Winter’s enchantment

On January 12th, winter finally hit with a vengeance. A week earlier, we were playing outside in 60F weather. I noticed a few daffodil sprouts peeking though the mulch. I sat outside and read a magazine.

Friday changed all that. It began as rain but became obvious by 4pm that getting off the road as quickly as possible would be the primary order of business.

By Saturday morning, we woke up to winter. All 18 inches of it. Winter storm Gia was making her appearance known.

The first fall of snow is not only an event but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, where is it to be found? ~J. B. Priestly

Yes, at 7am it was an enchanting site. Snow, slowly and silently falling in the early morning hours, was blanketing everything with newness.

The wind crooned softly as it dusted the snow against the windows, wrapping them in a thick and fluffy cotton blanket.
~Soheir Khashoggi, Nadia’s Song

The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.
~E.E. Cummings

A snow plow had already made it through our subdivision, but Mother Nature was quickly reclaiming the street. For a short time, it seemed like we were suspended in time.

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
~Vesta M. Kelly

And, boy oh boy, did they ever stick together! Every cedar and pine tree was literally bowing to the power created by those little snowflakes.

The snow was endless, a heavy blanket on the outdoors; it had a way about it. A beauty. But I knew that, like many things, beauty could be deceiving.
~Cambria Hebert, Whiteout

Beauty is deceiving. As lovely as our winter wonderland appeared, it was not without casualties and fatalities. A number of tree limbs…trees that had survived decades of winter weather….surrendered to the weight of this snow and snapped. Power lines went down and more than 8,000 homes were without power for the majority of the day and night. We were fortunate our power was not interrupted and we were able to comfortably shelter in place during the worst of it. My heart went out to those not so fortunate, and to those working to clear roads and restore power.

The latest leaves are shaken from the oaks and alders; the snow-laden pines, with drooping boughs, look like barbed arrows aimed at the sky
~John Muir, Yosemite in Winter

It was truly an awesome site. And just another one of nature’s reminders that we are really not in control of anything.

Hope your Tuesday is a happy one. Ours is happier since the temps are rising above freezing the next few days. Just in time for another possible “snow event” next weekend! Blog hopping today with Comedy Plus and Peabea’s Photos n Scribbles.

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Photo Challenge: Feliz Navidad!

I missed PJ’s photo challenge last month so I wasn’t about to miss this one. After all, the theme is Feliz Navidad! And, there’s no shortage of photos for this time of year. Shortage of time. Yes. Shortage of photos. No.

December is always a mixed bag of activities. This year, along with gift shopping, we also were getting ready for a much-needed family vacay to Mexico. Add to that, the usual Christmas season activities, and you get a very. busy. month.

So, here’s my Feliz Navidad five.

Feliz Navidad One
We hadn’t had a family vacay since 2016 due to Entrepreneur’s brain surgery and chemo regimen. His 90-day chemo holiday was coming to a close and he was very much looking forward to enjoying himself before the next set of scans. I’m conflicted about vacationing during the holidays. It seems to add that much more to an already busy schedule. But, it was now or nothing so we rolled the dice, booked it  and, by the grace of God, were able to all be together for a week of sunshine and fun. We contacted the same photographer who took our family pics in 2015 for an updated one.

Feliz Navidad Two
For the past few years, I’ve taken a photo of Peanut and Twix in Santa hats under our tree. The days drag but the years seem to fly.

Feliz Navidad Three
After returning from the warmth of Mexico, we jumped into Twix’s Christmas program at preschool. Sporting Mexican braids, she fully embraced the performance, singing the loudest and overall enjoying herself, sort of oblivious to what was going on with the other children. I think her eyes were on Papa the entire time.

Feliz Navidad Four
Peanut’s 4th and 5th grade Honor Choir performances hit a week later with caroling visits to two businesses and a veterans home.

Feliz Navidad Five
It was nip and tuck, but we finally visited the jolly elf before he took off for the North Pole for his Christmas Eve ride. Peanut figured out Santa this year, but went along with everything so Josie could enjoy the magic. The look on Twix’s face is a precious reminder of the magic and wonder of the season.

There’s my five for PJ’s December photo challenge. This monthly photo challenge is very easy; PJ selects a theme, we take five pics during the month and post. That’s it! Won’t you join us in 2019?

I hope everyone’s holidays were merry and bright. Don’t forget to visit the others over at A ‘lil HooHaa for more of the month’s festivities.

Awwwwtumn Monday

Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Are you up for yet another photo of autumn? I hope so because I’ve taken gigabytes of fall color photos this year! My mums came out of the Halloween door decoration (an idea that looked better in my imagination than in reality) and have been transplanted into the main planters for the rest of the season.

My last post showed some of the gorgeous autumn colors here in middle Missouri. Most of them were of overall tree color.

While the colors of the trees feature the greatest, overall impact, there’s beauty in the details found a little closer to the ground.

These mums were all white when I planted them. Now, surprise!, the new flowers that are blooming are pink and white. Not sure how or why that happened. Perhaps some mineral in the potting soil? Whatever it is, they now clash with my crimson, orange and rust palette. But they are pretty, so they stay. Maybe they identified with the leftover summer, purple petunias that refuse to give up.

