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by Carol Bossard

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Autumn Impulses

Autumn Impulses

The Equinox has come and we are now truly in autumn.  Seasons are flashing past in double-time.  Sooner than seems possible, we’ll be contemplating Thanksgiving dinner and then Christmas cards.  But even now, there is this strange pull to prepare for winter ---- though most winter days here are navigable and fairly easy to manage.  We are seldom snowed/iced in for more than two days.  But, still, something inside ---- maybe all those years of helping put in hay bales or canning tomatoes, or perh

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Transitions

Transitions

My favorite time of the year is drifting in with these late summer days leading into fall.  Perhaps it is due to so many years of school beginnings, but now has always seemed to me, a more appropriate onset for a new year than January.  Many cultures back in history have agreed; as harvests ended, a new year began.  Instead of snow and ice, we could look forward to weeks of blue skies and pleasant weather with, hopefully, a few more rainy days than this summer provided.  It’s time for being outs

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Perspective And Seeing Clearly

Perspective And Seeing Clearly

“Itsy, bitsy spider went up the water spout….down came the rains and washed the spider out.  Up came the sun and dried up all the rain and the itsy, bitsy spider went up the spout again!”  A kid’s song apparently appropriate to August; I found three spiders escaping up the wall, in my shower this AM --- after having nary a one all summer.  Steps will be taken!! August ---the month with no holidays.  There are actually about 3 ½ weeks of summer remaining before the Equinox, but we are progra

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Dog Days And Celebrations

Dog Days And Celebrations

It’s mid-August and the stores are blatantly advertising school supplies and autumn clothing, not to mention Halloween decorations ---- this, in spite of the humidity and 80-90 degree temperatures.  August is still summer!!--- and days continue to be good for picnics, sun tans, and nights fine for star-gazing.  Hal Borland* describes August well……….”Dog Days ….Dragon flies and Damsel flies follow the boat when I go out on the river……little spotted turtles sun themselves on old logs and slip into

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

The Gifts Of Summer

The Gifts Of Summer

Is the aroma from my kitchen wending its way out?  Do you smell cinnamon---- chocolate----orange?  This is cookie-baking week ---- a variety of cookies for that family gathering I mentioned in the last essay.  Pineapple cookies, ginger cookies, chocolate cookies and some melt-in-your-mouth buttery nut cookies.  One thing I’ve noticed is that the cost of ingredients for cookies have risen a lot, and so desserts are actually as valuable as restaurants have been trying to make us believe all along.
Mid-Summer Magic

Mid-Summer Magic

The birds aren’t singing as enthusiastically as they had two months ago, but they are still happily visiting the feeders and chirping away contentedly.  A very small hummingbird – probably this year’s baby —- zips in for the sweet fluid and hesitates when he sees me sitting on the porch.  The fireflies have begun lighting up the grassy parts of the back yard, especially on warm humid nights. The second cutting of hay is nearly done for local farmers.  The garden is growing but not ready to harve
Bounty And Blessings

Bounty And Blessings

‘Tis the season of the Strawberry Moon, according to the Algonquin, Ojibwe and Lakota peoples.  And from ancient Rome, we’d be one day past the Ides of June! Few people realize (unless they sat through Latin classes with Mrs. Dunn) that the Ides come every month.  The 15th of March is the famous Ides because it was the chosen date of Julius Caesar’s demise via assassins. “Et Tu Brute?”!!  But we are now just past the middle of this lovely month, in our time, and Mid-Summer Night’s Eve is soon to
All Green And Gold

All Green And Gold

“Outside the open window the morning air is all awash with angels.  Love calls us to things of this world.”* This totally describes a morning in June with its singing birds, dewy grasses and long hours of light.  Besides the beauty of the world around us there are all the people who give love and those who need love. June —— when graduating seniors get a bad case of “senioritis” and grade-schoolers gaze longingly out the windows of their classrooms ——when birds who flew north in March have fledg
Remembering... Remembering

Remembering... Remembering

How wonderful is the month of May?  Its thirty-one days are all too short, even as February’s twenty-eight days are far too long.  It is a month of moderate temperatures and new growth everywhere — flora and fauna.  A perfect picture of May would be a spotted fawn peering out from a mélange of ferns, trilliums and dogwood.   There are so many shades of green as the trees and shrubs leaf out, and many of my favorite plants are in bloom. The very air of May is fragrant.  We planted potatoes last w
Dirt And Dandelions!

