The Wheel of Change

As that wheel turns we’ve already passed the Autumn Equinox, that day of balance, the line before (here in the Northern Hemisphere) dark begins to outweigh light. Maban’s also a time of harvest, so what thrived in the warmth can be gathered and stored for the coming cold.

I started some of my gathering last weekend with oregano from my herb bed. It thrived pretty well for me this year, but I only clipped enough to fill three ice cube trays for now. I wanted to test chopping herbs in the single serve attachment to my Ninja blender. I have a small electric herb grinder, but it’s still sort of a PITA to use. But this! It works, and fast, and so much less mess. No green fingertips for me!

I put the chopped herbs in the trays, fill with water, top off with a little more water once it’s hardened, then break the frozen cubes out, store in a big bag. I’ll easily get at least one more big bag for use in soups and stews all fall and winter.img_1712 img_1713 img_1719

But today, I think I’ll gather in some of my basil.img_1717

I’m seeing leaves start to turn and fall, and woke to some lovely and mysterious morning fog several days last week. I hate saying goodbye to summer, but find something so appealing in the gilding of light in fall, those morning mists, the change as all that gorgeous green takes on a symphony of color.img_1714

Still, my quieting garden holds beauty.

It was also Logan Week around here, afternoons of scary (more to me than him) math homework, political discussions–the kid has definite views, ideas, and lots of questions. Conversations and current events. He’s the one who told me Jolie and Pitt broke up, as he was bored on the school bus and checked his news feed.

His news feed.

This week we also discussed the book he’s reading, The Flash, The Avengers (I liked Civil War more than he did), the Kennedy assassination. He wanted to know if I was alive when Kennedy was shot. Sweet, sweet boy! And as he had Social Studies homework, he quizzed me on states and capitals while he finished it. I didn’t do too bad there.

I had some outdoor chores and asked him to come out and give me a hand. One was poop scooping as BW and Jason and another guy pal took a week at the beach. I told Logan I wouldn’t ask him to scoop poop off the pavers, and had another chore in mind. How could I forget he’s 12? And to a 12-year-old boy, poop scooping is a fun time. I happily passed the shovel and watered the pots instead. We filled bird feeders, and he fed the dogs. Then he wanted to cut flowers for the little vase as I’d intended.

He wasn’t very impressed with the handful we brought in–until I put them in the vase. A nice lesson–you can make something really pretty out of very little.img_1715

The gang came up for dinner Friday for what’s now the traditional pasta for carb-loading, cross-country-running Kayla. But Logan tells me he’s tired of spaghetti every Friday night. Nana solves this by asking my TTP pal to bring a pizza along with the tubs of books for me to sign. So I have a happy Logan and Colt, and a happy Kayla–who has both pasta and pizza so should be fully loaded for Saturday’s meet. Go, Kayla, go!

So I listen to Logan and his politics, his varied interests, and Kayla with talk of the meet, of her friends, watch Colt play intensely on my iPad while I boil pasta. (And as he does, without even looking up, he says: I love you, Nana, so my heart softens just like the spaghetti.) I watch and listen and see yeah, the wheel turns.

My garden is ready to be harvested after the growing season. The mists roll in, the air cools, and the leaves change. Children grow and add fascinating layers.

The wheel turns whether we’re ready for it or not, and I can lose track when I’m huddled at my keyboard and saturated in a story. I’m going to take some time today to harvest and gather and embrace the change.


22 thoughts on “The Wheel of Change”

  1. Yes the Wheel turns and it is a time that I reflect on the older that I get. Days gone by and Days to come.
    Your pictures are wonderful and I am saddened by the fact that I didn’t grow any herbs this year. Hopefully we will be moved soon into our new apartment and I have an amazing patio and have big plans for that. My son Jonathan is like me. He and I have planned out a Autumn potted garden and it is fun to listen to his ideas.
    My Ivy has taken over the kitchen window. I have 2 plants that need to be repotted and so I have that to look forward to. And the move of course. Come October 1st we will pick up the keys to our new place. (No Carpet) all hardwood floors, and the amenities in this place is awesome. I can hardly wait to transition from here to there.
    Have a wonderful weekend. I am planning on doing just that… Beth

  2. Thank you for sharing your activities as the days change and with the next generation of your family. Here in the PNW we are also beginning to see the beauty of the change, the misty mornings and, of course, the sprinkles coming in off the Pacific. That turning wheel took the last member of my mother’s generation last week at 102. Now they are all gone. So that wheel keeps turning, and all “us cousins” become the older generation. Time to enjoy the turning of the leaves and the deer eating apples in the yard as the leftovers fall from the tree. Enjoy your gathering in all ways.

