Thursday, September 25, 2014

Five Fall Moments

Those green fields are yellowing, the sunflowers have hung their heads in a sorrowful pose. That chill in the air has come too soon and whispers a warning of long, cold months ahead. I know how to make it all go away. Want to know a secret? I will just pull out the cool weather clothes for the seasonal clothing swap, and that will guarantee an eighty degree day. You just wait

The cooler days suited me just fine since I spent a few afternoons with the oven running non-stop in preparation for the bake sale at our church's community outreach day. I was packaging up a few dozen cookies when I saw that I was going to be late picking up Little Mister from a therapy appointment. I quickly grabbed my purse and jumped into the car. About halfway there, I made an awful realization. All of my packaged baked goods, including the previous day's work, were in a laundry basket left out in the open, in close proximity to a mischievous dog.

A dog who devours everything.  

A dog with super scent-tracking capabilities.

All of my hard work. Right there in that basket. The basket I had meant to put away somewhere before leaving, and then was forgotten. There was no time to turn around and run back home to save them, if it wasn't too late already.

I'm sure a tear or two sprang to my eyes. I started praying.

"....and dear Lord please protect the banana bread too..."

Almost a half hour later I pulled in the driveway, my heart heavy in my stomach. Would you believe I found a perfectly untouched basket, with all my goodies neatly wrapped and undisturbed? Buddy laid nearby, completely uninterested.

Exhale. Thankfulness. Laughter. 

Then, on the first official day of Fall, my true love gave to me....

A giant bucket of paw paws. I've never heard of these, and certainly had never tasted one. Years ago, The Mister planted a paw paw tree at his parent's farm and they are just now bearing fruit. In case you have never eaten one, I'll describe it. They are very fragrant with a sweet aroma. They are easy to peel and have a soft yellow texture inside that reminds me of a cross between an avocado and a mango. They are mildly sweet and kind of tropical tasting. Some say they taste a little like a banana. 

The last blooms before winter are the Montauk daisies. They bloom in a big shrub all through September.


It wouldn't be early Fall without applesauce.
Remember our big strawberry harvest? I pulled some berries out of the freezer and did one batch of strawberry applesauce, just for something different this year. It was five pounds of apples to three cups of frozen berries, simmer and sieve. It smelled wonderful cooking on the stove!


Finally, window washing. DO NOT be impressed by our housekeeping. We just happened to have the scaffolding up for a home repair, and I suggested we leave it up so we could clean off the picture window properly. Window washing occurs around here on an as-needed, as-is-convenient basis. It works out to once every other year in which there are fourteen full moons and two months with additional Wednesdays. Or something like that.

Not a bad start to the season. I hope you're enjoying it, too.


  1. Lovely! :) Thank you for sharing a little of your world. :)

    We're enjoying the autumn down here. MUCH milder than the summer! I can turn off the a.c., and let the windows open. I so enjoy the breeze!

    1. Thanks for stopping by my little world, Renee. It's always a blessing to share it with you.

  2. Monica, what a wonderful post! I am feeling the autumn breeze sifting through the screen on this beautiful day. And then I read your post and realized a kindred spirit is enjoying autumn with me.

    Strawberry applesauce... mmm. And paw-paws, that's interesting. I always wondered what they were when I sang as a child, "Picking up paw-paws and put 'em in your basket..."

    Thank you very much for sharing of your life. I was right there with you when you turned that car around, and I sighed in relief when you showed me the basket of good was unharmed. What a good dog!

    Happy autumn!

    1. I have never heard of this paw-paw song everyone seems to know, but I'm glad to clear up the mystery for you and a few of my readers.
      Funny, when I was younger I saw autumn as the end of the fun, school starting and shorter days. As I got older, I liked the shift in life, the changes, and the learned to see the good and unique qualities of each season.

  3. Looks like the "Little Mister" is learning the art of climbing the scaffolding. Very important skill for a young man. My grandson, who is 2 going on 30 is learning the skill of climbing everything in sight. He's been climbing in and out of the highchair for a long time now.

    I've never eaten Paw-paw, but have heard it is good eatin'.

    Good to hear your hard work was safe.

    Have a wonderful fall weekend. I think it is supposed to be quite warm.

    1. Your grandson sounds exactly like my Little Mister! His climbing skills are so advanced it can be frightening. Sometime I'll tell you about the ladder that got left up on the back of the house. It was a bigger heart attack than the dogs and the baked goods!
      Thanks for sharing a little of the season with me.

  4. Ditto to everything Saloma said, except I'm putting my picked-up paw paws in my pocket, as I learned to sing it, instead of a basket! Haha! Seriously, I was so mesmerized and entranced by your first two sentences, I forgot I'd put on the teakettle, and nearly blew that whistle sky high! You have such a way with words!

    The strawberry applesauce looks beautiful, and I bet it tastes great, too!

    Having never actually seen, even though I've sung about them all my life, a paw-paw, I found that photo and story fascinating! Who knew paw-paw trees grew in New Jersey?! What will you do with them - eat them out of hand, or make things like paw-paw bread, jam, pie, or - ? They must be special for "The [Big] Mister" to plant a tree for them!

    I was so worked up over the worry over that goody basket full of all your hard work, I could hardly stand the suspense! Precious Buddy!! What a good puppy! Thank goodness for the happy ending to that!

    How exciting to get your windows washed! Having recently gotten that done here on the home front, I can report that it gives one the feeling of having a new lease on life, to finally be able to see clearly (although your view is much prettier than mine)!

    I can't believe how big that Little Mister is! What a busy guy! Who knew he could climb scaffolds and help wash windows?! You are surrounded by such sweet and capable men! Lucky you!!

    1. Who knew about the paw paw trees in NJ is right! It seems there aren't many north of the Virginias where they grow wild, but this was one that The Mister ordered and planted. It's tame and probably the only one for miles around. There may be someone out there who is doing something innovative with paw paws, but we just ate them fresh. The flesh has such a weird texture and mild flavor that it would be daring to work it into any recipe.

  5. Your window cleaning sounds like mine :) I just don't clean them too often. Better things to do :)

  6. LOL! Very descriptive, vivid. I like that.

    You had me with you; nearly started praying for your baked goods myself and felt relieved when you found the 'uninterested' dog beside the basket.

    Your window-cleaning schedule matches mine. Thank you for that. I would add to your list of qualifiers, 'only when the breeze angles in from the north just so and the planets are properly aligned.' :D

    Waving and grinning...


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