A fair, friends and a farm

Labor Day weekend isn’t neccesarily labor free.

Hints of fall were already in the air yesterday as I turned the calendar page over to September.

The crisp morning air nudged me out of bed early to pull out my annual autumn ‘to do’ list.

But I felt a little cranky.

“It’s too early to be this cold,” I muttered to my dogs who kept on sleeping.

Still I had the day off and was sorely tempted to attend ‘Minnesota’s great get together’, also known as the State Fair.

But instead of venturing east to the fairgrounds in the city, I traveled west out into the countryside.

Sure, I was missing the opportunity to party with 186,000 of my closest friends and spend an average of $75.00 while there. And I do know new fair delicacies such as Bacon Up Pups are well worth the money and a 5 pound weight gain.

After all, what’s more blissful that a Belgian Waffle made in bacon batter and dipped in chocolate, next drizzled with maple syrup, and finally topped with whipped cream and even more bacon?

Well, perhaps a big frosty mug of Chocolate Chip Beer could do the job.

But I digress.

Anyway, I knew if I stopped in at the farm where I often hike I’d find a much healthier type of bliss while visiting with some sweet and smiling four legged friends.

And I’d also likely get back home in time to check off a few of my chores on that fall list.

My day went as planned.

In fact it was perfect.

I knew I’d even have time to sharpen my new box of shiny No. 2 pencils to bring to the school where I work next week.

And though I missed the State Fair’s epicurean delights, I was thrilled to come home with a free bag of fresh pole beans, potatoes and parsley.

While driving back home past the big sign advertising the local Hog Feast Social and a little sleepy pub called Grumpy’s, I thought how full and satisfied I was feeling.

And I wasn’t cranky in the least.

For me it truly was a Blue Ribbon kind of day, and I was the winner.

Moving: Lesson 5

I learned this week that when you’re moving you look at life differently.

Take this morning, for example.

My 6:30 breakfast bowl of last night’s subgum chow mein was bliss with every bite.

Besides, my kitchen shelves were bare of bran flakes and bagels.

Well, actually bare of everything.

But flexibility is the key these days. And I’ve even taken a few cues from my chi-doxie Grandma Greta.

The poor four pounder lost her library desk (a.k.a. perch) Thursday in a preliminary sweep of broken furniture before our movers’ arrival next week.

Her day throne’s been located there where she’s been empowered to bark orders down at Tuck, the terrier, whenever she deems necessary.

Yet somehow 16 year old Grandma Greta adjusted, moving that throne with her tiny teeth over to a high chair she found even more regal.

I’ll also be taking up temporary quarters for a few days, but my throne will be a pink yoga mat with my purple sleeping bag.

After breakfast, Greta turned her attention to me and barked that I should get downstairs and work on cleaning out that basement.

Not my favorite activity on a perfect September day, knowing our leaves are beginning to show their full palette of colors.

I went to the basement anyway and kept on working, trying to find a little joy below ground.

But it just wasn’t there.

I did make some progress, but eventually grew weary.

Then Greta gave me a jolt, barking at a visitor who’d left a package on the doorstep.

Climbing upstairs I saw the box was from a blogger friend and fiber artist, Syl Strawbridge.

Inside I found a card that read in part, “Thanks for Your Positive Energy”!

Her supportive words gave me my spirit right back. Along with a smile.

Next, I pulled out a beautiful long scarf that she’d made.

The colors were from that full palette of autumn colors I was so missing today.

Still wearing my smile, I skipped back down the stairs to the dirty basement.

I opened the windows wide and felt the cool breeze.

I let the fresh autumn air dance in the room, while I did the same with my broom while I swept.

And for the first time in years, I found joy in that old basement.