March 2014: The Children Are Tender

Caregiving, teaching little kids to read, and riding in the pickup with Farmer John; I tweet, pin, and blog, from my home in rural Kansas. If you've landed here looking for information about my books, visit my author's page by clicking this link: A. Born. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Unexpected Harvest

Don't you love life's little surprises?  Farmer John planted some pumpkin and squash seeds in a boggy place in the middle of one of his soybean fields last spring, then forgot about them.  When he returned to combine the soybeans just a couple of days ago, there were two great big pumpkins, quite a few smaller ones, and enough butternut squash to last us and all of our friends for the winter.

Another happy surprise has to do with my 35 year old quest to grow a sugar maple.  My grandparents had a gorgeous one in their yard that would amaze and impress each year with it's bright orange and yellow fall colors, and I wanted one just like theirs.  We planted two in the front yard and they died. We planted one in the side yard and it had been mislabeled; it was a red maple. We finally planted the one in the photo below and for 15 years it has been an oddly stunted disappointment. Each year its leaves have turned from green to dull brown and then fallen to the ground in sad disgrace by early November, and it just hasn't grown at a normal rate.  But this year, our little tree has redeemed itself.  Very rapidly, within a 3 day time period, it's leaves turned orange! Just like Grandma and Grandpa's tree! My grandparents' farm was sold earlier this year much to my grief, and it is heartwarming to see this reminder of the old home place right in my own yard.

We have two more little surprises due any day now, because both our daughter and our daughter-in-law are due to deliver babies within the next two weeks.  Blessing upon blessing this harvest season!

John usually won't pose for photos but he is proud of this pumpkin! 

The porch of the little yellow house is decorated for fall, thanks to Farmer John's unexpected harvest.

It IS a sugar maple after all! 

A friend from Arkansas told me she was disappointed in fall in Kansas.  "Not much color," she said. But I love the quiet beauty of softening browns and golds--and, I drew her attention to my bright orange sugar maple (above). Our yellow lab was anxiously helpful as I took these photos, and had be cropped out of every shot...missed cropping his tale from this photo, do you see it?