Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall Trilogy - Soup, School & Sentimentality

Today we are starting to get much cooler weather in Illinois, where it has been unseasonably warm this month. When I went outside for a walk, I had to turn around to get a warmer jacket.

I've always loved Fall, from soup simmering on the stove, to beginning a new semester at school, to brilliant colors all around. On my last post, I shared my favorite recipe for Ham & Bean Soup, which is wonderful with fresh-baked cornbread.

Several times a year, I take some classes of interest, with the last twelve months or so geared toward writing. In the hopes that some day my writing will begin to pay off, last week I took a class at the local community college on Record Keeping for Small Businesses. I was a bit disappointed that it was actually a condensation of Accounting 101, but there was time at the end of the class to ask pertinent questions. As always, I learned something new and useful at the same time.

So the third part of my Fall trilogy relates to the beautiful Fall foliage. On my walk today, I couldn't resist gathering some of the most perfect and brilliant specimens. From childhood memories, I plan to press the leaves and send some to my two grandkids in South Carolina. Of course, they have deciduous trees down there, but that's not the same as Grandma's own trees.

This simple pastime made me think about my Mom pressing flowers. Late in life, she started to spread out into new arts & crafts, which included making her own stationery. Using plain white notecards, she arranged tiny blossoms, leaves and stems to create miniature pictures of serenity.

Mom has been gone for almost seven years, but I recently enjoyed a sentimental moment of nostalgia when I opened one of her books that still had a blossom pressed carefully between the pages. I took that as a sweet reminder to stop and smell the roses. Or in this case, to stop and enjoy the brilliance of Fall. And I am!

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