a perfect fall day


Sometimes you get lucky enough to have a perfect, quintessential day.

The other day was just that.

Multiple times a week, cooped up kids and harried moms hear the strains of playing outside, and wander out from their respective apartments onto the joint compound at Winston Court, affectionately known as the Toy Graveyard, and gather together to have sane adult conversations while the kids burn up all the energy that was making us crazy 10 minutes earlier. Sometimes we congregate by the swings that are always being fought over. Other times we sit on concrete steps of a building and hand out shovels and snacks and wipe noses and referee squabbles like it's our job (it is).  If it hasn't been raining we'll sit in the grass with backs to a mossy tree, dusting off the occasional mosquito and picking at dead leaves on the ground, talking about inconsequential things like parenting and the arrival times of husbands on the bus, or our lack of dinner plans or how much we like pizza and what antics our kids are up to that day. 

It's relaxing and full of camaraderie. Something as simple as sitting in damp grass chatting about nothing and everything while our kids get filthy dirty playing in rocks and splashing in mud puddles makes me feel closer to my friends then a lot of things do. We usually stay out as long as we can, only darkness or hunger or returning husbands can get us back inside, but sometimes even those don't work. We delay the inevitable boredom that being trapped in a small apartment with prison windows brings. 

On this particular day when the witching hour was hitting its peak and I was wondering how I'd get through the rest of the day, I heard that tell tale sound of laughter outside, looked out my window and saw our good friends playing in the fallen leaves and digging in the gravel on the road. I hurried to get kids dressed and feet shod and we trudged out into the crisp autumn air. 

Viv saw her friends Stu and Graham across the way and called to them like she usually does "Mom! Stu and Daham! Let's do it!", so we crossed the street and joined them in their leaf-piling endeavors. They were slowly filling a small ditch in the ground with dead leaves, and by the time we got there, the pit was pretty full and a prime spot for jumping.  Per usual, my friend and I sat in the grass nearby and let our kids do their thing while we took a break from little mouths talking nonsense 24/7. 

Inevitably, the leaf piling turned into leaf throwing, and a war ensued with much giggling and leaf bombing. I've never seen kids so happy as they were when they ran down the hill, jumped into the big pile, getting tangled up with each other and throwing big armfuls of leaves into each others faces. 


And, like it always does, the sound of fun being had floats through open windows and kids come out in droves, joining and adding to the chaos. Soon we had more friends join us, and Dale got home early. He's never one to leave something alone if he thinks it can be better, so he grabbed a big shovel from a nearby porch and started shoveling all the leaves off of the hill and into the pit, resulting in a humongous pile of with enough insulation to keep them from ever hitting the bottom. 

Dale used the shovel to throw huge amounts of leaves in the air, and they scattered around the dancing kids, getting stuck on clothes and faces and entwined in wild hair while they giggled in hilarity as leaves chased them.

There were so many smiles and so much laughter that day. No fighting, no problems, only fun for the entire evening. The leaf pile (or leaf PIT as they so adamantly wanted to call it) provided endless entertainment, so much so that I had time to sit and enjoy it, and then get my camera for candid shots of so much joy.


We stayed on that hill for a long time, wasting away the day in perfect autumn weather, enjoying the company and happiness of the moment, simple dead leaves keeping our kids entertained the entire time. 

If there is anything I will remember about our time here in Ithaca, it will be these lazy days with good friends, sitting outside talking and sitting in shared silence that only good friendship can bring without things getting awkward. 

These are my favorite times. And this day? Well, it was perfect. 

Quintessential, even.



  1. Totally speechless. I want to print this post off and read it on the days that seem to cave in around me. So beautifully captured. So glad you guys are in my life.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

beard All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger