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Autumn Days

Crisp mornings.

Blue skies.

Leaves of red, orange, and yellow.

Apples, pulled off the tree with a twist of the wrist, piled into a bag, and taken home to be turned into applesauce and apple pie.

Pumpkin pie.

Hikes through the state forest with the leaves drifting down around us and our feet scuffling through them, inches deep, on the ground.

The strong, earthy smell of chrysanthemums.

Sitting around the fire pit outside with the fire crackling, the sparks flying upward, and constant discussions about whether or not it is the right time and place to add another log.

Acorns and horse chestnuts and milkweed pods and pinecones and leaves again--always leaves--collected on walks and saved until they shrivel in pockets and crumble in piles on the counter.

Evenings spent on the couch with a cup of tea, a warm blanket, and a good book or two.

The vivid reds, oranges, pinks, and purples of autumn sunsets that take your breath away and are gone in only moments.

Warm bread dripping with butter eaten straight from the oven while standing at the counter.

Cozy sweaters, ankle boots, and warm scarves--all my favorite clothes.

October was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put out the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths.
 Anne reveled in the world of color about her.
"Oh Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills? I'm going to decorate my room with them. 

I agree with Anne. October, with all its assorted paraphernalia, gives me a thrill--several thrills.

A Poem for a Thursday

I don't read much poetry and I am not sure why. It might be pure laziness since poetry is frequently not as straight-forward as a novel and I like my words clear and incisive. However, I also like my words beautiful and lyrical and poems fit the bill there.  In a bid to read more poetry I am going to start posting a poem I like every Thursday. That is all it is going to be--a poem I like that caught my eye or my ear. I am not going to tear it apart and analyze it to death though I might occasionally have some random thoughts about it. If you have random thoughts as well then I would love to hear them in the comments. I also would love poetry recommendations. Do you have a favorite poem? A favorite poet? Tell me what I have been missing.

I have always thought of Robert Frost as a New England poet but I was fascinated to find out that, while he lived for many years in Massachusetts, his poetry was first published while he was living in England. Frost won the Pulitzer Prize four times, was made the poet laureate of Vermont in 1961, and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature an amazing 31 times. I doubt there is a high school student in the U.S. who has not read and analyzed his "The Road Not Taken".  I wasn't familiar (what a surprise) with this poem but I stumbled across it while looking for quotes about autumn.

A tree's leaves may be ever so good,
So may its bar, so may its wood;
But unless you put the right thing to its root
It never will show much flower or fruit.

But I may be one who does not care
Ever to have tree bloom or bear.
Leaves for smooth and bark for rough,
Leaves and bark may be tree enough.

Some giant trees have bloom so small
They might as well have none at all.
Late in life I have come on fern.
Now lichens are due to have their turn.

I bade men tell me which in brief,
Which is fairer, flower or leaf.
They did not have the wit to say,
Leaves by night and flowers by day.

Leaves and bar, leaves and bark,
To lean against and hear in the dark.
Petals I may have once pursued.
Leaves are all my darker mood.

Leaves Compared With Flowers
Robert Frost

I wrote this whole post and then realized that, as with many things, this is not an original thought. The blog Girl With Her Head in a Book also posts a weekly poem. Go, read! Have a double-dose of weekly poetry.

Bookshop Visit//The Shire Book Shop

The Shire Book Shop

Second-hand bookshops are delightful. Hours can be lost in them and even amongst the most seemingly pedestrian selection of books treasures are waiting to be found. I discovered just such a bookshop a few weeks ago on a sunny Saturday afternoon. My husband and I went out to brunch and visited The Shire Book Shop in Franklin, Massachusetts. The bookshop is on the ground floor of a turn-of-the-century old mill building, it is large, and it most certainly does not contain a pedestrian selection of books.  I walked in, turned to my husband, and informed him that I might never leave.  I found it overwhelming at first because there are books and shelves and nooks and crannies and I didn't know where to start. I wandered aimlessly for a while simply admiring all the old books and then I got down to business.

the shire book shop

the shire book shop

My book budget is reasonably limited and if I spent $40.00 on a book then that was likely to be the only book I would buy for the day. I am only going to do that if I come across something I can't live without. For a while, I felt like every book  I pulled off the shelves was more than I wanted to spend but I decided to start with the paperback section at the rear of the store and I was more successful there.

the shire book shop

typewriters at the shire book shop

The shop is a jumble with boxes of books in front of shelves, stacked on chairs, and around every corner. I felt a bit as if all customers should be greeted at the door with a treasure map, preferably hand-drawn on brown paper, showing the location of all the different sections. However, it was equally fun to make discoveries on my own.

the shire book shop

the shire bookshop

the shire book shop

I had a lovely chat with the bookseller. I asked if she had any old Penguins and she said I would have to search for them, they were all mixed in with the other books. She told me about a couple of her regular customers who come in a few times a year to add to their Penguin collections. I simply like Penguin books and will pick one up if it is a book I want to read but she has several customers who are trying to complete collections.  We talked about Jane Austen and the yearly Jane Austen themed tea party she attends. She also made a few bookshop recommendations. She was a pleasure to talk to.

the shire book shop

the shire book shop

So, what did I buy? I ended up having to spend endless amounts of time debating and putting books in and out of my final pile of purchases but the books below are the ones I brought home with me. I thought I already owned the first volume of The Horseman Riding By trilogy but apparently, I don't so I will have to look out for a copy of that. I was pleased to find Patience. This has been reprinted by Persephone Books. Any book about Jane Austen is a good book to have. The Edna Ferber is because I just read her autobiography and now I am rereading her books. The two Pelicans are because I find books about social history fascinating.

I had a very enjoyable visit to The Shire Book Shop and I am sure I will be back sometime soon. It is a wonderful place to while away a Saturday afternoon. And did I mention that they offer a complimentary cup of tea?

The Shire Book Shop
305 Union Street
Franklin, MA 02038