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— Another week with several cloud days, some rain and drizzle has meant the solar lights beside the fish pond don’t soak up much sunshine. They come on in early evening but sometimes their glow fades out before very long. Cool days and crisp nights have brought many walnuts down and the slightest breeze brings a flurry of leaves spiraling to the ground, creating a multicolored carpet on the front lawn. A frosty night over the weekend put a stop to our tomato production but I brought a few peppers into the house, hoping to preserve them a bit longer.

I had surprise visit from sister Nancy on Monday when she dropped by the office and brought me a carton of 18 eggs. Knowing the price paid for walnuts was going down soon I picked up nuts onmy lunch hour and again after work until it got too dark to see them. Tuesday afternoon I returned to work at the library and was pleasantly surprised when I got home that evening to find that Jim had a big pot of steaming potato soup waiting on the stove.

Jim and his helper loaded my walnuts Wednesday morning and we took them to the huller before they left for the day’s job. I had a phone call from a friend in Tulsa inquiring about Mama and Aunt Leta and enjoyed a short visit with her before learning for my afternoon’s work at the library. We had a flurry of visitors, both young and old, and one of our student helpers didn’t show up so I stayed quite busy and the time passed quickly.

I visited Aunt Leta and her caregiver early Thursday afternoon before leaving for the library. I had a phone visit with Uncle Holland that afternoon and found after work that Jim had once again prepared a tasty supper, a pot of goulash. Cousin Henry and Aunt Merle were visiting Mama when I came in from the office Friday and Uncle Holland soon arrived. I’d heard the forecast for a frosty night Saturday so I brought in several pots of flowers from the front porch thatafternoon.

I was out early Saturday morning to take items to the recycling trailer and visit the farmers’ market. Vendors were scarce because of the chilly day and the competition from arts and crafts shows but I purchased some green beans and new red potatoes which I prepared for our supper, a few tomatoes and a pair of big green peppers. I also took home a carton of cinnamon rolls for Jim to enjoy with his coffee. Niece Laura came by for a short visit and we made trips to the library and the dollar store, then I returned to watch the Hogs game against Florida. We were disappointed when our team was narrowly defeated by the Gators.

Jim and I drove to Southwest City Sunday morning and returned for a late breakfast of bacon and eggs, biscuits and gravy. We had visits in early afternoon from Aunt Mary and Uncle Holland, Aunt Merle and cousins Henry, Jack and Sandy and I accompanied them when they all went over to visit Aunt Leta.

Joyce Hifler, one of my favorite inspirational writers, described this time of year, “On a clear, cool morning when the sun rises on a quiet land and last evening’s showers still cling to the leaves of the oaks, clouds slowly move across the sky and a hawk sails on air currents while its eyes sweep the space below for food. Apart from crowded areas, this is not unlike the original creation with all its newness. A mockingbird sits atop the highest tree and sings with all itsheart the many melodies recorded for what seems to be our pleasure.”

She gives us this good advice: “A few moments of standing still and listening gives lift to the heart and relaxation to the mind and spirit. This should be our daily routine - but the world calls and we must go. Where is peace? Not in the noise and bustle - but in the standing still and listening for courage and direction. It will come if we truly listen and heed what the heart hears.”

Opinion, Pages 4 on 10/21/2009

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