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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Introducing Autumn 2016 (published week of Sept. 22)



It is beginning to feel like Summer is leaving and quietly closing the door behind her. Like a brash and brassy blonde, all heat and fire and drought, she is gathering up her skirts and heading out toward the sunset. The nights are too cold for her. She will linger a bit longer in the daytime but at night she will be invisible. Hiding in the bushes. 

Summer’s cousin, Autumn, is on her way. She is scheduled to arrive Thursday, September 22nd at 10:21am. She has more energy and spirit than the lazy, slow-moving Summer. Autumn has her paint palette ready to coat the leaves on the trees before they dry up and fall to the ground. She will use a bright crimson on the Virginia creeper that clings to the side of our farmhouse. A touch of burnished gold for the oak tree; lemon yellow for the apple and burgundy wine for the maple.

The turkeys are getting nice and fat. We don’t have to worry about them flying up and roosting on the fence so much anymore; most of them are too heavy to launch themselves. Our turkeys are getting loaded on the truck and heading on an endless vacation the week before Thanksgiving. They will be ready the Friday before your holiday dinner so if you are in need of a big bird for your family celebration, let me know.
This weekend the Kemptville Farmers’ Market is hosting their annual fall harvest MarketPlates event. This is a true celebration of local food where you get to meet the farmer and sample their wares. From their Facebook page: “MarketPlates pairs regional chefs with local producers to create delicious and unique dishes that are sure to satisfy the most discerning palate.” For $20 in advance or $25 at the door, you get 12 tastes. Big Sky Ranch is bringing their little beasties for a petting zoo, so the kids will be entertained as well. Live, local music will set the mood – including Carey Graham who always puts on such a great show.
The rest of us regular vendors will also be on hand this weekend, and I’m bringing some extra baking to raise money for a friend. My daughter’s boyfriend Yuki Yamanaka is heading to Italy this fall for the World Championships in Muay Thai kickboxing. He needs plane fare and a bit extra for his trip so some of my family members are pitching in to bake some goodies for a fundraiser. We’ll have squares and muffins, cookies and brownies and loaves. 

I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by to hear me speak at the 14th Annual Literary Follies. It was a very special event as my future son-in-law (Carey Graham) did an awesome performance on Saturday, singing Tragically Hip songs and sharing some of his extensive knowledge about the writing process and meaning behind the songs. 

For someone who speaks on the radio for a living you would think I would be quite comfortable addressing a crowd. But a live audience always freaks me out a little bit. Last week I spoke to the seniors at the Russell Fair and at first I thought maybe they weren’t really interested and then I realized they probably couldn’t hear me very well, as we were in a hockey arena with terrible acoustics. I had trouble seeing to read my book as well, and thought it sure would have been nice if I had remembered to bring my glasses. When I sat down, I found the glasses on my head. How appropriate. I was having a seniors’ moment. In the end some people came over to chat with me and buy my book so I guess they were interested after all. I’m not very good at reading a crowd. 

When I was at the Literary Follies in Kemptville though, I looked out at the audience and recognized so many faces of people who have been following my column for the past nine years. People who encouraged me to publish my stories in book form and interested readers who are asking me to write another.
Maybe it was because I started the day at 4am by babysitting my granddaughter so her parents could go hunting. I might have been a bit overtired. In any case, I wasn’t nervous at all. I felt relaxed as I told my stories and read three chapters of my book aloud. 

More likely, it was the positive, encouraging energy of small-town cheerleaders, book lovers and friends that put me at ease.
Get out and enjoy some of what North Grenville has to offer, before winter comes along and sends us into hibernation.

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