Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Resistance...or not

The penultimate harvest of flowers
from my garden.

Yesterday, as I was eating breakfast in my usual spot at the kitchen table, I looked out the sliders and watched the pine needles float onto the trowel still on the table in the backyard. This of course also means that the table, umbrella and chairs are still out there too. So is the grill cover, thrown over the back of a chair instead of being on the grill where it belongs.

All are covered with a dusting of pine needles.

It's the intersection of summer and fall. You could call it laziness, as in, "Someone please put that trowel away and cover the grill! (That means either Katie or me.) The table and umbrella fall into the "wait until Joe comes home category." Still, it also has to do with resistance towards letting summer go. It wasn't the best summer, with a lot of rain followed by a period of high humidity and heat. But there were beautiful days, and we were lucky to have most of them on our mini-trips to New York and Cape Cod. The sunny days definitely helped keep my mood upbeat.

The garden is mostly shot, but some flowers are hanging in there. The other day I picked one bunch, and I think I can get one more. I like my perennials, but I have to say, those zinnias and snap dragons are the best for picking. I'm still not supposed to dig in the dirt, (out of fear of picking up a fungus) and in the spring I wouldn't even go near the garden to cut a flower. But now I think it's OK to pick a bouquet. It will be one last "summer" experience.

Fall, of course, is beautiful here. What I don't like is that it presages dreary November, when your spirits can really dip. But there's nothing not to like about this time of year. The leaves are brilliant colors. We've had a few cold days, but mostly they've been sunny and warm. Yesterday when I hit tennis balls with my friend Ken, the trees were vibrant against the blue sky. The sun, not the kind that scorches you in summer, makes you warm and toasty.

"This day is so beautiful," I kept saying.

No, I was not stalling...I really meant it. I was having fun. Ken, like my other tennis-playing friends, is really good at hitting it to me or within reach if I take two steps. Yesterday we joked about the two-step rule. Three steps and I don't bother. He said it helps him too, because he can cultivate accuracy by trying to keep it within my reach.

Thinking back... When I got my homeward-bound coffee at Starbucks on Monday, I was delighted to see that they had pumpkin scones. I don't usually like to buy pastry there, because it is overpriced and not great. But pumpkin scones – and other things pumpkin – are among my favorites of the season.

Maybe I'm not so resistant to fall after all.

I bought the scone and enjoyed it on the way home. This, for the record, is the crazy way I ate the scone. It has too much vanilla icing, which, although tasty, is too intense even for someone like me with a big sweet tooth. I took some full bites, but I also, like a squirrel attacking a nut, took some small pieces and chewed out the insides, leaving the sugary coating on my lap. (And imaging how odd my behavior would look if there was a camera in the car.)

Then I went back and started on the discarded sugar chunks, because they were too good to throw away. I did make myself stop before I got to them all!


donna said...

What a great picture! I'm glad you got to hit with Ken. Maybe we can do some more doubles before the outdoor season is over. You're doin' good! Love You!

Nelle said...

I love pumpkin scones and bread. Just picked up a mix yesterday to make pumpkin bread over the weekend. Yummy!

Luann said...

Ronni, I'm just a silent follower and cheerleader but wanted you to know I've been loving your blog for a long, long time. I'm the wife of a survivor from NY (2+ years from an unrelated SCT at MSK) and I love that you have such an upbeat and optimistic view of life.

Jim said...


Regarding the scone, way to go for the good stuff! Jim