unexpected harvests

My sister and brother-in-law were laughing when they arrived for dinner last night. They had just encountered—again—the very young sister and brother who recently became their next-door neighbors. Over the course of several days, the dynamic duo has moved a mountain of butterscotch leaves from Marilyn and Bob’s front yard onto their own, but not before (a) asking politely, (b) returning to announce their anticipated completion time, (c) returning, again, to say it was bedtime and they’d finish tomorrow, (d)….you see the sequence.

What makes this extended conversation so fun is that, 30-plus years ago, it was Marilyn and Bob’s little boy who made the same leaf-harvesting request of their former neighbors. He built gigantoriffic jumping mounds, into which he and his sister [wrapped tightly in a blanket to avoid excessive dirty-leaf contact 😉 ] sailed and surfed. Now both have leaf-leaping kids of their own.

Fall treasures. Full circle.

I recently reveled in my own unexpected harvest of next-generation grace through Al’s now-in-Denver grandkids. (Welcome, Rosemary…it is so great to have you here!) The two–with some help from their dad Jeff–picked boxes of ripe apples from Al’s backyard orchard for pressing at early-October’s Lakewoods Apple Festival. The annual event is held at the wonderful heritage center where a century-old farmhouse, smokehouse, barns, school house and sundry other buildings have been gathered to give 21st century residents a glimpse into the past and a place to host summer concerts, holiday gatherings and more. We’ve attended this festival several years, but never with the same enthusiasm that this year’s crop-to-container apple pressing brought. About three gallons, I think, with everyone happy except, maybe, the dogs who miss their endless supply of faux tennis balls.

Wherever you are this October weekend, I hope at least one expected harvest appears on your doorstep.

~Carla. 10.8.11

Photo: Rowan, Rosemary and a clearly ambivalent Kayti

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