The door is closing on autumn in Asheville. In a pure reminder of the autumn season, I’ve raked and bagged thousands of fallen oak and maple leaves over the weeks.
Our front yard maple treated us to a classic display, changing colors from the crown through the lower branches over the weeks. It now stands on winter duty – naked, stripped of leaves, it’s a bony sentry overlooking our home. I look at our maple a bit differently having just finished the novel Overstory for our neighborhood book club.
This morning, dark and chilly at 7:00 am, I emptied the final scraps from Thanksgiving into our green plastic city-issued garbage bin and set it out curbside for the normal Wednesday pickup. The 17 pound turkey – raised free range, organic, hormone free, purchased from a local farm sounded fitting for this special gathering. Indeed we maximized 5 days of leftovers. (I think we miscalculated the size we needed) This morning it was time to part ways with the final scraps! I have to admit, as Thanksgiving turkey experiences go, it was an exceptional bird!
So, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Another return from abroad milestone. For months we anticipated our first Thanksgiving in America. As a family, we haven’t been together for thanksgiving since 2004. In recent years, we talked about this opportunity as a benefit of returning to the US. Being together for a few days did not disappoint. Enjoying our company with good laughter, good food, and good times. We feel blessed, no doubt.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. I had no idea that this trio existed. Of course I knew of Black Friday sales though I’ve never actually faced a shopping crowd at an outlet mall on such a day. Nor did I venture out last Friday! I’ll tuck that potential experience away for a future date. Christmas decorations are starting to go up. Our Halloween pumpkin that sat on our porch for weeks is finally ready to be composted, and we’ve had a few snow flurries, a winter tease. December has arrived and more holiday landmarks await in coming weeks.
We continue to investigate, explore, and burrow into our new lives, nesting in a new home, in a new city, at a new age. Asheville has much to offer, there’s no shortage of possibilities. I’ve never been part of a book group. Now I’m in two. I can play pick up basketball multiple times a week at the Y, the hiking is awesome, the city is friendly, etc etc
We feel lucky. Almost every day Rhona and I fall back on the reminder “What a beautiful and unique day, I’ve never seen this one before”. I really like that expression and that reminder. By the way, that was my 4th piece of advice to the Grade 12 students at last May’s HS graduation. These were my nuggets of advice:
- Buy duct tape – essential and useful in adulthood
- Build a diverse toolbox – If you only have a hammer, you treat everything as a nail.
- Don’t water the rocks – don’t waste time on trying to nurture growth in others when it’s obviously a waste of time!
- Appreciate the grace and beauty of each day. “What a beautiful day, I’ve never seen this one before”.
Anyway, more later…..I look forward to hearing from folks. AND…..we’ve had so many wonderful visitors already!!!