time hoarder.

It's 6:30 and I've been awake for hours, on my third cup of coffee and bundled up from head to toes.  There's a Fall chill in the air and I can't seem to get warm.  I'm sitting next to the window watching bright yellow leaves being chased to the ground as the gloom and rain steals their pluck, drowning them into sodden brown, landing in soggy heaps.  It's not the pretty kind of autumn morning, more like a glimpse of a winter morning to come.  It's dark and dreary and blustery, with a wild wind that rattles the windows and chills your soul. The kind of morning where you put on your softest flannel shirt, yoga pants and another pot of coffee and linger through the day.

 Night falls earlier now and the sun barely has a chance to warm the chill in the air.  By five o'clock, November unhitches her whimsy and the sun blows away, funneling my day-dreams down a drain somewhere on the horizon, leaving me with the unforgiving truth that it's about to get so much worse.

Already the morning dew is crystally and casts a sparkle as the sun struggles to rise over it.  My two old Ash trees have dropped most of their leaves, the Maples are nearly naked. The gardens have mostly wilted with just a few dried pods clinging on and two or three rotten tomatoes still on the vine. soup simmers on the stove more nights than not, and on those too chilly mornings, there is usually something warm from the oven. We made our first fire yesterday, so the house is warm and smells of the cinnamon rolls that I baked while most of the world was still dreaming this morning.

 There is a certain heartache that comes with change. even good change.  a heart wrench that explodes when time tumbles forward and you either tumble with it or dig your heels in and fight the future. there are moments I am arching backwards with every taut clinging muscle, but the future arrives with or without my permission. and then again I long for the future as I long for the past.

I am a time hoarder.
I am.
I savor the moments and then immediately try to gather them up, not letting one slip through my clenched fingers, praying that my hands are strong enough to hold all those moments.

I am a slow learner I'm afraid.
I wrestle daily with staying or going.
being one of those people 'from somewhere' or one of those people 'from everywhere'.
my heart loves both.
how can that be?

but she does.
sometimes I fear my boldness went the way of my youth.
swallowed up somewhere in the tiny space between childhood and the years tinged with gold.

it's time.
it's time to remember.
road less traveled baby.
it's coming for me.

there is no shame in staying. there is a beautiful life of memory and meaning, elbow deep in the places and people who know you. the shame comes in the hiding. in the shushing. in covering of ears and making loud noises to drown out the whispered hush of a call.
I could say no. I have that choice.
and yet no seems to be my shame and yes is my freedom.
whatever fear lies on the other side of that yes is a fear held in the hand of the one that calls to me.  
the one that knows me.
the one that loves me.

I can say yes to that.
In fact, I'm going to rock it.

I don't know if it's the sun that makes the yellow leaves brighter or the piercing blue sky, but today is slowly turning into one of those that lovely poems are written about. bright and warm-ish, full of pumpkins, laughter and huge leaf piles. The change of seasons, for me, is a time to dust away those old cobwebs and start fresh. There's a renewal of spirit in everything I do, as the days get shorter and darker, life turns sweet and slow. Even so, now that I'm older, the hours sometimes seem to dwindle away and I get lost between morning and night. 

It doesn't matter how much you pray for life to slow down and back up a little, it just keeps going on, offering you new adventures and lessons everyday.  The reality of life is that it's too short, but it is also so awesome. In the past I never took as many pictures as I wished now I would have.  For some reason, now, more things strike me enough to get out my camera. Both in the times where life brings me to my knees , and the times where I am lifted back up in joy.


Pumpkin bread

1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oat bran
3/4 cup turbinado sugar or brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds or pepitas
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk the pumpkin, applesauce, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well combined. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oat bran, sugar, nuts, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir with a large spoon just until evenly incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Brush the egg wash on top of the batter and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let bread cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.


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