Changes in the Air…

Hi Friends!

You have often been on my mind in the past few weeks. I hope you are all safe and feeling healthy!

Happy Autumn! In the Midwest, the change of seasons has been a bit of a roller coaster ride throughout October. I changed from my winter jacket to a t-shirt and back to my winter jacket from day to day as I worked in the yard and finished up an outdoor painting project. I’m delighted to report that my huge project to ‘right-size’ three garden beds surrounding our front porch is finally finished! (I still feel a few aches and pains from all the weeks of digging.) Now the garden will be so much easier to care for during this busy time in life. In the Springtime, after more front porch restoration, I will plant a few favorite, old-fashioned flowering shrubs in the new, smaller garden beds. Can’t wait to make this garden dream a reality! ๐Ÿ™‚

โ™ซ From the cast of Hamilton โ™ซ


It’s so encouraging to hear that, as of today, over 85 million Americans have already cast their ballots! Did you change your method of voting this year or will you vote on Election Day?

Due to Covid, rather than vote in person this year, we decided to vote by mail for the very first time. On the first weekend of October, we drove out west to our County Election Commission to place our ballots into a special drop box. It felt heartwarming to see a steady stream of cars dropping off their ballots a whole month before Election Day. (We were also able to drop off my parents’ ballots. They had signed the affidavit on their envelopes giving us permission to carry their ballots to the drop box.)ย  BallotTrax alerted us that our ballots were accepted and processed two days later. So easy… and never more important!

From early May through early November, if you happen to drive past our little bungalow, you will see our flag flying from our front porch (weather permitting). This has been my tradition for the past thirty-three years. It is not a political statement of any kind. Instead it is a symbol of my love for my country and my hopes to help make it better for everyone. Throughout my entire life, I have strived to help our country in so many small ways.

During the past four years, however, it has been necessary to show up for my country in more visible ways. “Enough is enough” were the words we chanted at a nearby Islamic Center rally to support our immigrant families. “Enough is enough” were the words we chanted as I stood with the high school students to support their demands to end gun violence in America. We sang “Silent Night” and chanted “This is what democracy looks like” on a frigid December night rally in the park for impeachment. This year, it has been necessary to raise my voice as an ally in support of racial justice for all BIPOC Americans. There is so much work to do!! I truly hope that change is in the air…

From Election Day forward, I pray for patience and peace as we all await the 2020 election results. It’s sure to take longer to count every vote this year. Our future depends upon all of us finding ways to work together. I pray for much more kindness, especially toward those who voted differently than you. History has its eyes on us!

This Autumn, we have been savoring the quiet, healing of nature’s beauty on our walks.

Watching the season change from week to week brings a sense of normalcy during such tumultuous times.

Change can bring new growth and new possibilities!

For the past few months, I have been really enjoying the chance to follow along on You Tube as the Wander Women thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail.ย  It’s a truly uplifting journey along a rugged trail through such beautiful parts of America watching the seasons change! The Wander Women are three retirees, Kristy, Annette, and Lynn who just love to hike, backpack, and explore. They began this hike on a snowy June day in Wyoming. Along the way, they have encountered heat, cold, long stretches with scarce drinking water, dangerous river crossings, huge elevation changes… and the most beautiful scenery along the Continental Divide Trail! It’s so encouraging to see the kindness of strangers they meet along the way. The landscape has changed as they hike about twenty miles each day. Every five or six days, they stop in a small town to resupply and Kristy uploads a weekly video of their adventure. So far, Kristy and Annette have hiked over 2,000 miles since June. They are currently hiking through New Mexico and have less than 700 miles to complete their CDT thru-hike. I so admire their endurance and positive attitudes and am so grateful for the chance to follow along on their journey!

Take a peek at this week’s Wander Women video (Episode 22). If you enjoy it, follow along! It’s the perfect antidote to all of the news and is sure to lift your spirits!

We have already had two days of snow flurries this week. So early! This weekend we will have a leaf-raking party (just a party of two!). Our snow shovels are ready. Change is in the air…

Stay safe and healthy, sweet friends!

