I close my eyes.

You see, you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. Mitch Albom

I got the most beautiful note from a friend a few weeks back (plus it was attached to the cutest pumpkin ever)! It meant a lot to me. I look at it everyday and it makes me happy. every day.

Many years ago I walked into a tiny, dim market on some busy street in San Francisco. I handed the man my money and had a brief conversation that I now have no memory of. But I remember my thoughts as I walked back out onto the street. And the feeling inside. We don’t have to do huge things in life, we just have to be authentic with people and present to the moment. We never know the true course that a simple smile or a kind word can take.

The air was still warm and I could have walked for miles. Sometimes I want to step through to the other side, into the emptiness. Sometimes I want to lose myself there, in the place outside of time where he didn't go away, she didn’t get sick, where change hasn’t crept in, where last night could have gone on forever.

Life is so huge and sometimes I feel insignificant. It is all rushing by and I just want it to slow the hell down. I want the luxury of getting lost in words and strokes and thoughts, in the hours it takes to write, wonder and dream. I want those hours, but there is so much to do. Time speeds by and I am always trying to keep up, always on the go.

Only part of the house got cleaned yesterday. I was still walking through piles of half-folded laundry on the way to bed. But the sunlight is coming in through the stained glass at a wonky angle this morning and hugging the whole room in happy colors, the sea glass wind chime is singing in the wind and somewhere down the road I hear the lonesome whistle of the train.

Just for a minute I close my eyes.

Just for a feeling.

just sayin'.

A Salad of Greens, Squash and Apples for Autumn

If your squash has been roasted and refrigerated, allow 30 minutes, if you're able, to come to room temp.  Likewise, if you roast it same day, it will hold at room temp a good 4 hours.  I adore the tart Montmercy cherries from Trader Joe's, although any unsweetened, tart cherry will do.

8 loose cups salad greens
2 cups cubed, roasted and cooled butternut squash*, approx. 1/2 a small squash
1 large, tart apple (Honeycrisp or Pink Lady), cut into bite-sized bits
heaping 1/2 cup pecans, toasted**, roughly chopped
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/4 cup dried sour cherries, roughly chopped, or dried cranberries
1/2  teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cider or sherry vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
plenty of freshly ground pepper

In a lidded jar, add vinegar and salt, return lid, and shake to dissolve.  Add oil and pepper, and shake vigorously to emulsify.

In a large salad bowl, add all salad ingredients.  Pour half of dressing over all, toss to combine, and taste for seasoning.  Salad will likely need more, though not all, of the dressing, plus additional salt and pepper, to taste. Adjust, toss, adjust, toss, clink a glass to fall, eat.  

*Roasted Butternut Squash: 
Preheat oven to 425°, and place a rack in the lowest position.  Top and tail your butternut, peel, and slice neck from body of squash.  Halve both pieces, and scrape seeds from bulbous end.  Set each quarter on flat side, and cut into 1" slices.  Dice each slice into rough 1" cubes, set on a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet, and toss with two tablespoons' olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.  Cover sheet with foil, place in preheated oven, and roast 12 minutes.  Remove foil, return squash to oven, and roast another 12-15 minutes, until squash is deeply tender and caramelizing at the edges.  

**Toasted Pecans: 
Preheat oven to 350°, scatter pecans on a baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the entire kitchen smells toasty and nutty and mapled, and until the nuts have darkened slightly.  Set a timer, and don't walk away; nuts burn in a wink.  Remove to a plate to end cooking, and set aside to cool.


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