I usually don’t have time to post two days in a row, but Thanksgiving break is finally here. A respite has arrived and with it a desert rain. Living in Arizona now, I’m always skeptical when I hear what sounds like rain spitting on the windows. This time my hopeful suspicions were confirmed by an open window, a conduit for the earthy scent that always accompanies these infrequent showers. It revives my hope that I still might experience the delicate essences unique to autumn.

Autumn may be my favorite time of year. Memories of the autumns of my life nip at my consciousness like the frosty winds that dance under the stadium lights and through the small town crowd at a high school football game on a northern Nebraska night. They burn brightly like the trees, matchsticks of amber and auburn leaves that line a certain well-traveled Oregon street. One year the kids and I collected those brilliant leaves from the soggy ground (which is always their eventual end.) We ironed them between 6 X 6 sheets of wax paper, strung the sheets between burgundy strands of yarn, and hung them in the narrow window panels on either side of our front door. We thought their beauty rivaled any exquisite stained glass.

Most years I spread my homage to leaves and burning beauty on my kitchen table. I top my favorite fall-colored table runner with candles and a sculpted pitcher filled with silk leaves. The pitcher was a BINGO prize from one of my mother-in-law’s famous theme parties. I bought the table runner in the mid-90’s (probably from a Michael’s clearance rack.) I can’t remember if I bought it before or after I read Edith Schaeffer’s The Hidden Art of Homemaking, but ever since it’s been one of my favorite tools for attempting to create a little bit of artistic beauty in my home – especially in this glorious season.

Have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving!


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