As I often do, I was checking out various blogs today. Often I come across incredibly insightful and thoughtful posts. Today I came across one and the writer was musing over her fall highlights and she did it in a top ten list format. I'm thinking - I haven't really written much beyond Thankful Thursdays lately so... why not. Don't expect brilliance and insight, though. I'm not awake enough for that... I will say, though, that this fall is one where I feel incredibly "present" in my life. I don't know what is different this year but fall seems brighter, more vibrant - as if I hadn't really been paying attention during any other fall. It is a bit disconcerting because it is so different but it's been amazing, too, in all of the things I realize I'm actually experiencing.
So... I'll stop waxing nostalgic and write my list:
My top ten list for Fall 2008:
1. New table and hutch for the dining room. Buying furniture right now, when times are so tough, was an incredibly difficult decision to make. A few things motivated us, though, to step out and make the investment. One, our former dining room table & hutch had been purchased in 1985. I bought it with my first husband, a gift from my former in-laws. It has seen a lot of meals served, parties enjoyed and simply life and it will be missed. It served me well for an incredibly long time. However - the hutch, when we assembled it in this house, was leaning a bit and it was starting to look a bit precarious, the table legs weren't actually secure and I was waiting for the table to collapse on us at dinner one night and honestly? My husband hated the set. He tolerated it because he thought I loved it. I didn't say anything because of the money issue. *sigh* Such communication...
2. Watching my two sons & oldest son's girlfriend carve pumpkins and spend a "fall day" together. Pumpkin patches and carving have been a bit of a "thing of the past" for me since I no longer decorate for Halloween but we did do that this year. I love any moment I get with both of my sons together, my oldest is an awesome big brother and the little one definitely adores the older. Every time I talk to them, see them or even just think about them I thank God for the amazing, awesome blessings He gave me with them. I am so proud of who they are and who they continue to grow into being.
3. A clean garage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My awesome, amazing, wonderful, bestest ever husband finished it last night. He stayed up until 2AM to get it DONE. It is BEAUTIFUL!!! Now I have to pray it stays that way... Actually, I hope to get it cleaner. Now that we can find everything and it's organized, we can start cleaning it OUT! We definitely own too much stuff. Part of the "crowding" is son #1's stuff being stored until he gets his own place but we still have too much stuff! Being able to find it, though, so we can figure out what to get rid of, is the BEST.
4. Fall colors. I don't know if this is an exception to the rule type of year but I do not recall ever seeing so many trees with so much vibrant color hang on for so long out here. I'm from the east coast so fall leaves, changing colors, etc. are something I've seen a time or two. When I moved to Washington, though, one of the things I have always remarked upon and been amazed about is just how fast the leaves completely fall off of the trees out here. If you see a tree and blink, you have missed it turning and it was most often red. Not this year, though. Reds, oranges, yellows, golds...such rich, incredible color in the leaves and they stuck around. Weeks upon weeks of color. Everywhere. I took what feels like a bazillion pictures because I don't know if this will ever happen again in my lifetime and I wanted the memory to last.
5. Two trips to Oregon! Usually I consider myself fortunate if I make it to Memorial Day weekend and then Thanksgiving. This year, though, I managed to make it down there twice between the two holidays. What a fun trip it is, too. I love watching my young one play with his cousins and often their friends. They run, laugh, yell, pull wagons, build birdhouses, play Monopoly... all of those things kids are supposed to do together and then they have their "sleepover" and start all over again. If only I could go down there once a month! It's such an easy get-away and I absolutely love spending time with my brother and his family.
6. Mission devotions. I know - they aren't just the fall but the fall brought about the necessary change. It was a great partnership, too, with the women and it was nice to work with them in the right way to bring about that change. We'll see how it pans out from here - I've gone from doing them every Sunday in the morning to twice a month in the evening. The women aren't super-thrilled with my new schedule, I'm not there enough they say but we're committed to one another so we've put it in God's hands and we'll see what He chooses to do. That is a highlight, though - those women have made me feel so loved, so wanted, so cherished I almost cry at it. They are such beautiful hearts and I am truly blessed to have them in my life. Even the tough ones.
7. Surgery. It was not something I would have volunteered for but since the problem arose and the answer was there, it needed doing. Once it was done, all I can say is Thank You, Lord! It has been the BEST decision ever made.
8. Our jobs. My husband was given a raise and I am in new office space. It is busy but good.
9. The election. Yes, the election. It drives me crazy to watch all of the mud-slinging. I do truly wish that political advertising would be outlawed. No TV commercials. No radio spots. No computerized phone calls. You want to tell me why I should vote for you? Send it to me in a pamphlet. Tell me your strengths, your beliefs. Apply for the job - don't try to distract me by telling me why your opponent is bad for the job - tell me why YOU are good for it! Wait...I digress. I am still incredibly thrilled about the entire election process. I am absolutely humbled that God allows me to live in a place where I can speak what is on my mind, from big things to small things. We are so incredibly blessed in this country and we really have no idea. Being able to cast my vote reminds me of that in bullhorn-level sound.
10. My Christmas shopping is almost done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What could be better than that?
So - there you have it. My fall highlights in a top 10 format. They aren't in any particular order so if I had to pick my top highlight it would be the day the older son & his girlfriend took the younger one to the pumpkin farm and then came home to carve pumpkins. It was such an incredibly fun day, the weather was gorgeous and we were all just relaxed and enjoying each other's company. If my husband had been there, it would have been a perfect day.
What are your highlights from fall this year?