Sunday, September 16, 2012

Autumn Joy... the name of the sedum cultivar blooming in our back yard as well as my condition on bright days like today.

My garden looks best in spring, but perks up in September. I know that's a big ol' yaller weed in the center of this border, but I think it's kind of pretty between the purple asters and red mums. And that galaxy of Sweet Autumn Clematis above can't help but remind us that we are all made of stars.

Other seasonal beauties:

Mia and Nora doodling our table during a lunch break at the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park. I wish I could describe how shiny the clouds were that day.

 ...And typical Wicker Park hipness. Hand cranked snowcone machine with yum flavas.

...And neon Swiss chard from our CSA.

...And Thursday night when I was warbling through Steely Dan's "Dirty Work" at dear old soon-to-be-shuttered C.J. Arthur's and suddenly heard a deep voice join mine on the other mike. Dear Husband, twining his voice with mine to strengthen and straighten the wavering key of the third chorus. I had to smile at our romantic harmony over the most cynical of lyrics.

...And Mia has a new friend, Liam, and she can't get enough of him. Even after sitting next to him all day in class, even after playing football for an hour in a neighbor's front yard with him and a crowd of kids, even knowing she was going to spend half of Sunday with him at the Field Museum on a special playdate, she still was close to tears during her piano lesson Friday because she wanted more time together.

When she tried to explain her tears to her father that night, she used those most grown-up of words, "It's complicated" and I felt the shift, a tilting of the room, as she took another step toward the rocky hills of adolescence.

But it was the today at the museum, watching their easy happiness in front of the glass display cases of Extreme Mammals that brought it all home - precious, incomparable, incomprehensible, unforgettable young love.

...And anticipating new books from Ian McEwan (Sweet Tooth, coming November 13), Alice Munro (Dear Life: Stories, November 13) and Justin Cronin (The Twelve, sequel to The Passage, out October 16!)

...And my current read, Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, its poetically sparse observations and its elegiac mood of impending doom, heightened by our reading a child's version of the story that Nora just happened to bring home from school last week.

This is how Patroclus, Achilles' ill-fated lover, describes hope in the Trojan War: "There will be a moment after this, and another after that."

...And the success of the first field trip of our new Brownie troop! We joined a crowd of other troops at Gillson Beach for the Great Lakes Alliance Adopt-A-Beach annual cleanup on Saturday morning. The paper forecast temperatures as low as the forties, but the day dawned bright and clear. Most of the troop came, along with their parents, and they chattered happily about the strange things they had found. A pickle! The remains of a birthday party! A fragment of a painted teacup! Such excitement about picking up garbage, it just made my heart glad.

...And this:

Fox by Mia, age 9

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