Autumn Poetry

Yellow aspens along a dirt roadQuaking aspens turn a brilliant yellow in the fallI’ve been enjoying the spirit of autumn these past few weeks. I went for a few dirt-road drives in the mountains to see the gorgeous red and yellow fall color on the bigtooth maples and the quaking aspens.

Looking at photos of fall scenery somehow led me to look up autumn-themed poetry! These are both poems about fall that I’d never encountered before.

A log cabin against a backdrop of red and yellow fall color

A misty fall afternoon in the mountains

October by Helen Hunt Jackson

Bending above the spicy woods which blaze,
Arch skies so blue they flash, and hold the sun
Immeasurably far; the waters run
Too slow, so freighted are the river-ways
With gold of elms and birches from the maze
Of forests. Chestnuts, clicking one by one,
Escape from satin burs; her fringes done,
The gentian spreads them out in sunny days,
And, like late revelers at dawn, the chance
Of one sweet, mad, last hour, all things assail,
And conquering, flush and spin; while, to enhance
The spell, by sunset door, wrapped in a veil
Of red and purple mists, the summer, pale,
Steals back alone for one more song and dance.

Bigtooth maples turn a brilliant red in the fall

When the Frost is on the Punkin by James Whitcomb Riley

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and the gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’; of the guineys and the cluckin’ of the hens
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O it’s then the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock
They’s somethin kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny monring of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries – kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A preachin’ sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage, too!
I don’t know how to tell it—but if sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
I’d want to ‘commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Red maples along a dirt road

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Frying Donuts in the Wee Small Hours

I saw this Help Wanted flyer in my local grocery store the other day and it made me smile.

A Help Wanted sign seeking a donut fryer to work from 2am to 8am.

The most unusual hours I ever worked were on a swing shift from 4pm to midnight as a copyeditor and proofreader for yellow-page phone directory ads.

There was a day shift too (I shared a desk and a computer with the day shift employee), but as one could earn a few cents more per hour, I decided to work the swing shift.

On my shift, the company building was always dark, empty, quiet, and calm—the only occupants were two small teams of graphic designers and copyeditors. The idea was efficiency—the swing shift copyeditors worked on the ads that had just been produced by the day shift graphic designers and vise versa.

What other jobs out there have unexpectedly unusual working hours?

Earring Organization with Buttons!

I store pairs of stud earrings by inserting them into a button

A great way to store stud earrings and keep them together so that you don’t have to spend time hunting for the other half of a pair in your jewelry box trays is to put each pair into a button.

These particular buttons are 7/8″ in diameter and the distance between the two holes is 5/16″, which makes them big enough to accommodate all my stud earrings.

A package of about 20 basic plastic 7/8″ two-hole buttons cost me around $2 at my local JoAnn store. The fact that they were purple was just a bonus!