I’ve come across a term called autumn anxiety, but for the life of me I cannot understand how autumn’s charm doesn’t win over everyone. Yes, it’s the bridge between summer and winter, and I suppose that is enough to cause some to look at the season with dampened spirits.

But not me!

“I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.”
~Ann Drake

Blog hopping with Comedy Plus and Awww Monday.

The main event

It was a glorious Autumn here in middle Missouri this year. I had my doubts since Summer was so dry, but the season surprised me…in a good way. It’s now November and the leaves are raining down from the trees faster than I can type.

I seem to have a love-hate relationship with  November. On one hand, I love the stillness of the month; not yet winter, but no longer the peak of Autumn’s beauty. November makes me pause. November makes me focus on gratitude and thankfulness…although those aspects should not be seasonal. Yet, November is always a harbinger of winter and the season of dark coldness. Autumn’s riot of color is finished and the crisp, joyous season of Christmas is not here yet. Most of the November seems to hang in limbo.

But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them.
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

But, as I said, October’s main event was stunning this year. I’d like to share some of it with you. This one I snapped….yes….as I was driving around town. But, as you can see, I’m still in my lane! It’s a wonder more people don’t have accidents while looking at such awesomeness.

All of the rest of these were taken while Cabo and I walked in our neighborhood. Some were found in the manicured parts of yards, and some were discovered in the wild, wooded areas that separate those manicured yards.

Twinning.

The yellows and oranges were spectacular this year.

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.
~Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893–1986)

And with that, I say goodbye to colorful October and welcome November with all it has to offer. I’ll look for beauty in the brownness and let my spirit snuggle into the coziness of the month.

Holiday Tradition!

The Halloween candy is far from finished but now we’re racing towards the holidays. My October 31st was a whirlwind of activity with grandbabykin school parties and trick or treating. Why do I subject myself to all this…for the second time around? Simply because they are only little once and I want to soak up all I can before I’m too old to be able to run this pace this anymore.

And, this year was a special year. Twix was finally old enough to be Snow White. That, in and of itself, doesn’t sound especially significant until you know the back story…….

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (circa 1989), there lived a four-year-old Snow White with her white, woodland bunny. These were costumes I made for my wee ones for Halloween fun. Little did I know at the time, Snow White would stand the test of time in more ways than one.

When 1991 rolled around, another four-year-old Snow White made her debut with sister princess, Rapunzel (another homemade costume). This one was expected. After all, it took me quite a while to make the Snow White costume, and I was determined to get more than one wearing out of it. I think they both wore it for a couple of Halloweens.

Fast forward to 2013. Five-year-old Peanut donned her Mama and godmother’s costume for another generation of Disney princess trick or treating. Why did I keep this costume in storage so many years? I suppose I simply couldn’t part with the memories.

And this year, at four years old, Twix followed in this tradition. And, a whole new set of memories have been made.

And, yes, the costume will go back into storage now. The Golfer has instructed me to keep it in case she should have a future princess to carry on the tradition.

Even though I missed Thankful Thursday at Brian’s Home, I’m thankful for the opportunities to make memories through photography for my family. I hope after I’m long gone, they will also stand the test of time.

Seasonal musings

A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives—all bear secret relations to our destinies. 
~François-René de Chateaubriand

Oh my, François, you’re a bit of a downer! For someone who founded Romanticism in French literature, and considered himself the greatest lover, the greatest writer, and the greatest philosopher of his age, this quote is awfully depressing.

Especially to one who loves Autumn. I like this quote so much better.

It was one of those days you sometimes get latish in the autumn when the sun beams, the birds toot, and there is a bracing tang in the air that sends the blood beetling briskly through the veins. 
~PG Wodehouse Jeeves and the Old School Chum

But, here’s one that may split the difference in thought.

Autumn teaches us that fruition is also death; that ripeness is a form of decay. The willows, having stood for so long near water, begin to rust. Leaves are verbs that conjugate the seasons.
~Gretel Ehrlich

Leaves are verbs that conjugate the seasons…..don’t you just LOVE that line?!

If you’ve been a follower of mine for more than a few seasons, it’s no secret I have a passion for Autumn unlike any other time of year. Oh, there are things I like about all four seasons, but Autumn fills up every one of my senses. Just this morning I’m pretty certain that while sitting in the morning calm on the patio, I heard a squirrel banging a hickory nut against the trunk of a tree to get it open.

I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.
~Lee Maynard

The rest of these photos were taken during my morning walks with Cabo. He was more than willing to stop and pee sniff around while I snapped a few pics. Enjoy! I did.

Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.
~Siobhan Vivian

I know the lands are lit, with all the autumn blaze of Goldenrod.
~Helen Hunt Jackson

There is a time in the last few days of summer when the ripeness of autumn fills the air.
~Rudolfo Anaya

And who wouldn’t love Autumn with this quote? We haven’t had our first frost yet, but I can visualize the beauty of this scene in my mind.

“But frost, like the crystallized dreams of autumn, began to coat the clearing with its sugar glaze.”
~Victoria Logue, Redemption

And now, I’ll just leave you with this thought.

“Come, little leaves,” said the Wind one day,
“Come to the meadows with me and play.
Put on your dresses of red and gold;
For Summer is past, and the days grow cold.”

~George Cooper

Blog hopping today with Thankful Thursday over at Brian’s Home. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m thankful for Autumn!!