Friday, October 25, 2013

Autumn Leaves

Summer is my favorite time of year—sunny days and the freedom from heavy clothes and boots.  Even though I live in the South, I complain and gripe every year about the arrival of Fall and Winter.  When others get excited about dropping temperatures and say they love the weather, I frown and declare that I want my summer back. I blame my poor attitude on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that comes with fewer daylight hours and inclement weather that keeps me housebound. I blame it on autumn memories of loss—hospital vigils and cemeteries. I blame it on cold hands and feet from the dropping temperatures and dry eyes and skin from the furnace heat.  My head tells me the natural cycle of spring, summer, fall, winter are necessary for the earth to function as intended, but my body wants bright sunshine and heat.
Almost seventy Falls and Winters have come and gone in my life, and Lord willing, I hope to enjoy more in the years to come.  Just as the seasons of nature change, so do the seasons of life. It occurs to me that I am in the Fall of my life and I am reminded of the Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 3:1: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”  

It’s way past time for me to discard my gloomy face that shows up around September 21 and embrace the six months until Spring. In many ways these are the best days of my life and I need to look for the positives, instead of the negatives, in the seasons of nature and the seasons of my life. So here goes:

Season of Fall:  Colorful leaves, a cozy fireplace, an electric blanket, hot cider or tea with a piece of sweet potato pie. The end of Daylight Savings Time —less daylight in the evening, but more in the morning— gives me an extra hour of sleep and the motivation to get an earlier start to my day. I also love the emphasis on a bountiful harvest and Thanksgiving.
Season of Life:  More time for writing, more opportunities to share my journey, fewer financial responsibilities, more time for prayer and contemplation, time to enjoy the grandchildren, cooking less, date nights with Charles, and the good health to enjoy these many blessings and opportunities. This Fall will be a time for reflection and rejoicing over every season of life.

The song I think about every October is Autumn Leaves, originally a French tune made popular in America when Johnny Mercer wrote the Lyrics in 1947. This year I am rejoicing in the words from that song: “The falling leaves drift by my window, the autumn leaves of red and gold.”


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Words & Wings

A book signing event for Frieda and an air show for Charles. Add a beautiful fall weekend and it doesn’t get much better than that.
Frieda promoting
 Born Three Times
FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA hosted an Emerging Author Event in its quaint independent book store. As one of ten authors, I had a few minutes to talk about my book. It was fun to meet the other writers and compare notes about our journeys as authors. Networking always leads to new avenues to promote your work. One author was looking for guests for her upcoming radio show. We exchanged cards and the promise of a future booking. Several folks bought my book and I bought some of theirs. I was amazed by the diversity of writing and the imaginative and creative flair of so many. It would be a big stretch for me to write a colorful, well-illustrated children’s book or create a fictional story about espionage or murder in a small southern town. Those books were on display next to mine offering something for everyone who ventured into the book store. 

Saturday’s air show was unique in so many ways. Through our company’s connections, we received passes to the President’s Club at the Paulding County Air Show. That gave us entrance to a covered tent with many amenities—shade, cold drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and a sit down dinner between the afternoon and evening air shows. The military planes with their death defying maneuvers stole the afternoon show. The aircraft bursting through the clouds faster than the speed of sound and the following roars and booms of the engines shook the earth and made us cover our ears.
Granddaughter Alexa
with astronaut Scott Horowitz
The best part was seeing it all through our granddaughter’s eyes. As a ten year old fourth grader, she’d studied space, the planets, and astronauts in school. She was excited just to see the airplanes, but thrilled beyond words to meet and talk with an astronaut. Scott Horowitz, who has participated in several shuttle and space station missions, took time to talk to her, autograph her program, and posed with her for a picture. The day ended perfectly with a night aerobatic air show. The small planes performed their maneuvers with multicolored flashing lights and painted the sky with smoke trails, visible against the background of an orange and blue sunset. As we headed for our car, a beautiful fireworks display lit up the sky.

The verse penned by poet Robert Browning summed up my feeling after such a perfect weekend: “God’s in His heaven and all is right with the world.”