According to my weather-obsessed family, this was the last of the warm weather days for the year. I made the most of it.
For starters, I took Friday off as a personal day.
I SLEPT IN.
That alone would be enough to call this a terrific weekend. But wait! There’s still more:
I puttered around the house and garden in perfect New England fall weather until it was time to get gussied up for a cousin’s wedding reception. I am a total sucker for weddings–the ritual and rites, the dressing up, the cheesy photos, the dancing (the good, the bad, and whatever it is that my uncle does) , the cake–I love it all.
The party was in a funky college town in Western, Massachusetts in an old train station (so cool!). The food was good, the music was bopping, and my family is so much fun to be around. And in these days where so much seems dire, seeing folks I love launching off into the future together is real, beautiful, tangible hope.
Saturday, my Personal Chef and I blew through the weekend chores, then headed to the ocean. We drove along the Rhode Island coast, then crossed the Newport Bridge onto Aquidneck Island, because, sometimes you just need to spend some time on an island, you know? After the lovely drive, we took a long walk along the trails at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a favorite spot for flora, fauna, and sealife. We were not disappointed.
The late flowers of the season filled the meadow. The bayberry and bittersweet was abundant. There were cormorants and seagulls on the rocky ledge just offshore. A peregrine falcon kept watch from the top of a tall tree. We crossed paths with a fisher cat, as she scampered across the trail. We even interrupted a deer enjoying a bite to eat.
We headed home just before sunset, then grabbed our youngest son for a trip to a high school football field to see a marching band competition. For over a decade, I was a Band Mom as all three of our children participated in our local school district’s music program. Notably, our tiny town has a nationally competitive marching band (I know, right?).
Some of our family’s fondest memories have been traveling the east coast to see the band perform. My favorite will always be the football field at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, (I challenge you to listen to the Navy Band play the National Anthem there and not get goosebumps), but MetLife Stadium in New Jersey–where the NY Giants play football–is pretty cool, too. By the time our last kid was a senior, we had seen more marching band shows there thanGrateful Dead shows!
It’s been four years since our youngest graduated from high school and ended his marching band days. His girlfriend’s kid sister, though, is now a senior in that same band. We haven’t seen them perform all fall, and the season is winding down. The weather was great, the competition wasn’t too far from home, and so off we went.
Once a Band Mom, always a Band Mom. It was good to be in the bleachers.
Best of luck to all of the young musicians who are heading out to their regional and national finals over the next two weeks. You have worked so hard, learned important lessons about collaborative effort, and created something beautiful. Shout out to the Band Moms and Band Dads who have given up your weekends to schlep to football fields all over. Trust me on this. You will cherish these memories.
Yesterday, I finished off the weekend with a trip to the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill with a sisterfriend. We had a wonderful time enjoying the fall colors, the special Enchanted Forest fairy garden trail, and a cup of hot soup on a patio overlooking Mt. Monadnock.
I never get tired of living in New England.
I carpe’d the bejeebers out of the past three diems! I was so happy to go back to work today for the rest!
What’s keeping you going through this autumn?