October beauties

Where did October go? I blinked, and it’s already almost gone.

Fall is putting on a beautiful display here, and the rains have returned. The salmon are back, and the vultures along with them. Where there were one or two vultures flying around at the river a couple of weeks ago, now a dozen or so try to fit into the same tree at one time. Not beautiful. But important.

The trees have turned showy with the shorter days and cooling temperatures.


Pumpkins dot front porches, and children run past in partial costumes, preparing for Monday’s trick-or-treating.


Summer hasn’t quite loosened its grip, though. Recent rains and my deadheading efforts a month ago have resulted in one final crop of rose blooms. I wish you could smell the perfect fragrance of this rose:


The last few buds promise to welcome November, but they’ll be gone long before December arrives.


Whether summer pinks or autumn oranges, October has its share of beauties.


I hope you’re able to get outside and enjoy what’s left of the month. We have more rain in the forecast here, a blessing for sure, but also one that keeps my camera and me indoors more than I’d like. (I’m fortunate, at least, to have a dog who doesn’t mind trooping around in the rain. She’s a lot tougher than the camera.)

It’s good to know that November will bring its own kind of beauty when it arrives. I look forward to sharing some of it here with you in the coming weeks.

A hard time of year to stay inside

Fall here is beautiful in its own way, not in a familiar North Carolina way, but in a way that catches my breath nonetheless.

The salmon are beginning their run, and happy fisher people (mostly fishermen) are daily swarming the river, giddy with the prospect of catching a big fish. A happy man popped up from the riverbank just this morning, a large, pink fish swinging from his side.


Why do you think they fish all together instead of spreading out?

Rain came back in a big way, too, over the weekend. More than two inches over four days. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Continue reading

A new (old) favorite

In last week’s post, I encouraged us (me included) to dwell on positive, lovely, beautiful, true things. The weekend brought new lows in political news and in terrible stories of a hurricane spreading devastation from Haiti to the Bahamas and up the southeast coast of the United States. It’s truer than ever, this need to turn toward what is good. And maybe fun, too.

While I was in North Carolina recently visiting family and friends, I managed to sneak in a few minutes with my mom to visit a new (old) favorite bookstore. It’s an old favorite because it’s the independent bookstore I’ve been going to for a couple of decades, and I was sad to learn last year that it would be changing locations. The new space is fantastic, though, and I wish I could have lingered even longer in this beautiful “new” favorite bookstore.


A view from the second floor

Walking in the front door, I was immediately transported into what feels both new and old, as if an old world bookstore or library had risen up with new polish and bold colors.

The ceilings soar, and a second floor—only a little larger than a balcony—takes up part of the space and draws your eyes upward.  Continue reading

Dwell on these things

We sat together at kitchen tables, on living room chairs, in restaurants and on park benches. I spent some much-needed and much-cherished time with North Carolina friends and family recently, dashing from place to place and trying to be present to hear each friend’s story.

We talked of books and significant others and children and new jobs, of travel hopes and dreams, of moves and looming changes. The conversations, while unique, shared a common thread: “Dear one, sit with me and hear my heart beat.” If you had passed by and seen us, heads bowed toward each other and spilling words quickly, long pent up from a too-far separateness, you would have known you were seeing friendship embodied.

These precious conversations didn’t have time to linger with toes dangling in the shallow end. Limited moments together meant a headfirst dive into the deep. Continue reading

Gone fishin’

I’m taking a break from blogging today to go fishin’. (Figuratively, of course.)


Under-bridge artwork from along the race course of the race I didn’t do last month. If only all bridges could look this fancy underneath.

I hope you’re enjoying your last week of September. I’ll see y’all back here next week!