I had been thinking I'd blinked and missed autumn, but then my neighbor told me that the maples had a virus this year and dropped all their leaves before they turned red. It's resulted in a strange landscape where some trees are skeletal bare and some, like the apples, are still green.
October's been a crazy mix of frosty mornings, rain and hot sun.
The Friday before the long weekend, we were out in winter coats and hats, picking apples with E and Z's class.
(They tricked me into buying a giant pumpkin, which I then had to cart on the school bus).
The next day, we trekked in shorts and t-shirts on a mushroom-finding hike through our woods, with my friend T, who knows quite a bit about fungi.
While we dissected nascent stinkhorns and lamented the many, many too-far-gone lobster mushrooms, E took a nap on a log, leopard-style,
and Z built a pot with river clay.
Sunday, we took the ferry to Northaven Island, to visit my friend L, who has the good fortune of spending the school year (and many school years to come, I hope) on the island.
It was an unheard-of 80-some-odd degrees the rest of the weekend. At fist I lamented that I had packed jackets instead of swim suits, but the October water out there off the coast was a tad chilly for even my bones.
Monday, we ate homemade doughnuts in the island church hall and hiked up a little granite knob through this magical sumac-and-fern forest.
And saw the whole world from the top.
Then rode the ferry home and back to reality (I really want to type "fairy" instead of "ferry" every time...it was just that magical there!)
The rest of this month has been very busy with soccer and halloween planning and oh, yes, writing. I'm making good progress on my workshop pieces--#1 is drafted and revised to death and now on to a couple of pre-readers (I live in terror of being laughed out of the workshop room); #2 is still under construction, but going well, I think. The ending needs some work. And the beginning. Those are the hardest bits, apart from the middle, don't you think? All the while I'm frantically reading Janet Burroway's Writing Fiction, feeling a bit like Bugs Bunny landing the plane while furiously flipping through the "How to Fly" manual.
In other news, my life has just gotten one notch crazier, and while I can't really tell you about it here, I will tell you this: When I was 14 and going through the process of being confirmed in the Catholic church, I became a bit fascinated with the lives of the saints (which I read about in a series of books I believe by the same name in order to pick my patron saint). To a melodramatic teenager, the idea of dying for your beliefs was exhilarating (I did not pause to think about whether those beliefs made any sense). The saint I chose, if I remember correctly, was Julia, and while I don't remember how she died exactly (beheading? stoning? burning?), I do remember writing in my report that I hoped to do the same one day. Now, while I've left both teenage melodrama and religion behind, apparently I still believe in standing up for my principles, even if it leads to being burned at the stake.
Sorry that's cryptic and weird, and no I don't expect any actual flames (though a friend of mine did just say, "haven't you ever seen Silkwood?" so I might be testing my brakes). This is just to say, send all the good vibes you can my way, please. And, also, your tips for relieving insomnia and stress (this evening I put on The Best of New Order and had my own personal techno dance party in the kitchen while making dinner, then walked about 30 laps around the soccer field during the boys' practice--we'll see if that makes it any easier to pry apart my jaws when I wake up tomorrow morning).