Sending big air hugs from my heart to yours,

โ™ก Dawn


23 thoughts on “Changes in the Air…

  1. Beautifully said, Dawn! We need more understanding and kindness; less name-calling. Our library had a great webinar on Understanding Fake News that included some websites where you can check your news sources, where they fall on the bias scale, and how in-depth/reliable they are. Really helpful when talking with some family members who are hearing and reading very different information than I am. And – my mom and I voted by mail as well, and drove our ballots to the ballot drop box at the county seat in early October. Got the BallotTrax confirmation as well. So thankful to have been able to do it early and safely.

    • Thank you so much, Ginnie! The webinar sounded very helpful. I wonder if it might have been saved to your library’s website or You Tube. I will check to see!
      Wishing you nice Autumn days, my friend! Hope we can connect again soon, Ginnie. Sending big hugs to you and your mom!๐Ÿ’—

    • Oh, you will love the Wander Women, Kim! Last year they hiked the Appalachian Trail. This year, they planned for a hike in Europe but, of course, had to change their plans. So, they set off on the CDT instead. They have had to change plans along the way as wildfires and blowdown trees closed parts of the CDT. As you watch the videos, please donโ€™t get any wild ideas about the two of us taking such a hike! I could never survive such an adventure!! Love you, Sweetie!๐Ÿ’—

  2. Wonderful to hear from you. Mom and I both voted and it was confirmed via computer that both were received. It was the final thing we did together before she took her final breath on October 13th. I am busy doing what has to be done and am glad that the change for her included the end of her terrible final days of pain. Hugs.

    • Oh, Anne. Wrapping my arms around you with heartfelt sympathy, dear friend. I’m so very sorry. I still cherish our visit when you and your mom were here in town together. I’ll write a proper note very soon, Anne. Sending huge hugs from both of us!๐Ÿ’—

  3. Weather has been on a roller coaster ride all year. We have changed seasons daily. I especially love the ride that goes from summer to winter in 24 hours! Our entire county was shut down on Tuesday. We stayed in with a fire in the fireplace.
    For the first time we voted by mail. However, Texas doesnโ€™t give you a way to track your ballot, like other states. And what you have to go through to drop off your ballot, well you might as well vote in person. So I can only hope our ballots get counted. I am becoming acutely aware of procedural suppression. I am not watching the news again until Tuesday. My childhood girlfriend that lives in NJ has agreed to join AA with me when this is all over. LOL Friends to the end!
    I am so happy you now have all your garden beds โ€œright-sizedโ€. I love my gardens but no one wants it to consume their life. I have a garlic bed I need to plant in the next few days and that is all I am doing this winter. When they forecasted a warmer and DRIER winter than normal I decided not to put in a fall garden. I am so fortunate to have fresh herbs outside my door all year. Rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme love the cold. This year I am going to try to keep one pot of spicy globe basil going. I dehydrated all the rest of the basil ahead of the cold front and have been hauling the pot of basil in and out of the plant room in the barn. I really love basil. I have been dehydrating orange slices. It is so fun and they are so cute. Right now I have some displayed in a wooden bowl with star anise, adorable!
    Those Wander Women are amazing! I love a good hike but holy cow. I had no idea! I thought of Gladys Taberโ€™s quote that speaks to me:
    Traveling is all very well if you can get home at night. I would be willing to go around the world if I could be back in time to light the candles and set the table for dinner.

    So off we go into the unknown with fingers crossed for a country that shines with goodness, kindness and empathy for all.

    • It’s always such a treat to hear from you, Chris! So glad that you are staying in and staying healthy, my friend. A fire in the fireplace sounds extra cozy! Voter suppression remains a reality in so many forms. So proud of you for taking an extended news break, Chris!
      What a blessing to have fresh herbs right outside your door all winter long! I can just picture your wooden bowl filed with dried orange slices and star anise. Pure hygge!๐Ÿ’•
      I usually bring in a few favorite herbs to enjoy all winter long in our sunny dining room windows. This year I ran out of space though. Iโ€™m propagating cuttings from my favorite hydrangeas that I dug out of the front porch beds. They seem very happy in the dining room windows. We lovingly refer to them as nice, quiet ‘coworkers’ since John is working remotely from our dining room table! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      The Wander Women definitely inspire women ‘of a certain age’ to live our lives to the fullest! Three nights of tent camping is about my limit, I think. Hanging their food from the trees in a bear bag and cooking their meals far away from their campsite is a stark reminder that they are guests in bear country! They often see tracks on their path. I really look forward to Kristy’s weekly video of their adventures. So proud of the Wander Women!!
      Although I truly love to travel, Gladys Taber’s quote touches my heart as well. It feels just right during our ‘stay at home’ time this year! Sending big hugs all the way to West Texas, my friend! ๐Ÿ’•Stay healthy while enjoying the cozy, comforts of Home Sweet Home! ๐Ÿ’—