Dirt And Dandelions!

April showers --- and the slow increase of temperatures --- have brought May flowers and growing weeds as well as discovering which plants have made it through another winter.  There are the burgundy sprouts of peonies --- old-faithful plants that laugh at winter weather.  Day lilies are inches high, the ferns are tightly curled fronds, the trout lilies’ yellow bells are sunshine in the garden, and trilliums are going to bloom very soon.  Hands in the dirt bring good vibes to the psyche! M
Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

Easter is just past though one of my favorite lilting, happy songs says: “Every morning is Easter morning from now on….”.  It was a most unusual Easter morning which I will, perhaps speak of in a later essay.  It included the death of a long-time friend and member of our congregation and I am still processing that. To celebrate Earth Day, I’m thinking of planting peas in a pot.  It is a bit too early for our clay soil to be warm and welcoming; seeds planted in the ground would likely rot in
Mud And Magnificence

Mud And Magnificence

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill; you know how it is with an April day when the sun is out and the wind is still, you’re one month on in the middle of May.  But if you so much as dare to speak, a cloud comes over the sunlit arch, a wind comes off a frozen peak, and you’re two months back in the middle of March..”* Spring is here with its yoyo weather; in and out sunshine, torrential downpours and the occasional snow flurry.   And with it comes mud season where feet can pop out of bo
Revolving Beds And Lemonade Punch

Revolving Beds And Lemonade Punch

Our recent spring-like weather has most of us who garden looking through our seeds and perusing the plant catalogs once again ---- just to make sure we have all that we need.  Last week, the turkeys stopped coming down so often and I think the deer didn’t come at all.  Of course, another snow-fall, and they will all be back.  We probably are not quite done with wintry weather, but soon, soon!  Someone (not sure who) said, “The first day of spring and the first spring day are quite different even
Layers And Levels Of Thought

Layers And Levels Of Thought

Ahhhh….. It’s March!  Daylight savings time (this coming Sunday) and the Vernal Equinox (March 20) all in the same month.  And yes, we will lose an hour, but it will be delightfully light longer in the day.  We can feel the new life of Easter approaching, for the season of Lent began last Wednesday with a community service and luncheon.   It is a time of introspection as well as awakening activity. My process of cleaning out is continuing; it might continue on into infinity!  “Yet occasiona
Late Winter Musing

Late Winter Musing

“I stood beside a hill, smooth with new-laid snow, A single star looked out from the cold evening glow.  There was no other creature that saw what I could see --- I stood and watched the evening star as long as it watched me.”* Stars somehow look larger and clearer against a black sky, when the night is cold and still.  This week’s melt has left us with much less snow though tomorrow will likely remedy that ---- but the stars are still shining, waiting for us to connect whenever we gaze up.

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Celebrations!

Celebrations!

“I will make you brooches and toys for your delight; of bird song at morning and starshine at night…..”*  If I could, I’d edge this essay with lace, tie it up with a red satin ribbon, and maybe add a balloon or two; in another four days we’ll be celebrating St. Valentine. Actually, most of us aren’t celebrating the Italian (Roman) saint at all; we are celebrating those who are dear to us in some way.  And the retail markets are rejoicing over our weakness for cards, candy, perfume and lacy linge

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Filling Winter Days

Filling Winter Days

I get a gold star this year for having my plant orders ready early.  Last year several plants that I wanted were gone by March.  I think people were shut in, bored, and were desperately wanting spring to come.  That might well be true of this winter too.   So --- I’m ready to call/send them in.  I’m also ordering less.  It’s an unhappy realization that the energy I have must be portioned out carefully --- and Kerm’s energy too. Dreaming about gardens is my panacea when winter annoys; I just need

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

In This New Year???

