Some writers complain that they need to scrounge for ideas for their next project. I often struggle with the opposite problem...a brain that won't turn off.
Here are just a few of the people and events that fed my muse last week:
1. The Gently Used Clothing Sale at Church--While sorting and folding clothes last week in preparation for the sale, I couldn't help but wonder about the stories behind each item. Who wore the red patent leather shoes? Who owned the faux fur vintage swing coat? And what's the story behind the pioneer dress with matching bonnet? The dress was a lovely pink rose print, fitted to the waist, and trimmed in lace. Who used the dress before it found its way to our sale? Did the donor realize a gold pin encrusted with crystals still graced the collar? And what about the funky gold frog earrings with emerald eyes? Who donated those? Did they signify something special to the owner? Or did they languish in someone's jewelry box, treasured, but never worn?
2. Pumpkin Fest--P, the girls and I attended this free annual event Saturday. Festival goers received free pumpkins, face painting, entry into kids carnival type games (including pumpkin buckets), hot dogs, popcorn and more. With the sun shining, the trees turning and the leaves crispy beneath our feet, the day was a perfect reminder of why fall is my favorite time of year.
3. Fall Gardening--I trimmed and covered the last of my rose bushes last week. The bush was a late addition to the garden outside my kitchen door. Thanks to a couple of warm days over the last few weeks, I managed to coax five more roses out of the plant before the weather turned too cold. The buds are on my dining room table, displayed in a squat white bud vase hand-painted with pansies and trimmed in gold. One of the buds has opened. With any luck the others will, too.
4. Late Season Tomato Harvest--Since E and I are big cherry tomato fans, we grew them this year in containers outside our front door. Saturday, E and I harvested the last of our crop. Siamese tomatoes. E did the honors, prying the two apart and sharing one with me. Nothing beats the taste of a homegrown tomato. Yum.
5. Wiffle Ball--Played wiffle ball with my youngest S, cringing each time she wacked the wiffle ball my way. Did you ever get hit by a wiffle ball? Y-ouch! But I was willing to take it if only to hear her belly laugh each time I ducked.
6. Painting--Late Saturday afternoon, I set up the dining room table with paints so E and S could decorate the pumpkins they picked at the pumpkin fest. After decking out her pumpkin, S stayed at the table for an hour or more painting one picture after another. Our kitchen door is now a gallery dedicated to S.
7. Three-Alarm Chili--I made a big pot of chili for Sunday's Haunted House set-up at church. Yes, our church does a haunted house. Cool, huh? Anyway, the youth group sets up the entire thing in less than a week's time, transforming all three floors of the education building into a tour that gives me the heebie-jeebies when I walk through it. My younger two girls have yet to make it through the entire thing, even during one of the lights-on tours. But this fact doesn't seem to bother them. They're content to help with the free face painting we offer patrons waiting in line on the first floor. The doors open Friday. Wahahaha.
8. Camper--This weekend we packed up the pop up for the winter, returning it to its resting spot beneath the red maple tree. Feels so good that we actually used it this year. Gives me hope we'll double our outings next year. Camping out under the stars with no phones, TV's or computers did us all good.