  4. Dawn, you are a wonderful. Thank you for loving this battered and broken country, and thank you, too, for standing up for what is right and good and just. I’ve been hosting a polling place in my garage for nearly twenty years, but for the first time this year I voted by mail. It’s not the same as in person, but it’s so important. We were able to track our ballot’s progress on-line, and we all received notification when they ballot arrived. There are four of us voting this year: the two of us and my adult sons. I’m proud of them. I’m anxious about the week ahead. I hope calmer heads prevail. I’m so glad to know you. I love your garden and the beautiful heart that created it. Big hugs. Deep breaths.

    • Your kind words truly melt my heart, dear Alys! Thirty-five years of teaching young children makes me hopeful for our countryโ€™s future. ๐ŸŽ In fact, one of our classroom mottos was โ€œThere are no hands too small to help the world.โ€ Through the years, we always put those words into action trying to help solve problems to build a brighter future! My passion for gardening also means that I believe in tomorrow! Through ALL of your charitable work, you are most definitely making a difference and building a brighter future, Alys! Kindred spirits!
      What an exciting first Presidential election for your sons! I know how much you will miss hosting the polling place in your garage, Alys. I will also miss the excitement of voting in person on Election Day this year. We should feel proud of making the healthier choice this voting season! I’m feeling very anxious about the week(s) ahead for our country. Itโ€™s crucial that every vote is counted… and that will certainly take extra time this year.
      I’m planning to spend creative time in my little Paper Garden studio downstairs on Monday and Tuesday playing with paper and ink… and avoiding the news reports. Much healthier! Perhaps you can join me in your craft room, Alys! ๐Ÿ’•Sending big hugs all the way to California!
      Namaste. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ Deep breaths.๐Ÿ’—

      • Dawn you are a bright light. Thirty years of young children in your town had the privilege of calling you their teacher. I’m happy to think of you on election day in your paper garden. I wish I could do the same. I’m taking my sister to a hydro therapy appointment which means two, hour-long round trips of driving and another hour of waiting. She’s lost a lot of muscle mass since she’s been unable to swim since March at the start of the pandemic. I took her to the ER a few weeks ago, because her feet felt like cement and she could no longer transfer from her scooter to her car seat. It was scary and made all the worse with COVID. I had to wait for hours in a parking lot, unable to be with her inside.

        So…deep breaths. Namaste

      • Alys, please bring Sharon big hugs and words of encouragement from me tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ™๐ŸผScary medical visits are really much more challenging during the pandemic. We have also spent many hours waiting in the car outside the hospital while family members are inside. The medical community has been doing incredible work on the frontlines! I often mention them by name on the Gratitude page in my bullet journal.๐Ÿ’•
        ‘Sister time’ will do your hearts good tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜ŠSharon will feel better after her therapy session. Your favorite music and a good book will lighten your heart, too! Hugs for all that you do to make lives easier for everyone, dear Alys! Love you!!๐Ÿ’—

  5. Congrats on your gardening downsize. You did it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Fall didn’t last too long here, just long enough for the leaves to fall. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our temps have dropped, we’ve had snow flurries a couple of times, and I think winter is on the horizon. We voted by mail for the first time too, and plan to be safe at home on Tuesday and Wednesday in case there are any issues in this very strange year. Glad to hear you and yours are all safe and well. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Judy! ๐Ÿ˜ŠI thought of you week after week as I dug out mature perennials entwined with those invasive weeds. I could ‘hear’ you cheering me on from afar! So grateful for your help, my friend!๐Ÿ˜Š
      I will be helping my parents on Wednesday and hope that the streets remain calm. I know that nearby cities and towns are taking precautions to keep people and property safe. Once the election results are finalized, I hope we can find ways to come together as a nation for fairness, kindness, and a brighter future for all. Sending hugs all the way to NH, Judy!
      Stay safe and be well!๐Ÿ’—

