Two rides took me to Bakersfield, four hundred miles south. The first was the mad one, with a burly blond kid in a souped-up rod. ‘See that toe?’ he said as he gunned the heap to eighty and passed everybody on the road. ‘Look at it.’ It was swathed in bandages. ‘I just had it amputated this morning. The bastards wanted me to stay in the hospital. I packed my bag and left. What’s a toe?’ Yes, indeed, I said to myself, look out now, and I hung on. You never saw a driving fool like that. He made Tracy in no time. Tracy is a railroad town; brakemen eat surly meals in diners by the tracks. Trains howl away across the valley. The sun goes down long and red. All the magic names of the valley unrolled – Manteca, Madera, all the rest. Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. I stuck my head out the window and took deep breaths of the fragrant air. It was the most beautiful of all moments.
My family has lost a loved one this week. It was sudden. I don’t think that anyone has quite come to the realisation just yet. I mourn for the loving spouse and children and grandchildren they left behind.
There is someone else I am very close to who has already walked this path. She knows the loss of a spouse, her child knows the loss of a father. I hope that they can offer some kind words, a bit of wisdom, or simply a hug and knowing look for they have been down this road and they know what is ahead for the ones left behind. Sometimes our most difficult of situations become our greatest blessings as they give us the hindsight to help someone else. We grow in the valleys, not the mountain tops, right?
It is in times like this that I feel we must listen to our hearts, we must do what we feel is right to help someone, to support them. Be that a loved one or a stranger. For life is so very precious and fleeting. We are the tide, we are one wave, that hopefully, slowly builds to maturity before we crash against the shore to return to the vast ocean from whence we surged forth. And, if we’re really lucky, we leave an imprint on those we’ve left behind, not to be forgotten.
Today we celebrate the first day of Fall. It felt as if we were quickly being ushered in this morning. The air was crisp, the dew looked almost frosted. As I walked to work, leaves twirled down around me from their lofty branches to softly land on the street, forming little crunchy pools of decay.
Summer fought her way back this afternoon as the sun was blazing and it was decidedly warm. But, the evening is cooling off, there’s a bite to the air. I think we’re moving into sweater weather.
So much always happens on a Monday that by the time we’ve gotten home, made dinner, did the dishes, caught up with each other, finished up the chores and sat down to relax a little, it is time to go to bed.
It has just been the two of us this weekend. We’ve cleaned the house, re-organized cupboards, went grocery shopping, watched movies, cooked, ate dinner by candlelight, worked, read and just hung out.
This weekend has had a nice easy pace to it, which is always refreshing after a week of going, going, going. This coming week brings with it early morning starts and more late school nights.
It also brings with it, slightly warmer weather, but I’m ready for Fall. I think I’m wishing it here with my cooking. Last week we made a buttermilk pumpkin cake with a vanilla cream cheese glaze as a thank you gift for a kind neighbour, the house smelled spicy and exotic.
Today, we’ve got a pork tenderloin with sauerkraut and apples slowly bubbling away, one of my Nana’s recipes that I just adore. Maybe with all this Fall cooking, the weather will truly turn!
I feel Fall-ish. Our house has touches here and there. I’m waiting to see my first piled heap of golden orange pumpkins. I’m waiting to make my first batch of butternut squash soup of the season with homemade peasant bread. I’m ready for fall apples, so that we can make this year’s batch of apple butter.
We opened the last jar of apple butter this weekend. A simple dinner which consisted of a salad with cranberries, pecans and a mustard vinaigrette and fresh ciabatta rolls with sausage, sautéed onions and a heaping mound of apple butter. A perfect balance of savoury and sweet.
The shadows are changing, the sun is different, almost whiter. It was cold and damp yesterday afternoon, so we made a pot of warm apple cider and sat on the couch listening to tunes. It was a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. We talked, worked on school things and sat blissfully in silence.
Somehow, the weekend slips through my fingers too quickly and I’m all to ready for it to come again. But you find the beauty in the everyday and you look for the little things that keep you going. That’s all we can do.
As we often use cut throughs when in London, we always discover new things. Yesterday while zigzagging around Shaftesbury Avenue, we walked by the Picture House Cinema. They are dotted around London, but this was the first one I had ever been to.
We peered through their cafe, took in the grandeur of this gorgeous old building and before we knew it, our feet were carrying us inside.
We bought tickets and walked up the stunning red tiled staircase. We peeked into the bar and then got some snacks. Popcorn and a pink striped cup of pick ‘n mix as I was in the mood for some gummy candy.
We headed toward the screens and then proceeded up two floors to get to our screen. There were carved murals on the wall depicting medieval scenes, that were just beautiful!
The theatre itself was spacious, we sat in the back on a couch seat and snuggled up to watch The Irrational Man. It was a great movie going experience and we will definitely be back!