Fall in the Coulee Region

Today is the first day of September and the first day of school in our area. Why we start on a Wednesday, have Labor Day off and are in our third week before the students have a full week of classes is beyond me. But, that’s the way it goes and has gone for a long time.

I had the pleasure of taking one of my summer writing students out for ice cream yesterday. She’s going into fourth grade. We walked from her house, which is not far from mine, to the locally owned store in our town that also offers hand-scooped ice cream. On our way, we chatted about the end of summer, vacations, and more. On the subject of vacations, she perked up when I told her my husband and I would be visiting the Grand Canyon and some other national parks in October. She revealed that her family had gone to the Grand Canyon last year, missing a week of school. I heard the guilt in her voice when she talked about the vacation and missing school to go on it. Quickly, I reminded her that sometimes you can learn more on vacation than you do in a classroom, guessing this would probably be the case given her family’s resources and setting of the vacation. This seemed to make her feel better. I agreed that missing school for a family vacation can be both exciting and anxiety provoking when you return. I saw those traits in my boys as well.

I doubt many leave our area in the fall for vacation. It is so beautiful here with the leaves starting to change color, the corn tassels yellowing, fall mums brightening a drying landscape, and temperatures in the mid-70s. It’s a time to fling the windows open and enjoy cool breezes gracing your face as you sleep.

We are busy (as usual) with fall projects. My husband is working on our new driveway today with a friend. They are grading the property at the top of our long and twisty gravel drive and seeding it with a cover crop that will help prevent erosion so that next spring we can sow native wildflower seeds and grasses. It’s a great day to be outside working. In fact, when I finish my post, outside is where I will head – for a long walk to help me exercise and prepare for that trip out west that I alluded to earlier. I look forward to enjoying the time outside.

We’ve also been working on cleaning out. I took another tote to the consignment store today and have a bag ready for the salvation army. Some new things have been put aside for the Afghan refugees that have been sent to a military base near us. Luckily, our community is very giving and the donations have exceeded what was hoped for, according to the news.

I have a new bright yellow mum to pot up and a few gardens to weed. Fall is probably my favorite season, but I really can’t imagine doing without any of the natural changes we have in northern latitudes. Each season brings new beauty and new reasons to be outdoors. Today is a beautiful fall day, so I’ve got to cut this short and get out there!

Enjoy September!

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