|Morning dew sparkles on a spider's handiwork.|
I was looking at the October issue of "Quilter's World." Scanning through the "editor's letter" by Elisa Sims Albury, to my surprise, I found myself reading a beautifully descriptive paragraph of my own region as follows: "I am reminded during this season of the years I spent in graduate school in northern Idaho, where the fields of wheat and lentils were plentiful. In late autumn the air got just a bit drier, the evenings cooler, with frosty nights becoming a common occurrence. Just when we thought winter was right around the corner, the temperatures would rise slightly, and for several weeks we would experience a glorious 'Indian summer.' Half-harvested fields of golden wheat danced across the landscape in sunsets that appeared to be lit from a dying fire." (Elisa goes on to mention the pattern for the "Indian Harvest" runner featured in this issue.)
Elisa is writing about Moscow, home of the University of Idaho, where Chris, Hallie, and I (and a lot of other people) went to school. But that same description of "Indian summer" applies to much of the Inland Empire of the Pacific Northwest. We have a great autumn in this region, but who would expect to find such a description in a quilting magazine.
Still, I've never quite known how to define "Indian summer." The term seemed elusive to me, so today I finally took the trouble to look it up. Indian summer is a period of sunny, warm weather in autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, typically late October or early November after the leaves have turned following an onset of frost but before the first snowfall. It can only be Indian summer after the first frost, usually a killing frost. I might add that the sunny and warm part applies mostly to late morning and afternoon. Early mornings and evenings are chilly.
The only problem I have with Ms. Albury's description is the reference to "half-harvested fields of golden wheat." By the time Indian summer comes, the wheat has long been harvested – no exceptions. But those stubble fields do reflect our spectacular sunsets, and Ms. Albury's words capture the beauty of our Indian summer. To echo Grandma Ina's words from the heart of central Idaho agricultural country: We get marvelous effects morning and evening.
|I load and stack the wood that MW cuts.|
This morning at 9:00 I went with Mike to help with the easy wood at the Senter place. It's "easy wood" because the trees are already down and there's no need to pull the tree out. It's simply a matter of cutting and loading the wood, which we are happy to do. Anyway, I started out in a sweatshirt and jacket and was soon too warm in the sweatshirt. Mike found the wood splits quite easily, so he cut and split while I loaded and stacked. I couldn't help but wonder if the farmer's wife of yesteryear came in for such laborious work. Did she just concern herself with the house, the children, and the chickens, so to speak, or did she come in for some of the "man's work"? KW