In This New Year???

It is mid-January and more light is coming through the tunnels of our winter days.  The Christmas tree is out beneath the lilac, giving the birds another refuge from the always interested cats and hopeful hawks.  The manger scene on the kitchen buffet and all the cool little animals have been carefully wrapped in tissue and packed away for another year.  Hopefully, the wonder of this world-changing event more than 2000 years ago, doesn’t also get put away, but remains with us to light our days! 

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New

Remember that old song (well, depending on your age, some of you may not!) ---- “What are you doin’ New Year’s, New Year’s Eve?”*  Ella Fitzgerald, Andy Williams, Margaret Whiting and more recently --- Harry Connick Jr. ---- were some of the notables who made this song popular.  2021’s last day is tomorrow and how will you spend the Eve?  How have you spent New Year’s Eves in the past?  We have had all sorts of “eves” in our lives; parties, watch-night services, quiet evenings at home, and one s

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Mid-December

Mid-December

“It was a winter evening of transparent clearness, with an innocent young moon above the housetops...”*  Isn’t that a great way to begin a story that could go anywhere?    It is also a good description of a fine night in mid-December.  Early winter evenings can, if we stop to absorb them, fill us with an awareness of how special life is, evening, morning or mid-day.   Right now, outside my window a downy woodpecker is enjoying a cake of suet, and just a few yards away, the turkeys are cleaning u

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Pre-Christmas Gifts And Lists

Pre-Christmas Gifts And Lists

No matter how many Christmases have gone by, or how many gray hairs I have, every year brings this feeling of expectancy, happiness and a bit of mystique when the season of Advent arrives.  This is when I pull out our collection of Christmas and Hanukkah stories and try to read one or two/day.  It is when I begin playing Christmas CDs alternately with the usual classical and folk music. It’s time for my totally unrealistic “to do” list, designed to create the perfect holiday times. Of course, I

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

November's Warmth

November's Warmth

I just knew it!!  I closed my eyes for a few minutes and suddenly, it’s mitten weather although we have a brief few hours of warmth today before a cold front comes through!    We’ve finally had several black frosts and I hope all the mosquitoes have turned into little entomologic ice cubes!  There was snow last Sunday evening as we drove home from Pennsylvania; not unexpected, but unwelcome!  An upside of this late fall season is that mornings are now made cheerier and warmer with a wood fire, t

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Turning Seasons And Decades

Turning Seasons And Decades

Here in the northeast, we are well into Fall.  Good weather lasted long this year, so we really can’t complain when the season starts being seasonable.  Our cover crops never made it onto the gardens, but the potatoes are in storage and many of the weeds are pulled.   Kerm has replaced the broken rails in the garden fence and repaired the dog pen where the bear broke through in July.   One ursine youngster returned last week on his fall trek, but managed to get around the yard without breaking a

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Spooks, Saints & Soup!

Spooks, Saints & Soup!

Leaves are turning all shades of brown, bronze, gold and scarlet ---- and falling ---- falling ---wafting down into crunchy heaps---- and there’s a morning chill in the air.   As the spooky time of Halloween nears and the weather grows less balmy, our daylight hours will shorten with the ceasing of DST next month.  I moan and groan about this every year since, when the darkness closes in, my mind tells me it is time to cease labors and go to bed.  Five o’clock is a bit early for that message.  T

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

Mellow October

Mellow October

October ---- – the elixir of autumn!  Of course, we have had snow in October; not often, but I remember one or two snowy Halloweens, and while Kerm was still with Cooperative Extension, there was always a inter-county horse show on Columbus Day weekend.   More often than not, weather was yucky sometimes to the point of snow showers.  The horses wouldn’t be too happy but the kids were fine.  It takes quite a lot of weather to dampen the spirits of horse-riding teens.  But in my personal view of O

Carol Bossard

Carol Bossard

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