Katie says that the cider doughnuts are in the doughnut shops, and the air is crisp and cool. (I can hardly wait to get there for those doughnuts!) I see from pictures that leaves are turning, and it's really Fall. Here in California, conversely, it's still 88 degrees, and hot and dry. Fall here largely means fire season and high winds. But we dream our dreams of colored leaves, and pumpkin pies anyway. L and I went to Trader Joe's this past week, and stocked up on pumpkin EVERYTHING. We now have pumpkin pancake and waffle mix, pumpkin bread mix, and some really tasty pumpkin cereal bars called "A Pumpkin Walks Into A Bar." Love it. I even bought a can or two of pumpkin, in case the urge to make a pie hits me. Not likely, if it stays this hot, but who knows? Baking is a serendipitous thing.
I'm getting anxious for those cooler days. Sweater weather. At least I'll have it when I go to Massachusetts. Seven glorious days wrapped in sweaters, boots, and jackets! Bright blue skies, brightly colored leaves, and likely some rain. It rains a lot there, which is why its so beautiful.
Possibly best of all, there will be a few hours when the girls are in school, hopefully baby will be napping, when I can spend time with just my own little girl. That hasn't happened for quite a while, and it's one of the things I miss most about her growing up.
Until then, I'll content myself with my pumpkin everything - I forgot that I also got Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal. I'll deck the house out in Halloween finery. We've got jack o'lanterns, black ravens, and skulls all over the place. And this weekend, the pirate skeleton comes out to play! L has to hang him up - it's too high for me. I usually have everything up and decorated by this time, but this year I've been a little slow. There are still 2 more weeks to enjoy in October - such a good month. I hope we get some trick or treaters on Halloween - sometimes we do, sometimes we don't - but I always miss having masses of kids roaming the neighborhood, like when my kids were little, or especially when I was young.
It's kind of a different holiday now. Thank you, crazy perverts... I remember when I was about 13, I was living in New Jersey, and my friend and I really wanted to dress up and trick or treat, but we knew we were a little too old. Joan could sew, and so she whipped up a couple of bustle skirts, and we went out as ladies from the 1800s. We came to an old house in the area, knocked on the door, and an old man answered. He invited us in, and in we went. Without a second thought. (Now THAT would never happen now!) He had owned and operated one of those river steamboats for years, and he was showing us a lot of pictures of his happier days. In his living room he had a real pipe organ - the kind that has a million stops (one was a jingle bell sound!) and the massive pipes. He let us play on it, while he talked and reminisced. I know that all sounds slightly creepy-ish, but looking back (and it was a much more innocent time) he was a lonely old man, whose wife was an invalid. But to all you kids out there: DON'T TRY THIS TODAY. Today, he'd turn out to be a lonely old child molester. But that's my one good Halloween trick or treat story. That, and the time I was about 5 and I walked up to the door of a house where there was a large form covered by a sheet... which turned out to be a vacuum cleaner that was turned on as we rang the doorbell, making a huge noise and causing the sheet to billow out. HOLY CRAP!!! I was back out to the curb in 2 seconds and booking it home , with the man running after me saying "I'm sorry sweetheart - come back!" I just ran right past my dad and didn't look back. Ah... nostalgia...good times...
Work has been extremely busy, which is good for my paycheck. It's been good to get back and up to speed, and it was nice to realize I was missed. When you're 2000 miles away from the Mothership (Minneapolis), it feels very lonely sometimes, but I've forged some nice relationships despite the distance.
It's hard for me to keep up with children and grandchildren with just these few sporadic visits, but it's the best I can do. I was in Denver just 2 months ago, and already my memories of the little ones are outdated. It'll be the same thing here. One short week of snuggling a tiny new one, silly times with 2 giggly girls, celebrating Hayden's 4th birthday, and some quiet time with Katie and it will be over for another several months. Next time I'm there will be in June, and L will go with me for Mia's 8th birthday, just like we'll both go to Denver for Lexi's 8th birthday in April. Almost 8 years already... If you think your kids grew up fast, try grandchildren. It just flies by. But who can resist the tug on your heart, when you have something like this waiting for you:
In my mind, I'm already there. Two more weeks, and my body will catch up. Hugs and whispered little girl secrets will be plentiful. And so, I hope, will the cider doughnuts.