a cold day in august

Autumn is early coming – or so it seems. In the morning the mist is so thick that the lake is invisible from our kitchen window; I breathe deeply, letting the cool wet air fill my lungs. Perhaps the temperatures will rise again before September, but I can always hope for colder weather right? I love any excuse to wear baggy old sweaters and go for walks in the dewy grass. Autumn makes me so grateful for the little beauties in life. Puddles in the road. The scent of pine trees. Leaf littered sidewalks. Socks.

Along the roadside wild plums are deepening in color, bunches of wild grapes are ripening and golden rods are opening up fiery yellow buds. I’ve heard golden rod makes a good natural dye – I’ll have to buy more fabric before they finish blooming. There are also dainty four-o-clocks slowly flowering and of course the abundant number of sunflowers bobbing their cheery heads. Charlie gathers various wildflowers for his plant collection. He presses them between our Bibles and field guides (which is sometimes inconvenient – I have to relocate delicately dried blooms in order to read scripture.) But the collection is growing and someday it will be framed on our walls.

In one month we will be packing up to leave Nebraska. I shall certainly miss living such an isolated life tucked away in the sandhills. I have loved exploring Fort Falls and Minnechaduza Creek, foraging for berries and watching the family of turkeys that live in the cottonwood tree. But I also look forward to our many adventures in the next couple of weeks: rodeos, county fairs, camping in the Black Hills and visiting with family. Where are we going to live after Valentine? Who knows. Maybe California or Utah. But why worry about the future when life is full and the present is at hand right?

As evening comes to a close, Lover and I settle ourselves on the couch with bowls of hot soup and mugs of tea. Somewhere on the lake a heron squawks hoarsely. He’s probably happy that the frogs are feeling sluggish. Yes, Mr. Heron, it is a good day to be alive.


valentine nebraska