Friday, October 2, 2009
Seasonal stress and the phone call. Also some fruit leather.
The weather has mercy. Or a sense of humor. I don't want to stretch this personification too far, but I'm feeling rather grateful to Mother Nature for this week of intermittent sun and rain in the Pacific Northwest. Had we faced October with less sunshine and more mud I can't say how well I might have done with the stresses -- non-weather-related -- I faced. Or not.
Stress in itself is an interesting word. Quite possibly the word has become less meaningful as the stressors proliferate in our modern lives.
Sort of like the word "awesome" that inspires and describes no awe, "stress" doesn't seem to carry strong enough connotations of being pushed, bent, pulled beyond one's limits. Stress is just omnipresent and thus diluted or accepted as the norm. Peace, or a state of not being affected by stress, is the anomaly. It becomes remarkable to be without anxiety.
When I think about stress I think about metal and its stress points. I think about steel and how hot it must get before it bends without melting altogether into a puddle of liquid.
That's the alloy point I'm seeking. The one where I'm stressed enough to be flexible but not broken.
So I'm grateful for the gentle weather transition in the midst of this season.
The fields around us are all greening up again for fall. At first it looks a little like a tapestry that's half-woven as the green perforates huge stretches of fallen gold and brown grass.
The girls and I festooned the front porch with six 75-pound pumpkins and a half-dozen sunflower heads that are bigger and heavier than most of the sugar pumpkins I save for the oven.
Birds subsequently have been busy on our front porch to the extent that we'll have to re-think the sunflowers as decoration.
Fruit leather is the hit of the party just about every day. It couldn't be easier with my schmancy new dehydrator (thanks, Mom!). The only bummer about it is that we are using up all the homemade applesauce I canned. One quart of applesauce with a few frozen berries added in the blender, spread on special trays and dried for about six hours, makes three huge rolls of delicious, sugar-free fruit leather. This equals about 12 generous servings. Which my children can mow through in significantly less time than it takes to make more.
However. It does keep them quiet when it's raining too much to send them outside but I must take a phone call. No doubt dealing with one of those stressors.