Once again, I left after school on Friday for Elizabeth City. Sometimes, things just work out. We do not have classes Monday or Tuesday , and it just seemed I was destined to see Lyla wear little wings and wave a wand about, on Halloween.
There was a lot to do on Saturday. Will and Jenny were having a “dinner Party” in the early evening. It would be the first one in the new dining room with the glass chandelier , that I just love. Of course this occasion warranted a thorough house cleaning and the yard tidied up. There was fancy food to prepare -and there is always, Lyla.
Will set about his tasks in the yard. Lyla was quite interested in this affair. It involved dirt and digging. Children are always drawn to such things. Lyla dug in some potting soil and transferred it to the bird bath with diligence. I did not hinder her great effort, but instead was amused to see her learning about careful movement. She would stop ever so often and watch her dad intently, then remembering her work would dart back to the soil she had claimed.
Jenny worked in the house, and at lunch we all discussed our progress. Jenny was concerned about the complicated recipe to be prepared and there was still more housework. Will had an agenda that involved errands and a mirror to hang. Lyla and I had our plans to stroll by the river-far away from all of that busyness . So, we went our separate ways in the afternoon.
The river that laughs, was smooth as glass on this day. Lyla and I stopped to consider that, for awhile. Later, we walked by a small grove of pine trees. I love the smell of pine warmed by sunshine. A flock of blackbirds chattered noisily in a large cypress as we passed it. You could hear them from a good ways off. What a ruckus, I thought, but it was a happy sound. I love blackbirds in spite of their lowly reputation. They are are impressive in the air- a “song and dance” act of sorts-and when blackbirds fly, winter is upon us.
We did not see one friendly cat on this walk, but we did smell the sweetest rosebush on Raleigh Street and we saw dogwoods turning all shades of red. Against the royal blue October sky, it was a pretty picture.
In the Evening
When Lyla and I returned, Jenny was ready to begin the worrisome recipe. I have cooked all of my life and feel quite at home in a kitchen, but I must admit, I was a bit wary of this new concoction of ingredients I wasn’t used to. I did not know their nature nor habits in a simmering pot. I was more nervous about Jennys’ dinner that I had ever been about any of my own.
I considered arranging a centerpiece, but Mandy who owns Pansy & Ivy, was invited and has such a gift with flower arranging that I declare her an artist in her own right, and upon that consideration, I abandoned my notions. As it turns out, she brought a sweet arrangement and it was perfect. She also brought a pie and she could probably sell pie, too, I noted, later.
Another guest, Sarah has a reputation for her cooking skills and proves that frequently -so I sure hoped that the chicken in the heavy sauce would turn out.
The table was especially pretty. Everyone said the dinner was perfect. Each family carved a pumpkin afterwards. Lyla played with the masses of seeds while the older children contemplated the fate of their own pumpkin.
All things considered, this day in Autumn with its’ blackbirds singing and fancy dinner was a time to remember- and its’ memory may well come in handy on a long night in winter when there’s a cold wind blowing.