Wordless Wednesday:
waning autumn

Day nine of National Blog Posting Month, affectionately known as NaBloPoMo. Considering that I’ve posted more in the month of November than I’ve posted in the last two months, I need a breather. If you also live in a temperate climate, enjoy these last days of fall. (Picture taken at Maybury State Park, Michigan)

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Leaves of wrath

I spent the better part of yesterday outside raking/scraping/digging fallen leaves encrusted in snow and ice from my lawn to the curbside for pickup.

I do not appreciate this mixing of the winter into the autumn. Snow is not supposed to fall until all the autumn clean-up is done. Did someone not get the memo? Hmmm? It’s like throwing a party before you clean the house, before you shop for food and drinks.

But leaf raking/scraping/digging proved to be the grueling physical chore I needed yesterday to clear my head, which was buzzing with scary information and worry.

I’m worried and scared about the fallout of the auto companies in distress. If they don’t get the help they need — which I think should only come with very specific conditions that would both bolster the economy and move auto companies away from their outdated ways of operating and producing.

If the Big Three don’t get any help and fall, the ripple effect here and elsewhere is going to be profound. Knowing that something big and bad is about to happen is scary enough. It’s when you don’t know what that bad thing is that makes it all the worse.

As the daughter of a skilled tradesman, I grew up knowing of economic ups and downs. There were times we went on vacation and had a new car in the driveway. There were times we were living on hot dogs and dad had to leave the state to work. But I can’t recall a time in my life when it seemed the entire foundation of everything was teetering on collapse.

Toss in more bad news: I learned from a former co-worker that our employer is poised to belly-up at year’s end. I guess the ax fell really hard and most everyone is out of a job. Add these folks to the growing line of unemployed populated by people at all education and experience levels.

Oh, hey, did I mention I’m supposed to be looking for a job?

I can’t help but think about the fictional Joad family packing up their stake truck and heading down the dirt road toward the green valleys of opportunity that were “just around the next bend” or maybe  “over the next hill.”  Will be soon we watching a procession of Joads heading West out of Michigan?

We’re tiptoeing on thin ice here, dreading that a sudden move will open a fissure and suck us all under.

Somehow, getting grouchy about an early winter, about having to rake/scrape/chop snow-encrusted leaves seems manageable, solvable, trivial.


Earlier this year I boasted about our amazing garden and how it produced so much food for us that we had to give a lot of it away. We’ve been spoiled. So many of the meals I prepared and put on the table came from our garden and not the store.

We’ve enjoyed vegetables and herbs as they should be: fresh and free of pesticides and other chemicals.
Yesterday we sliced the last mini- watermelon, munched the last of the grape tomatoes and chopped the last stalks of celery for a salad. We have a few ripening tomatoes lined up for duty on the window sill. And then … that’s it.
Kind of sad for us all. Most of all for Girl from the East, who discovered the joys of the garden this season.

We captured the above picture of her a few weeks ago carrying in the day’s harvest. She has been an active participant in the garden all year. She helped drop the seeds into the earth this spring, and checked almost daily for sprouts — proof that the planting was successful. She learned how to pull weeds. How to water the plants. Most recently, she perfected plucking the fruits of all her labor from the stalks and placing them gently into a basket. 

It just may come naturally to her. I sent this picture to a friend I have in Nanchang, China, the nearest large city to where my baby girl was born. She wrote back that with her interest in growing and eating vegetables, my baby is truly a Jiangxi girl. What little we know about baby girl’s roots is that she came from a rural, farming community. I’m grateful to have this one connection to my girl’s origins.