The Bittersweet of September

With the change of seasons, come changes in life.  I am a huge fan of bittersweet and an even bigger fan of autumn.  My favorite bittersweet grows vigorously in our own backyard, and I watch it grow all season - getting excited as the berries crack open like popcorn exposing their inner self and beautiful color!  I pull chunks off my vines every fall, and garnish our house with it, like fine jewelry!  One of my least favorite bittersweets is the first day of school, which was yesterday.  For the first time in 20 years, the big yellow bus stopped only momentarily at the end of our driveway, and quickly sped away, as there was no one standing there.  I didn't even bother go to the window and look out, as I was capturing the infamous 'first day of school pictures' (seriously  mom - really - pictures - do we have to do this every year!)  The last 2 of our 5 children are now 10th and 7th grade - old enough to drive to school, and since EVERYBODY  that age drives to school, ours persuaded us they need to as well.  As they drove away, I was out on the front porch still shouting, 'I love you', 'Be careful', 'Have a great day', 'I love you!' 

I headed back into the house, working to stay composed, looked at the clock and knew that our middle daughter was now on foot, working her way across campus to her first morning class of college as a sophomore at the U of M.  We moved her in on Monday, Labor Day.  The house was empty; just me and a messy kitchen from the aftermath of canning 20 qts. of Salsa the night before.  The kids are growing up so beautifully, and this is truly a parents dream, to raise strong, independent, capable children who will do well in school, in life, and in the world.  But the mother instincts in my heart, would love to keep them safe and warm in my nest forever.  As the day went on, my tension eased, and after preparing Tator-Tot Hot dish for the evening meal, pushing 3 loads of laundry through, and working in my office for the first part of the day - the hum and normalness  of 'routine' had started to settle into my bones again.  The cycle of life continues, and another school year has begun...

Meanwhile - I am waiting on a call today to find out when I will be on press with the book - I know it will be within the next few days - so I am patiently pending. We will launch the book information on our website in the next week or two - the excitement is building!  I am spending a few days right now, to reorganize my house, studio and life after the summer vacation months and marathon book painting project - and hope to be back in the painting chair next week ;)  My head is busting with so many exciting ideas of the paintings waiting to happen...stay tuned!

Happy School Days, Happy September,  Happy almost Autumn to everyone...

Thanks for reading,