Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Power in One...

I'm going to take a short break from all of my favorite fall recipes to make an observation. Its' not an "OMG" moment. Not even a "gee, I never thought about that." But more of a "oh, that never occurred to me" moment in time. Let me go back to yesterday afternoon.

I was outside placing some autumn decorations around my yard and porch. I had made the rounds over the past couple days of some of my favorite farm markets and landscape yards to gather my fall haul, and I was ready. A few weeks ago, I actually assembled a small cart that was difficult because what looked beautiful in a catalog, shipped to me as a pile of wood, a bag of bolts, with no directions. There was nothing to do but to lay all the parts across the basement floor and treat it with the same methodology of assembling a 1,000 piece puzzle. While, of course,  adding a great deal of sweat and questionable language. But I finished. There were two parts that were left over. Guess they weren't too important because the cart's outside and they are still in the basement.

Anyway, I was rather enjoying my exterior designing when two elderly neighbors walked over. "You, young lady, are an asset to this neighborhood." I'm not young, just younger than they are. I live in a 55 and older community that is kind of in transition. Our development was built about 30 years ago and some of the original residents have, um....moved on, so to speak, or in with their children or onto Florida. Meaning, that a lot of units are once again filled with us "young" ones. The streets and courts are alive each evening with people walking, biking, talking...and decorating.
A complete puzzle solved!

"Each season, we wait to see what you are going to do outside," the lovely gentlemen continued. His wife had moved in to examine the cart and its contents. "My, my. Where did you buy that?" You can imagine my pride when I answered her question. They both stood motionless as I explained how I ordered it online then ended up building it myself.

"Amazing," the woman said nodding her head. "You do all this and you live alone." Now I was the one standing motionless. She continued, "I use to do this kind of stuff when I had kids at home, but no more." I looked over at her plain front door. "Why, did you stop?" She bent over to smell the Chrysanthemums, "it's just the two of us now. We don't have the company that you do. What's the point." It was a statement, not a question, but I answered it anyway.

"The point is, it's your home." But I stopped myself from going further. After all, these people have lived decades longer then me. Who I am to tell them...well, anything, so, I softened my approach. "I do have a lot of family and friends in the area, but I have to tell you, I do this for me."

Too warm for a fire, but the mantel is ready for fall!
She smiled and patted my shoulder, "you have more energy then I do." She may be right there, but I have always enjoyed seasonal decorating. It just makes me happy.

When I moved here alone at the end of last summer,with fall fast approaching, there was a split second, a mere instant in time, that I too thought, "what's the point?" But I quickly realized that doing things the way I liked to, the way that made me the happiest, was crucial to my survival. And there was no looking back!

Not all of the neighbors in my community feel the way the couple next door does. So many doors and porches are full of Autumn's splendor. Corn stalks, wreaths, pumpkins and gourds are more the norm than the exception. And it's not just us "young" ones!

Both the inside, and the outside of my home are ready for fall. In the coming months, there will be many people in and out of my front door. But truth be told, even if I lived in the deep of the woods, where my only neighbors were the deer eating the Indian corn, my porch would be decorated. It's who I am...and it doesn't occur to me to be anything less.


  1. Another inspiring post, JoAnn :) Love this so much!
    Your photos are great. Lovely decorations.
    And "good job" on that sweet cart!

  2. Thanks Patti! I love that little cart!