Turquoise Autumn

November 9, 2009

autumnThe startling turquoise of the sky behind russet and golden leaves made me think of my mother the moment I opened my eyes this morning.

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Mom has been gone for over a decade but the colours of autumn always bring the best of memories.  These colours were of the favorite dress I ever had.  She sewed the dresses like crazy to be done for holiday, one for her, one for me, one for my sister.  The material was crisp, medium plaid with azure and turquoise running with rust, bark, golds, maple, wheat colours.  I think she thought that plaid the loveliest material ever too.

Autumn means to me, Mom at her finest.  She was a vivacious, wild card, yet Martha Stewart-type.  A wild card, period.  Ask the family.  But she was down-to-earth.  The farmer heritage ran through-and-through.

She never stopped harvesting.  Rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, grapes.  The vegetable garden, her gardens.  I think an acre with everything consolidated.thruautumn

The best ever, I think, was Mom stealing walnuts from the farmer.  Well, the tree did stand by the road.  The walnuts did fall in the middle of the road.  They did stay there for days on end after they fell.

But every year we stole them.  She rushed in with the back of the car right by those walnuts.  Hurry Hurry.  Out we would jump, us two girls, sometimes our cousins or a friend.  We would throw the walnuts into a box in the trunk and she sped us away.  Us innocent children fearing arrest.

Did I say she was a wild card?  She was a light.  In those moments, she was a light.

Every year we dumped walnuts from the farmer’s tree on our driveway.  She would drive over and over them, crushing off the shells.  Then she wore gloves as she cracked them with a hammer and brick, and we dug the walnut meats out with darning needles.  Glass jars of walnuts were on our shelf all winter.

You know what that meant.  The first batch was chocolate walnut fudge and buttered popcorn.  The beginning of the holiday spree.   Like I said, a wild Martha Stewart, never-ending of baking and decorating.  Those were Mom’s good days.

Rake and pumpkins laying on wine barrelTurquoise autumn sky.  Dad hauling huge pumpkins to the front yard that she had milk-fed.  Time to deal with the chickens before winter.  Pruning grapes, digging bulbs.  She could wear long sleeves again, she hated short sleeves anyway.  The last chance to get out and see some friends before winter snows kept her in the county.

But mostly, it was all about that dress.

Essa Adams

Essayist, writer, novelist.

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A Breath Floats By: An Illusion for the Soul

Mature women in women's fiction.

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If you read Gracie – the Fake Christmas Ladybug last December, you may wonder what happened to her now that she would becoming out of hibernation.  Well, Gracie, it seems, dehydrated while in the tissue-lined envelope in my desk drawer.  I don’t know what those fake lady bugs drink whey are stuck in the wall sleeping all winter, but they must depend on some sustenance.

I don’t mean to sound callous, though I know I do.  But I tried to save her.  I nearly ruined my marriage saving her.  The duct tape is still there to remind me.  And yes, the plastic film is still on all these windows.  Here where we live the plastic is needed to break the freezing wind gusts from the lake until the end of April.  We do uncover some key windows for listening to spring bids in the garden and letting a breeze through the house on warmer days.

And yes, there are many of Gracie’s little sisters trapped in the plastic, some died already.  I feel terrible, really I do.  But if there were any real lady bugs in there – the kind with only five or less spots, I would get them out and take them to a brush pile in the garden, really I would.

Gracie’s story link is on the right menu if you are inclined to know the whole terrible scene.

Omg – I love when the muse is rockin’ when i wake up in the morning and i have to kick it all out before i get to do anything at all. Especially after only three hours sleep. Loosens me up.

This is an original post for my women’s fiction short stories and essays blog – a blog that includes the lies we are told as women in the American culture, for the most part. But I have readers worldwide, so you tell me, do you get the same cruppie as we?toadstool1

You know the cruppie lies and misconceptions where we feel like we are gorgeous peaches then find out we are considered toadstools, poisonous mushrooms, somehow defective.

Did you hear the one about the peaches and oranges? I love Paulo Coelho’s mind and heart. He has many parables on his Amazon blog. See his book page for The Alchemist, scroll down to the blog.

Anyway, he told the one about the lovely fruit.

raspberries-ripe-fruitAn old man sold fruit on the side of the road, beautiful expensive fruit that he praised. He made a fine living enjoying selling peaches and oranges to travelers.

His educated son came from the city and said, father, don’t you realize times are tough and people cannot buy this expensive fruit now. The man was not able to read, so no, he had not known the economy was down. I guess no one was complaining.

