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homestead happenings: stay alert

October 12, 2011

Was someone just a tiny bit disgruntled about impending frost and the knife of winter slicing chunks of light off both ends of the day? Moi perhaps? Well. I’m doing better. I remembered that I LOVE fall. The energy of seasonal change is so inspiring, I almost start to feel sorry for the unjacketed inhabitants of the tropics lounging on the beach month after month with their mangoes and pineapples.

Last week I picked all our tomatoes, basil, zucchini, cucumbers on a numbingly cold day. I scurried around the garden, thinking of the Hindu goddess, Kali, who represents destruction. It felt good, somehow, to welcome the end, to nibble the last strawberry gems, to celebrate the process of seed to fruit, and to yank entire zucchini plants up by their roots. Goodbye.

This turn of seasons is like a gentle tap on the shoulder, reminding us to stay alert.

Stay alert, because right around the bend, there might be snow:

Or aspen trees glowing like living luminarias.

It’s all so insanely beautiful right now. As we drove into the mountains last weekend, the front-seat crowd kept sighing and exclaiming, “isn’t it so beautiful?” like we were in a foreign country and had only bothered to learn one phrase. The backseat crowd was more enamored with the practicing of exploding noises (is this a rite of passage of all boys?) and the chirping of requests for snacks. “Honey?” Dan asked Rose. “Do you think you just want snacks because you’re a little bored in the car and not sure what else to do?” “Yeah,” Rose answered like: obviously, dude.

We had a little campfire, because that’s what we do.

The kids, with their little legs and big imaginations, were happy to settle in one spot, tending the fire, munching on snow and looking for fish in the nearby creek. It was a pleasure to just sit quietly while the kids’ wild minds ricocheted off decomposing mushrooms and deer tracks, showing me again that curiosity is the best teacher.

As the sun got all tangled up on the western slopes, we drove up the road to our favorite wild hot spring.

Next, we put some food in the kids bellies, buckled them in and drove back to town. This time, no exploding noises or snack requests, just the sweet sounds of sleeping children.

There’s magic in this season between seasons; I hope you’re feeling it too.



25 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2011 7:44 am

    A hot spring, I’m so jealous. I’m not envious of your snow though.

  2. October 12, 2011 8:17 am

    How amazingly beautiful!

  3. October 12, 2011 8:26 am

    Do I even want to know what Dan is carrying in those buckets? And I’m drooling over all that basil.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 12, 2011 1:51 pm

      Good point, Stacia. Mostly firewood, but since you (didn’t) ask, there is a dead, semi-frozen backyard chicken to give to the forest creatures.

  4. October 12, 2011 8:48 am

    your basil is lovely! mine smelled so badly like cat spray that it made me think that perhaps a cat sprayed it. and yes it had. super sleuth here. made me mad and tried to wash it but it was woody enough, and the whole family was hissing at me and my rescue attempts….ooo gross mom, that i opted out and flung it out the door. drat.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 12, 2011 1:53 pm

      Heartbreaking! Good efforts, but cat spray is pretty evil smelling.

  5. Kathy permalink
    October 12, 2011 9:04 am

    Is the spring close enough to visit via horse and buggy or wagon? Could the Durango family take this trip in 1890 in one day? I know many folks camped out back then, just for fun, too.
    oh, the brassy yellow color in full fall sun, the golden glow in the dusk, contrasted with blackened thalo green of cold pines…

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 12, 2011 1:59 pm

      Kathy, It’s almost 2 hours via car, so perhaps a full day of travel via horse and buggy.

  6. October 12, 2011 9:48 am

    Wow, how did I not know about that hot spring when I was living there! It looks amazing. I too am saying goodbye to the garden, and welcoming the glorious bittersweet change that is fall.

  7. October 12, 2011 9:52 am

    You guys! With the homeschooling primitive themes, the soup in a gourd tended by antlers, and wild hot springs you are the Swiss Family Robinson of the Southwest. I think you should make a commitment to an all family wardrobe of entirely buckskin/elkskin this year. Just go whole hog. Tell Dan he’s got some hide scraping to do!
    In other words, you are so rad.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 12, 2011 2:02 pm

      Ha! I’m trying to convince Dan to make us all some antler headgear for Halloween. I wonder how the writing class participants would feel about their teacher showing up tonight in full buckskin?

  8. ike permalink
    October 12, 2011 1:12 pm

    we miss the seasons here in California. Now it is sunny and warm with the grass turning green after early autumn rains. I tfeels like spring has come and the land is awakening after the dryness of summer. Confusing.
    Where are th ebathing suits?

  9. October 12, 2011 8:59 pm

    It IS magical- I agree! And on warm, sunny days this time of year, the sunshine itself feels magical! Oh, and I’ll need to get directions to those hot springs! (Please and thank you!)

  10. Anonymous permalink
    October 12, 2011 10:00 pm

    I am starting to contemplate the joys of hibernation-again! I love thinking about and planning for it. It of course never works but it grounds us and makes the impending cold weather and severe shortage of daylight so much easier to welcome.

  11. Milla permalink
    October 13, 2011 10:42 am

    This looks like the perfect day. What a beautiful place you live in. I miss forested hillsides in the fall…And hot springs?! I want to go to there. Amazing. This looks like the kind of family outing I hope to take some day. Have a blessed fall! (well, looks like you already do ;)

  12. October 13, 2011 12:58 pm

    that first pic of the hotspring/children/mountain is insane.

  13. October 13, 2011 1:28 pm

    For the love of all that’s holy, look at that view from the hot spring! I am nearly choking to death on my location envy right now. Ug. Also? Rose looks so butch as she’s sitting by the fire. She’s the perfect blend of pretty princess and outdoor loving girl. ahahahahah Perfection!

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 14, 2011 3:49 pm

      the butch princess? that totally works.

  14. October 13, 2011 1:50 pm

    What a wonderful life you folks live…enjoy, the kids grow up fast..

  15. October 13, 2011 5:14 pm

    Oh, yeah. We are 100% loving autumn. Also, it’s a wonderful time of year to be pregnant and nesting : )

    That hot springs pool looks blissfully deep!

  16. brigid permalink
    October 13, 2011 8:46 pm

    where is the hot spring? secret?

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 13, 2011 8:55 pm

      Maybe we can trade secret hidey-holes.

  17. October 15, 2011 3:53 pm

    We are in the midst of fall here, too, though we don’t expect snow any time soon (we did drive up to the mountains this week to experience the first autumn snows mingled with the fall colors and glowing sunshine.) After taking a break from blog following it is good for me to see what you and your fabulous family are up to.


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