October 2009


The sun is shining today for the first time in I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG. (ok, maybe it has only been one week. felt like a lifetime.)

This means I could finally see the leaves on the trees…kind of like seeing the forest for the trees, but in reverse. If the forest is still stressful, maybe just focus on how pretty one leaf is.

Anywhim, this is what I have to report on the foliage on the National Mall:

There are beautiful fiery red, gold and orange trees down by the World War II memorial and the Lady Bird Johnson memorial grove.

The large trees on the mall are still at the beginning of their transformation. I estimate they are at about 20 percent golden (what kind of trees are those, anyway? JZ? I know you know).

I think of Marine Corps Marathon weekend as the usual peak for leaf colors in DC. The ‘thon is next weekend, so we’ll see if the trees keep up this year.

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pumpkins

A couple years ago, about this time of year, I excitedly bought several pumpkins at a farm stand. When we got home, I realized the small pumpkins would line up perfectly in our windowsill. As I placed them there, I had a fleeting thought, “What if some kid grabs them and throws them at our house?” But my admiration of their friendliness and homey-ness quickly supplanted that disturbing vision, and the pumpkins stayed in the windowsill. At least for a little while.

The next morning, the pumpkins were gone.

The good part, I suppose, is that no one threw them at our house. There was no trace of those pumpkins.

Lately, I feel like time is moving in some crazy vortex and leaving me behind. I’ve been caught up in a lot of different things, not all of them pleasant, and suddenly  I find we’re in mid-to-late October…? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? The last time I looked, it was late summer. But that does not appear to be the case anymore: it is cold and rainy and I cannot, in fact, remember the last time I actually saw the sun. Today I wore a hat, gloves and a coat (mostly because I was sitting outside all day — such layering would not have been totally necessary for a brief stroll).

Clearly, we are not in summer anymore.

Anywhim, in an effort to actually tune into the world and seasons around me  — and I dunno, maybe appreciate them, rather than just glowering in a dark funk with no sunlight   — I am trying to stop and recognize the positive aspects of autumn. For me, this means: drinking apple cider, making tasty recipes that use squash, and noticing the leaves. It also meant buying a large pumpkin on Saturday.

But now the question is, where to put this friendly pumpkin? It would look nicest on on front steps (that is, if it ever stops raining. and I think it is entirely possible that it may NEVER stop raining). But will someone steal it?

I’ve decided this could be a test. Perhaps the measure of gentrification is how long it takes for your pumpkin to go missing…

The pumpkin test! I will let you know how it goes.