He bought cheaper fruit, reduced his prices and promotional efforts, didn’t feel he could praise the new fruit. Times got tough for him too.

Ladies, I’ve got to bring it on home.

Did you hear the one about the plush girl who just reached puberty?  A budding young woman with clouds of curls, clear blue eyes, and sun-kissed cameo skin, treasuring a figure she moved gracefully.

She was fourteen years old and lived in the country. Her parents, grandparents, great-grandparents were all plush, soft people who worked hard on their hobby farm with organic gardens. plush girl farmShe sold fruit and vegetables to their community. They treasured their free time, went biking, canoeing, and played backgammon instead of owning a television. Seldom went to the city, then only museums or to visit plush city cousins. A saving grace… an American woodworking journal was their main magazine.

The plush girl’s cousin was one year younger. She visited every summer. This visit the cousin brought a one year subscription of an American teenager magazine. Three magazines from her friend’s older sister’s pile. And a magazine from the friend’s mother’s women issues collection.

They spent two weeks reading at bedtime – weight, body image, self acceptance, diet, food choices, health. Stop eating that junk or you will die of high cholesterol and diabetes, you must eat this and be thin to be safe from fat diseases. Fear-factors in health and mental disorders if one did not have self acceptance. Frizzy hair? Tame those curls. Are your legs too knobby or too fat – if so here is how to dress. Do you think your nose is too big, it’s never too big, love yourself. Do you worry you are different from other teens – just love yourself and embrace their differences too and if you are fat take the obesity challenge together and you will all be so much happier. Will he like you even when you look like that – if not here is how to convince him. If he does not like you don’t waste the cute just be the best you can and be yourself and be sure to be thin and move on. The ultimate question. The pretty, slender girl’s photograph over the hornet-target, confidence-zinger, self-doubt-builder caption, “Do you think you are fat?”

toadstool1And the plush girl wilted.

We know the ropes.

But I cannot in fair conscience leave the plush girl wilted.

After all, we have naïve young women in their teens reading this blog about the lies we are told. We must tell them the truth. Help me out with other scenarios. Your comments are safe, I moderate all comments on my blogs so the haters and fearful ones cannot sting you.

Scenario #1 Plush girl turned skinny/plush/skinny/extraplush/ almost skinny/extraextraplush as a woman. Struggled, fought, kicked, cried and screamed her self-hatred all the way up to three hundred pounds in every effort to chisel svelte from her plush body. Then she got mad. Quit dieting. Embraced her normal food desires, normal exercise of canoeing and biking, gardening and walking. She ended up at an extra-plush two hundred twenty-five pound. The extra fifty pounds she carried now are because she dieted, so it is pretty much a given that her metabolism is screwed for a few more years at least. Oh, and she gave birth to three lovely children so that usually changes everything, except for some women with those-kind-of-genes who remain svelte after birthing their third child twenty-two years ago.

Scenario #2 Someone told her that she was lovelier to them than any of the slender girls in the magazines. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She bought it and lived happily ever after.

Scenario #3 Plush lush girl had the stamina of an ox and verve of a warrior goddess. She woke up the next morning with resolve that she would not allow these freaking insane publishers and writers change her life. She looked in the mirror and could see her nose was a little big, it matched her plush face just fine. Her knees were a little cushiony but they held up her lush body and made for sturdy walking and ladder climbing. bbw-bicyclingShe could dance the rump off a cow, canoe a wild river, bike up a mountain. Her frizzy hair, when spirited with H2O, regrouped into the halo of curls framing her round shoulders to give her the beauty and balance every portrait artist dreams they will paint.plush-girl-peachHer bosom was ripe like the fruit in the orchard… she read that somewhere in one of her plush great-grandfather’s poetry books.

Plush lush girl exhaled. Then she smiled at the truth in the mirror.

MIRRORS

From Paulo Coelho’s Blog: “Mirrors are the attribute of vanity, and represent the narcissistic solitude of the vain. On the other hand, they can also represent the knowledge of oneself, the truth of oneself.”

“Paulo Coelho is a firm believer of Internet as a new media and is the first Best-selling author to actively support online free distribution. See http://piratecoelho.wordpress.com .”

