Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing
As we danced in the night
Remember, how the stars stole the night away
- Earth, Wind and Fire, "September"
Summer is loosening her grip in my neck of the woods. It's still quite hot during the day, but the nights are cooler and mornings are darker. I'm lighting candles in the kitchen again. The sun sets earlier every day, which startles me every year. Suddenly, I'm crocheting by electric light again, while I watch Create TV in the evenings. I'm watching the mountains turn palest peach, then salmon, then rose and finally deep pink - the watermelon shade which gives the mountains their name in Spanish: Sandia. The dark green of the trees on the mountain slowly deepens to black. The night draws in quickly, fiery streaks giving way to stars.
I love where I live and I never love it so much as I do in fall. Soon, the leaves will begin to change, starting with the aspens at higher altitude. From a distance, the mountain will take on an ochre tone, but closer up, the aspens will be dazzling bright gold. Other trees will turn brown or yellow too. We never have the stunning reds and oranges that are seen in other parts of the country, and I often miss that, being from the northeast. It's different here, but good too. The chile roasting will continue this month; September is really when it gets into full swing. The state fair will take place, though I don't know whether we will go. It can be a bit of a mob-scene. But interesting things are happening around here, it's that kind of season.
On the home front, things continue in their busy way now that school has been back in session for several weeks. Some have asked about our school situation and I'm happy to explain; the Bear and I are part-time homeschoolers. The LB attends a public alternative school which combines 50% traditional classroom time with 50% homeschool. He attends school about 16 hours per week and we do an equal amount of teaching him at home. This is a very well-regarded program and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to educate our kids this way. We feel that we have the best of both worlds. The GB will go to the same school next year when she is ready for kindergarten.
We do our home learning after lunch, then we listen to our audiobook and play in the backyard. It's finally cool enough in the afternoons to really enjoy that again. During June, July and much of August, it was too hot out there. Or it was raining, due to the monsoon weather pattern in July and August. The monsoon is mostly over now. We got a fair amount of rain this summer, taking us from "extreme" drought conditions to merely a drought advisory. Evidently, the city used one billion gallons less water than last year, so good news all around.
The backyard plants perked up a lot during the monsoon pattern but they're pretty well spent now. The apple tree is looking worse all the time and the apple harvest is proving to be pitiful. I have a feeling the tree isn't long for this world. Other plants are getting into fall mode now; pyracantha berries are getting their characteristic dark orange color and the chrysanthemums have buds now. The roses of Sharon continue churning out beautiful fuschia blooms but the hibiscuses are finally done, after two full months of prolific blooming. The sunflowers and other plants we grew from seed this spring are barely hanging on but they had a good run and we learned a lot as we watched their progress.
I've finished the baby ripple I was working on and I'll share it soon, after the baby is born and I have given the blanket to her mother. I've started teaching myself to make Lucy's Granny Bunting Triangles, to decorate something new which I will also share soon. I didn't make any for Yarndale (sorry), but I've been enjoying working with a new pattern. They were fiddly at first but quick and easy once I got the hang of it. Soon, I'll be starting a new blanket; the LB has been asking for one for more than a year. He really wants a striped one, he says. I'm debating between Granny Stripe and Vintage Vertical Stripe, but am leaning toward the Granny. He doesn't have a preference. If you were a boy of eight (as he will soon be), which would you prefer? Suggestions are welcome.
September is bittersweet for me. It's actually my favorite month and always has been, even before I had both of my children within its thirty clement days. My favorite gemstone, sapphire, is the birthstone of September and I chose sapphires for my engagement and wedding rings long before I knew they'd both be born in September. It made my rings even more special and significant. Bringing my babies into the world was very hard; some of the worst things that have ever happened to me happened in September. But two of the very best ones did too.