After the party, cleaning up the confetti

After every party comes the cleaning up, the clearing away. A few weeks ago, I described the falling leaves in our yard as confetti, as though Autumn were throwing a grand party.

There’s still some confetti left on the trees, but for the most part, the party’s over. We’re fortunate where we live to have street crews that come through the neighborhoods to vacuum leaves we’ve raked to the curb. Here’s what our leaf pile typically looks like right before the crew is scheduled to visit our street:

A typical pile of leaves from our yard, with our dog posing to give you an idea of scale

The crews came through today, and in advance of their visit, the whole neighborhood has hummed a constant melody of leaf blowers with accents of rakes, preparing piles of leaves to be cleared.

It was a week that I would have preferred a quieter neighborhood, but I’m still grateful that our city collects the leaves this way, as it’s the easiest and quickest way to get the yard cleaned up.

Between now and the crew’s next visit, we’ll resort to filling up cans to the brim, as we prepare for the next party coming, the grandest of the year: Christmas, with its own variety of confetti that comes in sparkling lights and snow flakes. It’s another type of confetti and another party I’m excited and grateful to celebrate. How about you?

May I offer another gratitude challenge even now that Thanksgiving is over? As we prepare our hearts for the Christmas celebration, I challenge you to continue keeping track of all the blessings in your life. I’m hoping for a calmer, more sane holiday season, where I can keep my priorities in the right place and my focus of gratitude on the beautiful gift of our Savior’s birth. I’d love to hear some things you’re grateful for in this holiday season.

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I hope you’ll forgive today’s shorter than usual post. I’ve been quite sick all week with a stomach bug, but even fighting that, I’ve found plenty to be grateful for: getting home from out of town before getting sick, doctors on call in the wee hours of the morning, 24-hour pharmacies, the best husband in the whole world who was able to work from home for two days to look after me, oyster crackers, ginger ale and a calmer-than-usual dog. And, yes, even the hum of leaf blowers and street crews with vacuum trucks reminding me that life goes on.

If there’s confetti, it must be a party

I looked out of my office window on Monday and saw what looked like a party going on in my yard, with leaf confetti fast becoming a thick blanket of decoration:

Fallen leaves mix with the orange lantana remnants to create a medley of nature’s confetti.

The source of the confetti is all of our trees, lately having to decided to get with the autumn program, change color and drop leaves everywhere.

Just one source of the confetti in the yard

It’s like God is throwing a party and decorating the earth with brilliant colors to remind us of how beautiful life can be, even as winter looms.

Confetti for my artist’s date
Lately, I’ve felt a bit like the dried-up leaves on the ground, not the pretty reds and golds and bright oranges newly fallen and confetti-like, but instead like the crisped brown ones that crunch when you step on them and hitch a ride into the house on the dog’s feet.

I realized I’ve been ignoring my artist’s date, a term Julia Cameron defines in her book The Artist’s Way as a weekly solo date that she insists is essential for any creative person who wants to make creativity sustainable. So I decided to set out in search of more confetti for my artist’s date. And I knew exactly where to find it.

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