Another Stolen Day

September 24, 2008 by Ellen Stimson in Autumn, Living With Intention, Mothering

Monday was officially the first day of autumn and by golly I had to put on a sweater in the morning. The temperatures and the calendar were a perfect match. It’s been about 40 degrees here every morning this week and then by mid afternoon we work our way back around to clear sunshine and the sweater is too much which is why there are jackets aplenty already in the lost and found at the school. Hoodies when they get out of the car and t shirts when they get back in. By early evening there is the cheery smell of woodsmoke curling around the village. Yesterday I found every kind of ball laying around various parts of the yard and rolled up the hose for what will surely be the last time.

Nobody has told the tomatoes yet though and so I will need to make up a batch of warm German potato salad to hearty up the BLTs made with fresh basil and fat juicy tomatoes that just won’t quit. I made a big pot of sauce today and dozens of those tomatoes will be in steaming plates of spinach lasagna tonight which tricks the summer flavors into something with a little more autumn substance.

The sunshine is yellow and fine and it dances off the colorful leaves bathing our house in the warm earthy colors of fall. I played the pumpkin gypsy game today and now the porches are happy little still lifes with tall corn stalks and Cinderella pumpkins grinning at everybody who comes up the lane. I like those round storybook pumpkins in deepest orange. And I love it when they have their stems. The look like little characters wearing hats, and you just figure that they must be up to something like maybe they somehow manage to sing songs around the fire while we are asleep.

I had a client meeting yesterday just an hour or so away from Mt Holyoke where our daughter is a sophomore. She has no classes on Tuesday afternoon so I ran over there and we had lunch and lingered, laughing, not wanting to say goodbye. So we didn’t. I spent the night and saw Citizen Kane with her at her film class last night. Then we snuggled up in that dorm sized twin bed keeping warm and wide awake, but glad for the extra time all the same. Then today was Mountain Day and classes were cancelled so the girls could climb Mt Holyoke and sign the famous book that woman have been signing for some two hundred years. Emily Dickinson signed that old book and last year my girl did too. So this year she grabbed the day off and we had manicures and went pumpkin shopping instead.

Tonight she will sleep in her own bed and we will have snatched this stolen day amid the dancing leaves. Our son has found an apartment and wants to finish his senior year there. We’ll all five talk about it at dinner and probably start raiding the attic looking for furniture before bed. But first we will build a fire, roast popcorn, watch some movies and feel that happy sense of having gotten away with something. She got the free day. And me, I got another one with all of them. This is as good as it gets…


  • library lady

    Yesterday when I left work, my windshield was covered in tiny little yellow leaves that swirled up and all around when I sped out of the parking lot. (I left in such a hurry that I forgot my glasses on my desk and had to scrounge up an outdated pair out of my glove compartment.) I can’t figure out when the tree I park under turned gold–I swear it was green when I parked yesterday morning! I must say that you know how to capture a moment and get the most out of it!

  • katiedid

    Oh Library Lady you said it. What I love about these essays and the reason I come back again and again is to see you take an ordinary moment and turn it into something special. Your essays are little reminders like the morning Bible verses when I was little only without the accompanying dogma…lovely

  • catarina

    Do you actually roast the popcorn? That sounds so much nicer than microwaving it…

  • laurwilk

    I need a day like this. I may talk the boyfriend into playing hookey to enjoy the city!

  • painted maypole

    love it!

  • TheCynicalOptimist

    I don’t know what’s more impressive- climbing a mountain and signing the same book Emily Dickinson signed… or sleeping two grown adults in a twin bed???

  • Mighty Morphin' Mama

    Gosh, what a lovely day, you do capture it stunningly. And I am always hungry after I visit, yum!

    Thanks so much for coming by. My baby boy is just amazing, eating and sleeping so nicely already. Adored and cuddled within and inch of his life daily.
    take care,

  • Molls

    I love the fall. I love the clothes the color of the leaves, and the temp. I even love back to school. But then I am a student so it holds the promise of possibility and not the woes of parenting.

  • nellie

    My daughter is thirteen. I am aiming for a girl who will want me to snuggle up close when she is in college. What a wonderful gift your relationship with your kids is. I love that you share it with all of us.
    And you share it so beautifully too

  • Kate

    I don’t think I ever would have let my mother spend the night with me in college, much less did something fun and trendy with her. You have an amazing relationship with your children.

  • Anonymous

    I love the relationships in your family too. It isn’t that there are never problems, you write about those too, but it is rather that you seem mainly to focus on the best bits. Your house sounds so warm and smart and filled with love.
    I think it is what we focus on that becomes the story. I look for the good too and mainly I find it. Now if I could just find a decent boyfriend I’d be all set.

  • jamie

    Your relationship with your daughter sounds so amazing. What a gift you both have there.

    Sounds like a great break mid-week and sounds like a great weekend up ahead.

    Any other good books I should read?

  • Tranny Head

    You really must have an amazing relationship with that daughter. If my poor mother had proposed sleeping in a twin bed with me I’d have thought she was drunk! You’ve obviously done something right with her!

  • TheCynicalOptimist

    Oh man, you are making me fell inadequate. I need to get some pumpkins out!

  • Kellan

    This sounds so wonderful – loved the vision of you curled up with your daughter in that twin bed.

    Take care and have a good week – Kellan

  • Jennifer

    I dream of days like that when my daughter is grown. How wonderful!

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