Rain at the Pumpkin Patch and Other Mishaps

Fall is my favorite season, and I especially love fall in the Tri-Cities. We get to enjoy the beautiful, fall leaves and atmosphere with relatively warm temperatures. I love to open the windows and let the outside air cool my house. And I especially love the streets lined with leaves showing off their vibrant hues.

So imagine my disappointment when the day for my son’s anticipated field trip to Bill’s Berry Farm came and the forecast was for rain and cold temperatures. Suddenly my perfectly imagined fall outing with my son turned cold and gray. I shouldn’t be surprised because my friend Murphy has a law that says, “If you’re a mom, you’re hosed.” #momlife. I wondered if we should stay home and skip it.

It turns out, that Bill’s Berry Farm is stunning even on a rainy day. In fact, I didn’t hear one complaint from any of the children about the weather. Sharing a hayride with strangers all bundled up together under our umbrellas headed toward the pumpkin patch made us instant friends. We laughed as our umbrellas awkwardly bumped into one another and the children ate up every moment of watching their parents goof up.

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Book of the Week:

This week I was excited to learn of a beautiful brand new book, The Pacific Crest Trail. It includes photography from Washington photographer Aaron Doss. Aaron has been a landscape photographer here for the last decade. He captures Washington’s back country in stunning, contrasting images. I especially love how he captured “Sunset at Bateman Island, Columbia Basin.” His exceptional work is included among other photographers’ work in The Pacific Crest Trail.

When was the last time you read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?” While living in New York, my brother and his wife attended a party hosted by their friends every Halloween where they would read aloud “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It’s a fun short story and very imaginative. It takes about an hour and a half to read.

If you plan to host a Halloween party around “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” theme, take some time to look up the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. One of the things I enjoy most about the story is that if you’ve ever been to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the story is written in the landscape very well. American soldiers and German soldiers are buried next to one another and sometimes, a 100 year old tree stump is crowded between them, splitting the burial markers. It’s a perfect setting for a haunting story.

I’ve been taking my children to Bill’s Berry Farm for several years now and I think this rainy day was the best time I’ve ever had. Bundled up on the hay ride in the crisp, fall air made me think of this quote from one of my favorite American novels, “To enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is…” ― Herman Melville, MobyDick; or, The Whale. There is no quality in this world that is not what it is.

I’m grateful for my children even if they come with Murphy’s Law. If everything were perfect all the time-house cleaned, everyone pressed and dressed, Pinterest inspired everything including enrichment activities and homemade meals, then as a mother, I would never know the beauty of a triumph. Because it would always be wonderful and as unbelievable as it sounds, even wonderful grows stale.

I read somewhere and can’t find the quote now that “Nothing says love like, ‘Let’s go on an adventure together.'” I love that. Being a parent is an adventure. It is both messy and mental. But in spite of the daily struggle, I’ve comes to terms with the adventure part of parenting. I’m on my children’s schedule. My priorities are their priorities and I’m happy with that. My house is usually a dump and more often that I’d like, I look like a wandering bum without a home. But my heart is happy and so full.

I’m glad that my children have changed my heart so that I don’t freak out if the closets are unorganized (usually). I’m glad that I don’t stress that everything is perfectly in place all the time. I used to, and the only good that did me was make me stressed out more. Sure there was a place for everything and everything in its place. But who wants to be a basket case sitting in a clean room not moving for fear of messing anything up? That’s no way to live.  Just remember to Keep Calm and Mess On.

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Children’s Recommendations:

Click on the image for more details.

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“Ichabod Crane pursued by the Headless Horseman”,
by F. O. C. Darley, 1849

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Cotton Mather was an actual minister out of Boston who published a history of witchcraft in the late 1600s/early 1700s. “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was published about 100 years later. So the thing is, these witchcraft histories were old enough to be cool but recent enough to still be well-known. And Irving uses them to his advantage.

So Ichabod has the histories and is well-versed in them because that’s his plan to impress the ladies. Seriously, he is not a handsome dude. His is a lurpy school teacher and the only way he’s figured out to impress the ladies is to rehearse what he knows about Mather’s history of witchcraft. But the problem is, he’s a total wimp and so as soon as the ladies go home for the evening and he is left alone to sleep, he has frightened himself to death! He tries to hang out with the grandmas in the town as they prepare meals for the next day but as they are cooking, they share ghost stories as well so his poor mind is completely saturated with these stories!

Of Crane Irving writes, “But if there was pleasure in all this, while snugly cuddling in the chimney corner of the chamber that was all of a ruddy glow from the crackling wood fire, and where, of course, no spectre dared to show its face, it was dearly purchased by the terrors of his subsequent walk homewards.” Remember that line when we encounter Ichabod Crane on the infamous bridge!

Alicia Walters Blog earns a 4% commission from purchases made through provided links. Thank you.

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