them- because I’m a quality time kind of gal but I am not good at balancing that with my quiet, alone time needs.
And then there was that once nice evening, where I was going to just go home, mow and mulch some leaves, and be alone (quality time with my inner introvert) on a tractor until dark. So there I was, loving the new tractor, trying to figure out of the leaf sweeper is even worth the effort. And then my tractor catches fire. Yep. You heard right. I didn’t even know this was a thing! So I see smoke from under the hood and RACE to the burn pile where I happen to have a couple 5 gallon buckets of water just chilling out. I RUN back to the tractor to see flames shooting up. Now I’m worried the whole thing is about to explode. I doused it and ran for the second bucket to douse again. And then dug out the leaves that got jammed tightly under the mower, in front of the mower deck. And stamped them out since they were still smoldering. Shaking with adrenaline, I stamped and dug. And called my dad before trying to start the engine- which won’t start. Awesome. I’m blaming the melted wiring. I’m so incredibly thankful that this happened right near those buckets of water, because if I had needed to run to the house, turn on the hose, fill buckets and run back to the far back of the yard… right, the whole tractor would have been toast. Of course now that I’ve done it and mentioned it to a few friends, it seems setting one’s tractor on fire is nearly commonplace. Still, it gets a big fat UGH from me. I’m so incredibly grateful to have an amazingly handy and kind friend who offered to fix it for me. So the tractor spent the weekend there and is working great again. I am SO thankful!
I spent a wonderful weekend up north with one of my dearest friends and her family. There were 11 adults and 10 kids under the age of eight (all but one under the age of 5 actually) staying in the house for the weekend. The fall colors were at their brightest and best. The little people were insane and highly entertaining. And it was great to just be with my friends. No, not the most relaxing weekend, but really delightful and a good escape from the mundane at home.
October also included two apple saucing sessions at my house which have both been delightful. The first was with two brothers and their wives and a cute nephew. It was peaceful and pleasant, nice to spend time together doing something while putting up yummy applesauce for the coming months. Then the last weekend of October, I sauced with my crowd- the girlfriends who I have been canning with for years. It was a gorgeous, cool fall day and a great day to hang out with my lady friends and scorch apple gook onto my stove again. I will spend the next year trying to remove it. I am all set on applesauce for the year. Mmmmm. Such a delightful, fallish project with long lasting effects and such a blessing to do it with such dear people.
I am back in the swing of being on the core team with the high school youth ministry program at my parish. I truly love it. And I love teenagers. After spending so many years on core team, it is definitely hard going back because I know the commitment I’m in for. Death to self. And it is really odd to go back and realize all the teens you really know have graduated and the current teens are kids you’ve seen growing up and you still thought they were in fourth grade. And most of the team you are working with was in high school during one of your previous stints on the core team. Remember how much I love Sunday nights at home? Yep, those are gone too. Death to self, death to self, death to self. And yet there is a lot of joy in the midst of that. I really do love teens. I feel like this is where God is asking me to serve his church in this season. These are the people he is asking me to love. Last weekend I had my first girls night since being back. Girls nights have been a long standing thing for as long as I have been on the core team and had my own place (starting with that first apartment back in 1999). As weird as it is, I think it is actually an important ministerial spot- being able to give girls a place to let loose and be themselves. And it gets weird– every single time. In a delightful, freeing, God-is-working kind of way. The setting: my humble abode- complete with dog hair and laundry on the couch (which i did move eventually). The offerings: Hot chocolate, tea, cider, cookie dough, bowl of popcorn. The girls: fabulous, sweet, fun and strange high school girls. Talking a mile a minute, rubbing each other’s backs, stroking hair, eating cookie dough, putting way too much hot chocolate mix into a mug of water, snuggling under blankets, petting the dog, and a lot of unfettered joy. Being together as women who simply love each other and have a safe place to unwind. It is weird alright but a really beautiful thing.
Another delightful fall activity has been card club. Which is just four of us sitting down and playing cards in an evening. Lovely, delightful, old fashioned fun. And we’ve been playing New Canasta Hand and Foot- a game my grandma taught me years and years ago. And yes, I realize I am admitting to being old before my time in having a card club. If only I knew how to play Bridge…
Not too long ago, I broke down and bought my first lens for my Nikon, other than the kit lens. It is a 50mm– the lens that made me fall in love with photography back when I was shooting with a manual Pentax. Playing with the new lens and taking more pictures has been a fun creative outlet for me this fall. As well as taking senior pics for a cousin, photos of cute babies everywhere I go, and some nice pictures of fall at the Little House. I am blessed to be surrounded by a lot of very photogenic subjects.
The days are getting shorter and colder. I turned on my heat a few days ago and pulled out the extra blankets. I’m back in the groove of sleeping like a rock in my frigid upstairs and remembering how incredibly hard it is to pull one’s self out from under the covers in the morning.
Happy fall, my friends, happy fall.