Friday, October 25, 2013

Fall nostalgia

I am done ranting about the US political situation. I have resorted to wandering about the yard with a cup of tea and appreciating the change of season. Weather has gotten chilly (4-14C/40-58F) and we have had a few days of cold drizzle. The Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars are still eating the carrot tops, but I fear they are doomed unless they fly away as butterflies this weekend. There is a frost warning for tomorrow night and my carrot tops are almost totally consumed.

The garden is in decline, but beautifully so. My transplanted yellow rose is still producing fragrant blooms. The marigolds have reached their max height and are starting a massive seed drop. The purple asters are in full bloom and are winking amidst the browning Black-eye Susans. I am still slowly getting some ripe tomatoes but the newest green ones probably won't redden. My sage is quite a prolific herb and I will be gathering more to dry and as well as to season some gnocchi on the menu this week. I am also hoping to harvest some of the Thai Basil seed which has just started to dry on the stalks. Many of the digging plans for the garden are currently on hold though, as I have tweaked a ligament in my knee and am hobbling about with a splint.

Val and I have been excited to open up the cedar chests and pull out a few woolens for the chill; just a couple of sweaters, some cozy neck wear, as well as hats for the family. Julia is thrilled to start wearing her ruby wool beanie on her early morning trek to the bus stop.

I am somewhat "cedar chest addicted" and at this point, I own two. One was handmade, by a woodworker friend in California and the other is a 1960's era Lane Cedar Chest I found at an estate sale. I grew up appreciating the beauty of Lane chests, as each girl in my senior class in high school received a 12" complimentary, Lane locking cedar box about the time we ordered our class rings. My Mother had a Lane Cedar Chest, as well as most of my friends' mothers. It was a traditional accoutrement for young ladies to possess back in the 1950's. Unfortunately, by the time I was getting out of school the tradition was waning. I was saddened to learn that the Lane Company went out of business in 2001. So, I keep my eyes open at estate sales, since Val and I are prolific knitters and need moth-free storage for our yarn and knitted goods.
 I admit I also love the smell of cedar permeated woolens. The scent of cedar, much like the spruce or fir smell of a Christmas tree, conveys a nostalgic sense of comfort and security. In many ways, our sense of smell is a powerful element in our appreciation of the changing seasons. Adding the woolen blankets to every bed, in the next few weeks, will give everyone a perfumed cover for warm sleeping. We look forward to that night almost as much as the first fire in the fireplace or the first steaming mug of hot chocolate. Here's to a brisk and brilliant Fall!

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