Tuesday, September 25, 2007

portland and pumpkin bread

This weekend I had the opportunity to fly to Portland to open for the wonderful Sam Payne at PSU. I'll be honest, after the hassle of last month's flight experiences, I was not looking forward to stepping foot in the airport again. Fortunately, the flights were very uneventful and smooth...and the security lines were short. We were graciously taken care of by the sponsor of the show, the founder of Jim Band Music, Dave Andersen. For the past couple years, Dave and his crew have worked relentlessly and sometimes thanklessly to put together wonderful family-friendly shows in the Portland area. It was an honor to be included with this one, especially on the same bill with Sam Payne. Sam is the ultimate performer. I love watching his shows and I especially love listening to him preface the songs with stories. He's has one of those voices that was born for telling stories, that soothes and entertains all at once. I always walk away from Sam's shows edified and inspired to write.

Sunday was the autumnal equinox. Stephanie Smith and I are somewhat fanatical about the fall season, so we had been planning our autumnal equinox celebration weeks in advance. We couldn't have planned better autumnal weather...overcast and cool. We inaugurated the celebration by lighting a pumpkin spice candle which was almost unnecessary since we made pumpkin bread from scratch and soon filled Steph's kitchen with the natural scent of pumpkin and spices. Then, in the company of her family, we enjoyed different breads, imported cheeses...gouda, swiss, portsalut, and fruit. Could one ask for a better fall celebration? I submit that one could not.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Autumn is my favorite season. But this has been a rather strange month for me for various reasons and there's been a hint of melancholy to the approaching season. I still love to look up on the mountainside and see the scrub oak leaves turning orange and I eagerly await the scarlet of the sumac...but it's just the tiniest bit sad to see things dying. It's sad to realize that the vibrancy is one last ditch effort before death, before the frost and bite of winter and loneliness. So I remind myself that it's just change...and change brings growth. There's beauty and wonder in the change if I choose to look for it. So I will.

I love the word autumn; I love everything about it--its letters, its length, and especially what it denotes. I can feel its crispness in the air when I say it aloud. There are a lot of things I want to do this autumn. I want to go hiking when all the leaves on the mountains have changed and the air is cool and smoky. I want to go to a corn maze at dusk, when the light is just beginning to fail. I want to carve a pumpkin and then roast the seeds. I don't even like roasted pumpkin seeds. I want to make warm, gooey pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and share them with my friends as we laugh and talk outside among the fallen leaves.