October in Review

When I think of October, I think of brilliant blue skies, mountains ablaze in warm colors, and sunny daytime sandwiched between cool mornings and evenings.  This year, we had a few days like that; but we also had our fair share of rainy, cool days.  We did not have any deep frosts, so the leaves did not change as suddenly and brilliantly as some years.  Even so, the beauty of God’s creation was evident through out this month.

View of the mountain from across the street
View of the mountain from across the street
Mountain aglow with color
Mountain aglow with color
View of the creek behind our house
View of the creek behind our house

October also brings harvest festivals, sweaters, and pumpkins.  There are two festivals we usually attend.  One event features a number of traditional craft demonstrations including basket weaving, corn husk doll and flower making, broom making, bowl making, and scroll-saw wood crafting.  I always enjoy taking a walk through the quilt room, but I was pleasantly surprised that the children were looking forward to seeing the quilt display as well.  Being a cold and windy day, we did not stay long; but we ended our time there by purchasing some locally pressed apple cider.  Yum!  The other festival we attended is geared more toward the children.  They has a great time playing games, going for a hay ride and a barrel train ride, choosing a pumpkin, winning sweets at the cake walk, and eating cotton candy, popcorn, and caramel apple slices.  The day was cool and cloudy.  Are you noticing a theme in the weather?  We definitely needed the sweaters this month, although there were some very nice warm days too.  The children enjoyed decorating and carving their pumpkins with the help of Dad and Mom.  They all had unique ideas which included a carved bat, a scary Lego guy face, an apple crook inside a pumpkin jail, and a pumpkin girl reading a library book.  Today, I am cooking off two kettles of pumpkins.  I will freeze the pulp for later use in muffins and bars.

blog pics 295
Maple leaves
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More maple leaves
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Still more maple leaves!
Weeds gone to seed
Weeds gone to seed
Asters
Asters
Berries and seed pds
Berries and seed pods
Berries
Berries

October is also the month of our wedding anniversary.  We were happy to celebrate fifteen years of marriage.  We are grateful for the Lord’s guidance, provision, and blessing through the years.

Fir tree laden with cones (It is hard to tell from the picture, but this tree was heavy with cones.)
Spruce tree laden with cones (It is hard to tell from the picture, but this tree was heavy with cones.)
Fir cones
Spruce cones

And then there is Halloween.  I confess that I have mixed feelings about the day.  When I was growing up, we did not celebrate it much; and the origins of the day leave a lot to be desired.  But the children love to plan their costumes, and the lure of candy is strong.  We have accommodated by attending our public library’s party where they keep things bright and fun with games, Charlie Brown, and a pumpkin contest.  We also set up a station at our church’s Trunk or Treat; although this year, due to rain and cold, the event was held inside, so no trunks were involved!  I like what I read on a Facebook post today.  It went something like this: why should we as Christians hide in our homes on a day that celebrates darkness?  We are called to be a light in a dark world.  There is no other day in the year where the neighborhood comes to your door.  So why not share God’s love and kindness with them?  In our experience at Trunk or Treat, a good portion of the neighborhood comes out; and many would not normally come inside our church.  Hopefully, they got a glimpse of God’s love and kindness through us.

Here's our Ninja, Hawaiian girl, karate guy, and race car driver
Here’s our Ninja, Hawaiian girl, karate guy, and race car driver

To close out this review, I will share a garden note.  I am amazed at the pole beans I planted around the house.  They began to bear in July, and I picked the last of the harvest on October 30.  Having never successfully grown pole beans before this year, I am not sure if that length of growing season is normal for them or if this was an unusual year.  Some of the vines still contained blossoms and small beans.  However, having awakened today on the first of November to three or four inches of snow, there will be no more fresh beans until summer!

Our house from Main Street
Our house from Main Street
Up the back alley
Up the back alley
Building a snow fort
Building a snow fort
Snow on the dogwood tree
Snow on the dogwood tree
Snow on an oak tree
Snow on an oak tree
Snow on  maple leaves
Snow on maple leaves
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