This was supposed to
be a stay-in-town weekend. DH had volunteered to help out at his
students' club fundraiser at The Pumpkin Festival held
on-campus. Families come from all over the area to pick
their own pumpkins right out of the patch. Each pumpkin is
just $3. What a deal!
Thank goodness for
garbage. Last weekend, breaking our usual routine as we did by driving out to
Landers, he forgot to take it out when we left the cabin.
So we decided to drive
up to the mountains on Friday to get the garbage out before it
stank. The hands-down highlight of our trip up the mountain
was a svelte, handsome coyote near Snow Valley. He
waited patiently at the side of road for a break in the line of
cars before he crossed over to the other side.
One week did wonders to the
trees. The oaks are a riot of orange, yellows, and golds; the poplars, aglow in
spectacular yellows. The aspens are quivering in their full fall glory.
When we got to the
cabin, we relieved that the temperature under the kitchen sink was
cool enough to "refrigerate" the garbage. There
was no reek.
The garbage was
out. And I got to have a mountain weekend!
How beautifully leaves grow old.
How full of light and color are their last days.
~ John Burroughs
Yesterday, DH was up
at the crack of dawn. He kissed me goodbye before he
ventured "down the hill" in the darkness without me.
I had the whole day in
the mountains to myself. O & Freddy were
with me, so I wasn't exactly all alone.
I decided to take a
moratorium from the news of the world by not turning on the TV.
I'd had enough anthrax coverage. No more overdosing on negative
On the front porch
with a cup of steaming coffee and cinnamon-raisin toast, drizzled
with squeeze "butter" (made with olive oil!). Body and soul
nourished, I admired the beauty
of the towering pine trees. They are truly majestic.
Beyond the upper branches, in the distance, I could see the
austere monolith called Castle Rock.
"Trees are the earth's endless effort
to speak to the listening heavens."
I love our house and
its garden, so
sweetly nestled among the pines. So much of my time "down the
hill" is spent indoors. In the mountains, I
connect with Nature, focusing on things that are alive and real.
I savored the sweet, autumnal
silence, taking time to examine the deep crimson of the apples on
the backyard trees. I sat on the back stoop to appreciate
the charm of our little woods and meadow. It was a
time to be still, silent, and inward bound.
"All we can do is be silent
And in the silence be touched."
~ P. Muncie
These reflective moments served as a tranquilizer, an antidote to
a month of the unthinkable.
Looking up, through the trees, the blue sky was expansive, silent, and empty—no
crisscrossing jet trails, no helicopters.
Nothing like the outdoors to
pick up my weary spirit. Invigorated by the cool, fresh fall air, I felt
wildly alive and "danced" with O in the front yard. It's
rare that my energy level matches hers. Our exuberant playfulness was contagious, and Freddy joined
us in our frolic.
I collapsed onto the plush green grass,
laughing, and was promptly smothered with doggy kisses. We laughed with
glee. Me, with heartiness; O &
Freddy, with wildly wagging tails.
Eye to the ground, I found beauty in
a lone, cheery
yellow dandelion bloom. I can hear DH laughing as I say that...
You might say, I was taking in the spirituality of everything around
In the afternoon, as the sun
slanted its golden rays on our mountain, DH came home, with a pumpkin
under each arm, to a restored wife, who missed his company, but thoroughly enjoyed her own.
Today is Sunday. DH and I spent most of
the day on the more rustic side of the lake. We had lunch over at the North
Shore Cafe. Richard
Ortiz is the owner-chef there. My huge crab and avocado sandwich
was delicious, as were DH's fish and chips. A crisp, sweet apple from
the restaurant's backyard made the perfect fall garnish.
Like old-timers, we've been coming here since it was Pepino's.
remember Pepino's eccentric restaurant hours. We may miss his excellent Italian cuisine,
but we have
not been disappointed with Richard's culinary talents and his
Even his hamburgers
have a distinctive gourmet flair.
We stopped by the
Scott's cabin, which is nearing completion. The unobstructed
view of the
lake from their front deck is stunning.
We met a very
friendly couple, Sharlene and Mike, who just completed their house
with the three window arches around the bend, after four years of building
it on their own.
I commented on Sharlene's plumeria earrings,
and she said that they have a place in Kihei. They invited us over to
their house, and we got a grand tour of their well-designed and
beautifully appointed house.
That's what I like about
country living. Friendliness. Warmth. Bringing
home perfect strangers. People still do that kind of thing up here.
Folksy. That's the way I
"Life is a Gift."
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