  3. I had my almost 4 yr old (October 4) grandson Jasper spend the night with me last Saturday. Since I now have a granddaughter too (his sister Zoey) Jasper and I have been missing our Grammy alone time and he asked me to take a day off, so that he could stay the night ❤️
    He’s a night owl, so I knew we’d be up rather late. So around 1:30 he tells me he’s ready to sleep in Grammy’s bed, so off we go. We do the bedtime routine of brushing teeth and potty time, then off to bed we go.
    He’s very inquisitive and smart for his age. So as we’re laying there in the bed, face to face, he’s asking me all kinds of questions and I answer(as best as I can) this goes on for almost two hours! Lol. He squirms and tells me he’s getting comfortable, finally he’s back face to face with me and does the sweetest thing that completely melted my heart(because, by now I’m very tired and sleepy) he takes my face, in both of his hands and looks me in the eyes and says “Grammy, I love you!” My reply is “baby I love you too, to infinity and beyond.” He then started kissing me, (just pecks) but over and over again and tells me he’s missed me! Wow! (Who needs sleep after that ?) He then turned on his stomach and went to sleep. It was then 3:30 in the morning and I’m thinking to myself, ” That was so worth losing sleep”
    I’m off tomorrow, so I’m wondering…. Is it Jasper time again??? Lol

  4. Yes the Wheel ever does turn. Looking forward to celebrating it with my group tomorrow. Good food, better company. Sacred ritual. Seasonal change. Settled into our new little place. Loving it. Looking forward to the festivities of the coming seasons. Watching the changes in my grand baby’s face. She who continues to constantly remind me “I’m not a baby Mimi!” Yes, yes you are! You are and will ever be MY baby. Blessings Nora, to you and yours.

  5. Not much to save for me from my pots of herbs. The oregano never took but the cilantro, parsley and basil did well until… we had a dry hot spell and they started to die. I salvaged enough for several meals but nothing but the basil is going to make the freezer.

    How did Kayla do at her meet? My eldest, Kelsey who is a year younger than Kayla takes horseback riding lessons on Saturday mornings. English now that her former western riding teacher is no longer teaching so I understand the busyness of Saturday mornings.

    How touching you have a connection with your grands brother and he with you. I understand that as my grands cousins do not have their paternal grandparents close by only their maternal grandmother whom my grands share. They are like my grands since we see them so often.

    1. Nana bragging time! Kayla was the seventh finisher again, and again the top Freshman finished. AND cut two minutes off her time.

      Doing a happy dance for my running girl!

      1. Yay for Kayla!! Your grandchildren are soo talented and interesting!! Thank you for sharing your lives with us! I love it!!

  6. as always your wonderful master of words and phrasing is superb. Love your descriptive way of phrasing your life and your books. Thank you so much for your view into your world.

  7. Nora, thank you for sharing your lovely life with us. You have a way of echoing our own thoughts about life and family. You are blessed with a gift and we are so lucky to have your writing to tuck into our hearts.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this time of harvest! I did the ice cubes last year, and will do it again this year. Fantastic and easy to have that fresh taste in my stews and soups. I did only basil last year, will have some oregano this year too. This last heat fried my cilantro, but the hardy mint stuck it out so I’ll have some for potpourri, as well as some lavender. If it stays mild this weekend, I’ll work on bringing in my smaller rosemary and the lantana I’ve kept alive for four years so far. I love the fall season, even with all the work.

  9. I love the fall – I live on “Autumn Drive” for heaven’s sake! Took a long time for me to enjoy it, though, as it was high October when I lost my mother – I was only six and with her on the car wreck that took her from us, so the bad memories lingered for a while. So, I had to find a reason to like this season again. And one day I realized that while Spring is the season of awakening, Autumn is the season of promise. We know that while everything has to change, slow down, and prepare for the Winter’s sleep, Autumn is the promise that everything WILL renew itself. I learned how important it was to embrace it. Harvesting, a fire in the pit outside, training the Labs for the new waterfowl season, and going for drives to view the ever changing leaves . . . and yes, my husband reminded me it’s time for lasagna and spaghetti, so I’ll be doing that this week too. Thanks for the joy you’ve given all of us over the years. You help take us into new worlds. Embrace the Autumn!