  6. Thank you for sharing the steps you have been taking to support justice in your community and country. It gives me hope each time I hear of others’ commitments to kindness and equality.โค๐Ÿ’™

    • So nice to hear from you, Ericka! Hope you and your family are well. All humans have the right to be treated with fairness, empathy, and kindness. Learning more, being an ally, and taking small, action steps for justice are some of the ways I can make a difference. There is still so much work to be done! Thanks so much for stopping to visit today, Ericka! Stay safe and be well! ๐Ÿ’—

  7. On this very important day, it is lovely to read your post here, Dawn. I do pray “change is in the air.” I loved hearing the cast of Hamilton encouraging us all to vote. So, so important! Our daughter and son-in-law treated us to the show (on tv) when they visited us over the summer. I am awestruck by this cast and the work of Lin-Manuel Miranda! Such an important message. All three of us voted absentee back in September. We felt much safer that way.
    It’s great to hear you have finished your right sized gardens. What an accomplishment! Your leaves are so lovely, Dawn. Our’s are just beginning to turn and drop by the bag fulls and ready for the compost. Today we all worked out front and tomorrow the back is waiting for us.
    I hope you and John and your parents are well. Take care and be good to yourself, my friend. xoxo

    • So good to hear from you tonight, Martha Ellen, as we wait! Your polls have already closed and our polls in Illinois are just closing now, once everyone in line has voted. I have always loved watching the results come in on election night. As I wait tonight, Iโ€™m praying that people can begin to come together to solve our nation’s problems. If members of Congress, family members, friends, neighbors, and all Americans will begin to listen to one another thoughtfully and share solutions to our problems, we can begin to make progress. We will ALL win!
      Wasnโ€™t Hamilton wonderful?? ๐ŸŽถ I saw it on the stage in Chicago a few years ago and the music and lyrics continue to stir my soul! So happy that you had a chance to see Hamilton, too! I’ll bet Samuel loved it, as well!
      We’ve been raking leaves here, too. We began on Halloween and I finished up the front yard this afternoon. We are enjoying a string of lovely, warm days this week! We are making plans for some Autumn walks this weekend to savor the beautiful colors and soak up some some November sunshine.
      This week my parents are both celebrating their birthdays! So, we are making special memories together, just two family visitors at a time. We are feeling so grateful!
      Sending warmest wishes for you, Grayden, and Samuel! Keep taking extra good care of one another. It’s time to begin planning for different ways to celebrate the holidays this year. Keeping you very close to my heart, dear friend! ๐Ÿ’—

  8. A wonderful post, Dawn, which I read much earlier in time and am just now getting back to comment.
    I did vote, would not have missed. I opted to early vote here in Cook County and must report that it went very well, I felt safe, there was a line (on the first day of early vote in suburban Cook) but the line moved well, the booths were adequately spaced and each one cleaned after each voter. All-in-all, it took exactly 37 minutes from the time I left my car until the time I returned. I found it amazing that so many people voted in so many ways this time. A good thing.

    Would you believe that just two days ago I picked superbells and snapdragons still blooming. A vase sits on my counter. What joy!

    Thanks you for you good words, deeds, and your garden.

    • Thanks so much for being here… twice, Penny!๐Ÿ’• So glad you had such a positive early voting experience. I heard reports locally that all of the early voting made it easy to vote in person on Election Day, too. It was great to have so many different options for voting in 2020. I really hope that Americans will stay engaged in our election process and continue to vote in large numbers in future elections. Itโ€™s so important to make our voices heard. That’s how real change can happen! Definitely a good thing!!๐Ÿ˜Š
      Penny, I love that you have fresh-picked flowers blooming in your kitchen! Over the years, I would always hope to have garden mums to create our Thanksgiving centerpiece. Many years it worked out, but so many times a hard frost dashed my plans! This year we still have two, purple clematis blooms on our arbor. They make my heart smile every time I pass by. I can feel your joy, dear Penny!
      Sending warmest wishes for good health during this challenging time. Stay well, my friend!๐Ÿ’—

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