The air has cooled. Even though the next few days are spiraling upward in temperatures, much like the price of oil per barrel, the nights are cool, and I am able, once again, to sleep with quilts on my bed and autumn leaves in my dreams. If it were Mary Poppins, the sign would be the wind shifting the weathervane. Plans turn to when we'll visit the orchard, what we'll be for Halloween, and whether we'll host a Guy Fawkes party this year. (It's a British tradition based on the Guy - ha, haha - who tried to blow up Parliament. They held bonfires in remembrance and burned effigies. Our gala will be strictly BYOE. Bring your own effigy.)
I am seriously considering dressing up as the wheel from The Price Is Right for Halloween this year. I've always wanted to spin that wheel.
Last weekend one of my housemates' parents traveled down for a visit. We warmed soup and bread, grilled chicken and sausage, and ate in the backyard at a table set with a bright, vintage quilt top I purchased at a tag sale this summer and half a dozen candles flickering in the middle. It was just cool enough outside to warrant my wearing my wool Mongolian slippers under the dinner table. Hordes of neighborhood cats were fascinating with our activities, and we shooed them away only to play spectator to their gymnastics in overhanging trees. We cleared the table, prepared a place for a campfire in the yard, and set out smore supplies while John and Angie's Dad hunted down an axe to chop firewood with, hunted down a rope to lasso around a dead tree branch to add to the firewood, and, in the course of five minutes, mysteriously constructed a swing for Aaron from a tree. I brought out my party lanterns - like white Christmas lights, only with colorful paper and plastic globes around them - and strung them
from the corner of our white tool shed/garage. Later college students, friends and family were crouched near the warmth of the flames, strumming guitars, catching marshmallows on fire, and checking the score of the UK/U of L game. (UK won against a ranked team for the first time in thirty years. Meanwhile Notre Dame is 0-3. Will the Cubs win the World Series?) A guy with
a huge neck brace came and drank vanilla almond tea by the fire. He fractured his C1 vertabrae
in a recent car accident and was hopped up on painkillers but happy to be enjoying normal activities. I fell asleep smelling like woodsmoke and woke up the next morning content with
the arrival of fall but eyes bleary from the smoke and ash. I washed the campfire out of my hair and got gussied up to visit an Episcopal church. I'll tell you what, the Episcopalians know how to do liturgy. John smiled kindly when I kept elbowing him and whispering the history of various parts of the service in his ear. We joined the congregants for a potluck afterwards, tasted a few strange casseroles, and enjoyed the company of an English professor, a retired teacher, and a girl who just went into business for herself selling rare Ducati motorcycle parts. A departure from our usual habit of worship - a sparse country church overflowing with gusto and a leaning outhouse. I wish I could go to both. As it is, my country church is still home. But I like visiting the Episcopalians.
I read an article today about the rise of the Cupcake Store, and how cities around the country are popping up with cupcake bakeries. Maybe I'll open a bakery. That sounds tiring. But sugary. And fun.