Essa Adams at Women’s Fiction Blog https://essaadams.wordpress.com supports the use of copy from this blog, just link it back to the blog. I am not a bestseller yet, need all the friends and link support you will give. Appreciated! Peace to you and yours.

bbw girl books300 Free Novels — Show me the connection and I will send you a free ebook, A Breath Floats By. Author Thayne Hudson. I am giving way 300 each month in 2009 to anyone who connects this blog to a promotional source like their Facebook, twitter, del.icio.us, myspace, RSS my Amazon.com blog to somewhere out there, and more. Go for it. Then show me where by using a comment. I moderate comments and remove the link so you stay anonymous. Want a free ebook? Link away.

icedThis morning our area of the world was encased in ice. Hubby was still in bed.

I promised myself I was going right back to bed. After I fed the birds and squirrels. Birders are a die hard lot.

But first I needed to make a path with the ice melting stuff which we call rock salt even though it is no longer really salt.

I go to the mudroom leading outside.

Birdseed and corn. No rock salt.

Another story altogether.

One would have to live in this house for twenty-eight years with this man to understand why it is another story. Promise, it is.

So I get a bucket of wild birdseed and don my clogs. I figure I will stand outside the back door and throw seeds in all directions. I won’t walk anywhere. Don’t want to fall. If I did fall, the problem would be I would not have my cell phone to call for help if I broke something. And the reason I would not have my cell if I were broken-hipped on the drive, besides it being inside the house, is this. I don’t have any special place to put my cell phone.

No, not completely naked in an ice storm. I have on clogs. And a sleep hoodie. Grey. Comes to well above the knees. I’m not going anywhere after all, being there’s ice everywhere.

A woman actually dressed for bird watching and wild bird feeding. Then there was me.

But I take a step and my clog sinks a bit into the crusted icy slush.

There is traction.

So I venture forth into the dawn wearing a grey hoodie that goes to there – and we know where there ends, don’t we? And clogs.

Really, my hair concerns me more. I could pull the hoodie up.

The winter world I live in is a fishbowl of sorts. Being at a rather eclectic lake community where summer people are seldom around, even at the Christmas holidays, there is privacy I appreciate. A stillness of the lake where geese voices trail through the grey dawn as pattering slush settles about me and on me. Bringing me back to my wild bird feeding.

I feed them on the table by my office windows. I feed them on the birdfeeder along the fence. I feed them on the ladder feeder outside the dining window. I feed them at the bench next to the sleeping porch.

If… no, not if… when. When someone drove by, I did not notice them. I was crunching into the slush very carefully. One foot in front of the other. Remembering the time I crushed my left knee from one false move, one moment not focusing. I was listening to the geese fuss over at the lake where they keep vigil on an open feeding area they melted.

Oooi, and I was worried about the neighbors.

The person who drove by, well, he noticed me. I know because word gets around and back within two hours. The person who drove by told the guy he stopped to talk to who told the guy who told the waitress at the corner restaurant four miles away who reassured me over my latte that everyone really did think I was feeding the birds, no matter what they were saying or how they qualified the identity of me.

‘Yes, it was her, wandering around the yard at dawn half naked… the crazy eccentric writer with the cottage full of skunks.”

But they are wrong, I mourned over my latte. At present, I only have two skunks.

What is spirituality to you?

I just read this very open-hearted question on Amazon and had to engage.spirituality is simple

I had to answer because I have been feeling a personal loss through my “the holidays are less than relevant” anxiety this year. So I remember –

For me, spirituality is when I close my eyes and I feel the warmth on my head that tells me I am being taken care of, that my path is good for me.

Spirituality, for me, is seeing clues on my journey, such as key numbers, that are a sign I am close to my purpose or path. I think there is a reason the child’s game, ‘You’re getting warmer,’ is one of the first we learn.

Spirituality is witnessing the miracles all around. May these never cease to bring us wonder. Miracles bring us closer to the Mystery of the Divine.

Spirituality is not knowing a coincidence.  It is understanding that every event in life is a tapestry.

Spirituality challenges the goodness in me to shine, and kicks my butt through conscience, in the here and now, when I am dull.

But mostly, I like the warmth that feels like radiant heat within my heart and power and laughter in my center.  Feelings that come when I am doing what makes me happiest, like writing essays to make people smile (read Gracie: The Christmas Lady bug on first post of this site – live link here).  Spirituality is the feeling of developing a lovely webpage, and birthing a novel, and holding a pet skunk against my heart, and feeding the squirrels and birds before dawn on a snowy morning. This simple spirituality feels really really good.

Essa Adams a.k.a. Thayne Hudson

A Breath Floats By: An Illusion for the Soul

spiritual fiction / visionary / paranormal realism

Skunk Medicine memoirs

Women’s Fiction Blog on WordPress

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