I was surprised to find myself turning on the porch light for Mike to come home, around six o'clock, and about the same time in the morning when I let the dogs out. The house feels chilly. I have pulled out my quilt. Not long from now I'll be bringing in wood to warm up the house and picking up bits from the rug where the dogs chew up sticks and pieces from the kindling pile.
I was surprised, too, at the scent of grapes along the path where I walk with the dogs. That heavy perfume and warm sun, or a soft misting rainfall, remind me of my childhood, when Welch's grape jelly and peanut butter made the perfect lunch.
Everyone I knew or had ever known seemed to show up at the fairgrounds last Saturday. The harvest festival was great fun. There was much discussion whether the piece of equipment hurling pumpkins across the field was properly called a catapult or a trebuchet. The definition in my beloved Oxford dictionary was unclear. Either way, the anticipation and the actual feat were quite impressive.
All the exhibits were interesting and it was a beautiful day to meander inside and out. My goal was the Antique Engine Show at the back of the field. Exhibits were arranged inside and out around the barn housing Bill Honey's collection. Phil St. Jean was inside, describing the intricacies of some mechanism to an interested listener. George Hartman had my favorite exhibit, a toy workshop (hammerer, saw, and drill) all with tiny belts driven by a steam engine from the 1860s. Engines of all types were puffing away, performing their tasks, polished like pieces of sculpture. It is one of my favorite days of the year.
Printed on a card was a poem Heidi Schultz had given George, "Voyages to the North Star," by Peter Nichols:
The Steam Engine
is the greatest visual wonder
of beautifully arranged
man ever put together.
Dan Coren and Gretta Leopold were strolling and admiring the shining rows of vintage cars. They are old friends from Philadelphia of Leslie Baker and Dave Gorenberg. Gretta broke off to visit with Andrea Hartman, a fellow seed-beading jeweler. They were introduced by Leslie several years ago, hit it off, and enjoy comparing notes of their craft.
I ran into Pat Waring, who told me that Linda Alley called her after a request in an earlier column for the maker and recipe of a chocolate cake. Linda had made it and Pat suggested a group of us get together to celebrate Fall and this delicious cake.
Linda and Glenn Hearn, also admiring the exhibits, told me that their daughter, Laura Caruso, is the new Boston Animal Behavior Examiner for the Animal Rescue League. You can read her columns on examiner.com.
Alan and Joyce Brigish are thrilled with their new grandson, Jake Ryan Parker, who was born on September 16. Jake's parents are the Brigish's daughter, Jackie, and son-in-law, Dan Parker. He has two older siblings, Ashley and Kevin. Joyce is currently helping out with the kids in Berkley Heights, N.J. Alan came home early, traveling I-95 in last Friday's heavy wind and rain. Happily, he made it safely, and was eating a bachelor breakfast at the Plane View Sunday morning.
The library will open at 1 pm this Friday, October 8, to allow the staff a morning meeting with Cheryl Bryan from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. Don't forget that the library, schools, and all town offices will be closed for Columbus Day on Monday, October 11.
There will be a reception for Jo Scotford Rice at the library Friday afternoon, October 8, 4 pm. She will talk about her month-long exhibit, "Painting as a Journey Into Self."
Don't forget the Visiting Writers Series. Poets and fiction writers will read and answer questions every Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 through the month of October.
Any visit to Katherine Long's is an adventure, especially with the new kittens in residence. Pearl and Twig are growing nicely and providing much amusement. They had extra people to play with and admire them, as Katherine entertained a group of her cousins from North Carolina. Her Aunt Jane and Cousin DeeDee Hildebrand and Cousin Ellen Cole all spent a pleasant few days together.
Sadly, life is not so pleasant for Larry and Judi Schubert, whose much-loved Maine Coon cat has been missing for over a week. His name is Makita. He is 13 years old, blind in his left eye from a stroke. He is a friendly handsome fellow, large and long-haired, colored tan, brown, and black with white chin and beard. He has never before strayed from his home on South Vine Lane, off Tiah's Cove Road. If you see him, call the Schuberts at 508-693-8881. Please.