Living By The Season

     I am so enjoying our fall weather.  Our days are cool, with temperatures in the mid-60’s, and sunny.  It is pleasant to be outdoors in the afternoon sunshine, and oh, so wondeful to be indoors in the early morning and evenings with a fire burning in the wood stove!  The walnut wood we are burning this year has been seasoned over two summers now, and burns clean and hot.  There is really nothing that compares to the warmth that comes from a good, wood stove fire! 


     Maybe it’s because I am older.  Maybe it’s because the Lord has been impressing upon my heart, more and more with each passing year, the love of living in and by His seasons.  I still have so much to learn in that regard.  I have a very small garden growing for fall, with just a few mixed lettuces (mostly Romaine) growing alongside my still producing grape tomato.  The nights are dipping into the 40’s and it won’t be long before we’ll need to watch for those first light frosts.  I am rekindling the habit of checking the weather every evening for the anticipated overnight low, reducing the temperature forecasted for the big city by 5 – 7 degrees to allow for our more eastward, oulying land. 

     Our free range hens are also producing fewer eggs these days.  Gone are the days of plenty of eggs for my family each week, with a few dozen to share with others besides.  We are making do with eggs for baking and cooking from scratch, with enough eggs for one big breakfast or scrambled eggs for lunch about once a week.  We will have to start buying a few eggs to supplement our hens in the next few weeks, and continue until the days lengthen again in the spring.

     The early nightfall of autumn tells the hens that it’s time to slow down and rest a bit until spring.  I have to admit, I have always loved the darkness falling ever earlier with each autumn sunset myself.  It’s so warm and snug, having everyone already in the house and settling in by dinner time.  Outside chores, other than the evening feeding of the animals, are done.  On these cool evenings, a fire is started in the wood stove before dinner.  Candle light at the  dinner table is even more warm and enchanting when it is dark outside before we sit down to eat.  It’s the season when toys, games and quiet indoor activities, which have been shelved and forgotten for months, are once again re-discovered and enjoyed by my boys.  I love this time of coming together indoors again. 

     We slow down, too.  Quiet evenings reading together in the living room are the norm, with boys stretched out in front of the fire, jockeying for the best position and pushing the dog from that ideal spot that she always claims first.  In pondering a life more in touch with God’s creation and seasons, if not one more agrarian, I’ve just started reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.  I’ve heard mixed reviews on this book, but I’m interested in expanding our ability to grow more of our own food here on this bit of land that the Lord has blessed us with.  My husband’s work schedule has not allowed him to be here to help work toward this goal, but my boys are big now and quite capable of being a huge help in this regard.  This is the time of year, though, for just such reading and praying and planning for next spring.  I went out this afternoon and looked things over, choosing a couple of areas where I’d like to start asparagus beds this year. 

     I’ve finished quite a few books recently.  I cross them off the Reading Basket list on my side bar as I finish them.  I have promised reviews of a couple of those books to some of you and they will be posted soon, I hope.  For the others, I’ve simply given the very briefest of reviews at this post where I keep track of the books I’ve read for the year.  If you’re curious about what I thought about a particular book in my Reading Basket, that would be the best place to check for now.  If you’d like more details, feel free to e-mail to ask.

      I’m still enjoying my mom’s writing desk.  I don’t know why I didn’t think to put it into everyday use sooner.  Another piece of furniture in my home that has been pulled from strictly decorative use into more practical use is my tea cart.  My folks surprised me with this piece out of the blue one year.  I remember mentioning to my mom how much I loved my friend Lennie’s tea cart, and next thing you know, one appeared in my living room!  For twenty years or more, the tea cart has been enjoyed as a fun decorative piece.  I have, on occasion, used it to serve guests, but never more than a handful of times. 




     A couple of weeks ago, I removed all the “pretties” from the tea cart and wheeled it from the parlor to the living room, next to the wide opening into our school room.  Will helped me carry in the few boxes of remaining Franciscan Desert Rose dishes in my possession. 










     The dishes were our “every day” dishes from our wedding registry thirty years ago, but not too many survived the learning-to-do-dishes process with my daughters.  I unpacked and washed up several small serving pieces, luncheon size plates, cups and saucers and set them up on the tea cart.  The Teapot was already in the house and out on the turntable of the beverage center.  





      Now, in the afternoon when the boys and I enjoy our tea time read aloud, the tea and treats (Dani made some wonderful, fudgy brownies today) are served from the tea cart using the Desert Rose dishes.  It’s a treat for all of us.