  10. What fun to hear about your doings that mirror the doings of so many of us. The wheel has turned so many times for me now that it has become routine for certain things to take place at certain times during the turn, at the turn or after the turn. Does that mean I’m in a rut? Don’t know, don’t care, because I love my life and intend to live whatever is left as fully as possible. I believe you do that all the time Nora. The glimpses into your life are like glimpses into your books, fascinating, interesting, entertaining, and quite fun. Thanks for the share.

  11. I’m thinking of trying the ice cube thing. I’d chopped and just frozen herbs in a Ziploc bag for years and this year I’m drying some herbs. I want to make my own poultry seasoning as I’m not fond of cumin and it seems to be in everything. Also I’m allergic to garlic so I’m using more herbs than every. I’ve done tarragon, oregano, basil, thyme, chives, sage, and parsley.

    Love hearing about the grands. I remember a discussion we had when Kayla was born about being a Nana vs. Gramma. We both were Nanas. I was only rewarded with the one grandson. He just started college and we are so proud. Hope Kayla does well on her run.

    Love hearing about your daily life. Take care.

  12. Nora,

    I envy you for the close proximity of your grandchildren. While I am only and hour and a half away from mine, it would be so lovely to just have a grandchild be able to pop in! You are very lucky & obviously treasure those times. We only have “one” and he is just four but the moments together are forever etched in our hearts. I, too, tell mine that I love him “to the moon and back” to which he recently responded “I love you to eternity G’ma!”. How quickly they grow up & begin to repeat the language they hear around them.

    As always, love to get your posts & enjoy your beautiful prose in sharing the simple moments of your life with us. The balance you have struck in what truly matters in life & the way you establish your priorities is admirable.


  13. The picture of your garden looks like a scene from from the 1st “Lord of the Rings” movie and layers and layers of work. It’s beautiful!

  14. You are so blessed to have your grandkids so close!! I have just read your blog after spending a wonderful day with two of six grandkids, boy, 7 & girl, 9. They used to live 5 minutes away, but when my son got a job in June as a Assoc. Prof at a university an hour away, it is now too far for the daily drop-in visits and we miss them so much. We took them out for lunch and then to the zoo! It was a fantastic day!! So, every moment spent is cherished. Love the bantering and silly questions & riddles and their innocent view of the world. Wishing we could keep them that way forever. The hugs, kisses and love-yous when we dropped them back home left tears in my eyes. Nothing like grandkids and family to keep you going, day to day! Thanks for sharing your day, too!!

  15. All this week I have been reminded of five years ago when I flew from Texas to your adorable town to help a friend with a fantastic wedding! The pictures of all the arrangements we made brought back some great memories! The Inn Boonsboro was beautiful all by itself, but was made into a gorgeous floral fantasy! We’ve since lost our friend that brought us all together, but have some great memories of time shared and a beautiful wedding. Carol would call me often to talk about the arrangements she made for your Inn.

  16. There is absolutely nothing in this world, as rewarding as grandkids. The youngest girl living near me, is 17, 5’9″, & a black -belt . The youngest,8 , lives 2 hours away, so it’s not the same. His sister is 16, & doing her first 5k run, for charity. We sponsored her for the most we could afford. Here’s to our grandkids- but I’m still not ready for summer to end- I’m hoping for one more day at the beach. I’ve been there w/sweats & leggings, looking for seashells.

  17. Thank you Nora for bringing a smile to my face with your obvious love and enjoyment of your grandson. I love a curious mind in a child and one who asks questions whether big or small. Your misty garden looks peaceful and beautiful. It’s a nice tradition for Friday night family dinner whether it’s carb-loading for Kayla or any reason to be together. Enjoy it all!

  18. The gift of adult interst and conversation is the best one you are giving to the grandchildren! So often that becomes a time of dispute or ridicule…but from what I am understanding about what you are writing…you aced it!!! IMHO

  19. Here in Dorset England too it is changing – our house is still in ‘Open House Surgery’ and my veg garden is bare again due to the lack of a new fence just yet – but still there irrepressible little bits – chives and Rhubarb mostly 🙂 -the apples in the orchards are reddening or shading russet but my cider stuff is still put away – and the geese are thrilled to see they get no argument from me over the apple crop – having had the plums and damsons too -as no freezer either right now – not sure they understand the concept of ‘next year is MY crop’ 🙂
    Deeply envious of the lovely Basil – it will not grow for me here at all. Really neat way with the herbs too – thank you for sharing 🙂 MC

  20. Autumn is my favorite time of year–and we turn the Wheel here in Seattle, as well. The mists are coming in, the rains are here, and it was a nippy 39 degrees this morning. Love your pics!

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