Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Leafs Me Happy

Let me know if you read the Gospels with us. I have some Thanksgiving books to give away today. 

We're not done with John yet. Tomorrow I'll have the new homework.

I try to like summer but....well, I just don't. The swimming, the fireflies, the popsicles, the ice kids love it all. Daddy, too.

I love their exuberance about summer, and so in that regard I've made peace with my least favorite season. Although, this last summer the usual weather pattern went haywire. None of us liked the new menu.

The September rain behind us (that wasn't usual either), it's now beautiful. It's my time. I'm in love with the color, the temperatures, the food, the activities.

Even when I'm very old, I'll venture to a farm to pick apples and pumpkins in October. No matter my condition. It's that special to me. Fall makes me feel all warm and happy inside and missing even a minute of the fun just won't do.

I think I'll bake apple or pumpkin pie every day for the rest of October. (With frozen pie crust most of the time, probably).

Peter also loves fall and he's going to ask for a pie every. single. day. I know that boy. Yesterday we made crumb apple (rich in cinnamon, my favorite) and today he pined for pumpkin. He's my partner in fall crime.

Bless his leaf-lovin' soul.

What do you love about fall?

We had an eighty + degree day for our fall outing. Not exactly cozy, but hey, it hasn't rained for several days now. And the sky? A rare thing of beauty for Ohioans. All blue and magnificent.

The following poems and notes were found here.

October's Bright Blue Weather 

by Helen Hunt Jackson
O sun and skies and clouds of June
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fringes tight,
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks
In idle, golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunt
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers hour by hour
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.


Helen Hunt Jackson (1831-1885) was an American poet and novelist. She was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father was a professor in Amherst College, but she spent much of her life in California. She married a banker in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she lived for a few years. Her poems are very beautiful, and "September" and "October's Bright Blue Weather" are especially good pictures of these autumn months.

The Huskers

by John Greenleaf Whittier
It was late in mild October, and the long autumnal rain
Had left the summer harvest-fields all green with grass again;
The first sharp frosts had fallen, leaving all the woodlands gay
With the hues of summer's rainbow or the meadow flowers of May.

Through a thin, dry mist, that morning, the sun rose broad and red;
At first a rayless disk of fire, he brightened as he sped;
Yet even his noontide glory fell chastened and subdued
On the cornfields and the orchards and softly pictured wood.

And all that quiet afternoon, slow sloping to the night,
He wove with golden shuttle the haze with yellow light;
Slanting through the tented beeches, he glorified the hill;
And, beneath it, pond and meadow lay brighter, greener still.

And shouting boys in woodland haunts caught glimpses of that sky,
Flecked by the many-tinted leaves, and laughed, they knew not why;
And schoolgirls, gay with aster-flowers, beside the meadow brooks,
Mingled the glow of autumn with the sunshine of sweet looks.

From spire and barn looked westerly the patient weathercocks;
But even the birches on the hill stood motionless as rocks.
No sound was in the woodlands save the squirrel's dropping shell,
And the yellow leaves among the boughs, low rustling as they fell.

The summer grains were harvested; the stubble-fields lay dry,
Where June winds rolled, in light and shade, the pale green waves of rye;
But still, on gentle hill-slopes, in valleys fringed with wood,
ungathered, bleaching in the sun, the heavy corn crop stood.

Bent low by autumn's wind and rain, through husks that, dry and sear,
Unfolded from their ripened charge, shone out the yellow ear;
Beneath, the turnip lay concealed in many a verdant fold,
And glistened in the slanting light the pumpkin's sphere of gold.

There wrought the busy harvester, and many a creaking wain
Bore slowly to the long barn-floor its load of husk and grain;
Till broad and red, as when he rose, the sun sank down at last,
And like a merry guest's farewell the day in brightness passed.

And lo! as through the western pines, on meadow, stream, and pond, 
Flamed the red radiance of a sky set all afire beyond, 
Slowly o'er the eastern sea-bluffs a milder glory shone, 
And the sunset and the moonrise were mingled into one!

As thus into the quiet night the twilight lapsed away,
And deeper in the brightening moon the tranquil shadows lay,
From many a brown old farmhouse and hamlet without name,
Their milking and their home-tasks done, the merry huskers came.

Swung o'er the heaped-up harvest, from pitchforks in the mow,
Shone dimly down the lanterns on the pleasant scene below,
The glowing pile of husks behind, the golden ears before,
And laughing eyes and busy hands and brown cheeks glimmering o'er.

Half hidden in a quiet nook, serene of look and heart,
Talking their old times over, the old men sat apart;
While up and down the unhusked pile, or nestling in its shade,
At hide-and-seek, with laugh and shout, the happy children played.

Urged by the good host's daughter, a maiden young and fair,
Lifting to light her sweet blue eyes and pride of soft brown hair,
The master of the village school, sleek of hair and smooth of tongue,
To the quaint tune of some old psalm, a husking-ballad sung.

About the Author
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was born near the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, not far from Hawthorne's birthplace. He had very little opportunity for education beyond what the district school afforded, for his parents were too poor to send him away to school. His two years' attendance at Haverhill Academy was paid for by his own work at making ladies' slippers for twenty-five cents a pair. He began writing verses almost as soon as he learned to write at all, but his father discouraged this ambition as frivolous, saying it would never give him bread. His family were Quakers, sturdy of stature as of character. He is called "The Quaker Poet."

Whittier led the life of a New England farm boy, used to hard work and few pleasures. His library consisted of practically one book, the family Bible. Later, a copy of Burns's poems was loaned to him by the district schoolmaster. Like Burns he had great sympathy with the humble and the poor. In his poems. Whittier described the scenes and told the legends of his own locality. Home Ballads and Songs of Labor, in which "The Huskers" and "The Corn-Song" appear, are among his most widely read books. They picture country life and the scenes of the simple occupations common in his part of the country. Whittier was intensely patriotic and religious by nature. His happiness lay in his association with his friends, with children, animals, and the outdoor world.

In these respects he was like Bryant, a man who found pleasure in simple things. Like Bryant, also, he was interested in public affairs. Any injustice to the poor he opposed passionately. He wrote many poems in protest against slavery. He wrote, also, ballads of early New England history, and some of our most beautiful religious poetry comes from his pen. His life was less filled with business cares than that of Bryant, but it was equally full of interests that made him happy and source of help and joy to others.

1 comment:

Margie said...

We have enjoyed the sun as well! Also, we have enjoyed a bit of drying of the football fields. I was hoping the weather would hold one more weekend, but alas we have rain once more. I love summer, but have come to appreciate all things fall. Particularly apples and pumpkins! Have a blessed day!