     The boys enjoy the tea cups and saucers, and having their treats on nice, matching plates.  I do, too!  I know I’ve reminded you before, but here it comes again – Don’t save your “good” things for company!  Your family deserves the best you have to offer, and our children learn to handle things carefully through practice.  We are lingering longer over our tea these days, enjoying one another’s company for a bit longer and, perhaps, reading for just a bit longer, too.  Making the effort to make the time together with my boys special has blessed me back a hundred fold.    

     Reaching our children’s hearts is the thing, isn’t it?  Learning to know them and who it is that the Lord is growing them to be.  Hearing their hopes, knowing what makes them laugh, and understanding their fears, too.  Oh, my sweet William!  He has a fear, an almost extreme fear, of drowning or near drowning.  He had a scary incident in our pool over a year ago; but it has not kept him from swimming like a fish, and he is definitely not afraid of the water.  Yet that fear still plagues him.  We were cleaning in the boys’ room the other day and I was helping Will weed out a basket of books he keeps next to his bed.  (Where does he get the notion of keeping baskets of books about?

      In the basket was a lovely book, gifted to him by dear friends.  His book mark was placed just a few pages into the book, and yet there was dust on the tops of the pages.  I asked why he hadn’t read more of the book, as he’s enjoyed others by the same author.  My dear, sweet, tender-hearted boy was instantly moved to tears, big drops falling down his cheeks, as he told me that the early pages of the story had included the telling of someone’s near drowning.  My heart ached for him, and with him.  I pulled him close and dried his tears and prayed for him, again as I always do, to be relieved of this fear.  We took the bookmark out of the book, dusted it off, smoothed its dust jacket, and put it on the shelf of books that are his and his alone in the boys’ room.  There was no pressuring him to read more, just the simple statement of, “We’ll put it back today.  Perhaps, one day, you’ll be ready to try it again.  Or maybe not, and that’s okay, too.”   He nodded and we shared a smile and a last hug.  




     Aaron had a big day today.  In an hour’s time, my big guy went from this……  










……… this!  Oh, those years and years (andyearsandyearsandyears) of braces.  My, he’s a handsome fella!

     My husband is away from home today, working a much-needed and long-prayed-for overtime shift.  We are both thankful that the extra work was available for him today, but we have missed him all day.  His hours are long on work days and we look forward to his days off each week, and yet we are grateful for the extra work even though it kept him away from home today.  The house will be warm, and his chair by the wood stove cozy, when he comes in tonight.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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10 comments to Living By The Season

  • I love your little Romaine bed!  I have a window box filled with Spinach right now in my front bay window.  Our nights have been very cold and we’ve long had our first frosts here in PA.  It was snowing earlier today, actually.  πŸ™‚  We spent today inside baking breads and making home made tortilla chips.  Yum!  My dear daughter got to make some napkins today for Thanksgiving too.  I have a picture of her at her new machine with her choice of fabric just posted on my blog.  πŸ™‚ 

    That’s quite a handsome happy young man you have there!  Congrats too for getting his braces off!  πŸ™‚ 

    Have a wonderful evening! 


  • Thank you for this beautiful post πŸ™‚ I really Enjoyed it ,Here in Northern Pa ,It is now turning real cold ..AHH THE DAYS OF SUMMER .Where did they go !!!

  • Oh that Aaron is a handsome guy!!! What a beautiful smile! Well worth the time.

    I enjoyed your post!!!

  • Aaron looks very handsome and grown up without his braces and what a great smile πŸ™‚  I remember when Jen got her braces off, so exciting (and so thankful it was paid for!!!)  We are having a busy season here too, but I’m enjoying it.  Lovely to “hear” your voice and catch up with your news, my friend.



  • Hi Cheryl,

    It is busy here today.As I get older I am learning to go with the seasons of life more too.

    Enjoy your day.



  • Congrats to Aaron!!!  Very handsome indeed!!!


  • Look at those TEETH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • i’ve started that book too and put it down but would love to get back to it! my days are so busy i never have all the time i need to read!

  • i’ve started that book too and put it down but would love to get back to it! my days are so busy i never have all the time i need to read!

  • I liked that book.  While I’m sure she is not writing from the same conservative or evangelical perspective I would enjoy, it is still a case of “all truth is God’s truth”.

    I’m going to look for it at the next booksale as I’d like to read it more slowly (and I had a library copy).

    Always good to “see” you!