September slipped away last night. That was fast.
I read that if we want time to slow down (don’t we all?) then we need to quit rushing from one thing to another, stuffing more and more into our lives. Instead we should practice being in the moment, mindful of, and grateful for, the world right in front of us.
In hindsight that is just what Mark and I did when we drove to north Idaho to see Anna and celebrate with other aggies at the University of Idaho’s annual Ag Days festivities. It was a good excuse to give Mark’s wrists another few days to heal as well.
The campus was wrapped in its early autumn beauty, the locusts lining sixth street in full yellow color. We attended the full slate of College of Ag activities which coincided with Dad’s weekend and state FFA competitions. Mark and Anna now have matching Gamma Phi t-shirts! We explored the pre-game event and even lucked into a couple of passes to get into the VIP box at the football game which meant food and drink and cushy seats for two.
We planned to stay through Monday night so we set a leisurely pace. As I look back, it’s the details that come to mind. Anna brought a friend along one morning and we walked through Idler’s Rest nature preserve. It’s only 35 acres but a real gem. It’s a shady foray through cedars, pines, and firs (yes, Mark knows the difference) in stark contrast to the manicured dry farms stretching out in every direction. Both environments are majestic in their own way.
I took in the Farmer’s Market in downtown Moscow on Saturday morning. Purple eggplants and squash of every color, fragrant basil, cheeses, something for everyone. My favorites were the end-of-season flowers. I bought a bouquet of everlastings to take home to our host for the weekend. Only $6.00 for a generous bunch of statice; what a buy! A loaf of artisan potato bread and berry cream cheese croissants rounded out my armful of goodies
We enjoyed the lunar eclipse on Sunday, as our hosts, Karen and Carl, prepared leg of lamb. But it was the supermoon, the harvest moon, that was even more spectacular the next night as it hung in the treetops over the rolling Palouse hills. Wow.
The drive home was mindful as well. We usually hustle home, but instead of a marathon drive we took a detour to visit the Big Hole Valley of Montana. Thirty years ago the meadows this time of year would have been filled with dozens of loose hay stacks picturesquely surrounded by pole fences. Now only a few stalwart ranchers continue the tradition. The beauty of the stacks, made more so by their rarity, was not wasted on me. We even took time to walk out across the meadows and see a beaverslide, the implement used to create the stacks and its accompanying framework up close.
They say ranching is an art, I think they were talking about the haystacks of the Big Hole.