Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Autumn Angels

Welcome to a slice of heaven on Earth....

Monday morning, the ya-ya's and I loaded up the Tahoe. We had blankets, camping chairs, picnic baskets full of snickerdoodles, chicken salad, cheeses, chips, chocolate, pickled asparagus, apples and more!, magazines, journals, books, cameras, hard cider, gloves, scarves and a thermos of hot coffee... all for spending the day in the woods...literally!

R, N and I ran up to a grove of trees that are the most brilliant red that I have ever found in Arizona! I found this sweet spot about 6 years ago, while running the roads on one of my frequent road trips. It always calls me back each autumn because of how it reminds me of Ohio autumns. I'm not sure what type these red trees are, I think maples, but whatever their species, their impact is striking!

I was afraid the leaves might not quite have changed yet...but quite the opposite was true....they had faded and fallen ... most of them. A couple of aspens shook their yellow medallions as a breeze danced through, but most of the red had spirited into the fall air ... no mind... we were happy with all that we had.

We set up our little camp... a thermos of coffee on a tree stump served perfectly as a table (note the picture), chairs in the sun to stave off the brisk, crisp 48 degree air.... food passed around and shared, and a toast to us 'autumn angels' with a bottle of hard cider! OH YES! The splendor of fall had begun! We spent the next 5 hours soaking in the purity of autumn in the forest... chatting, comforting, laughing, eating... Funny thing... books were left closed, pens were left capped, magazines were left tucked in their baskets. When the three of us get together, we seem to fill the moment with stories, advice, laughs... and the 'distractions' that were packed are never opened. It's as if we cherish these times together and don't want to waste this face-to-face offering. It's always been the right decision... I never come back home and think 'Wish I had read that magazine instead..." never....

As the sun began to sink into the bare branches of late afternoon, we started to gather talismans of our trip and pack up. Poor R... she, of all people, highly ticked off a chipmunk who was distaining our intrusion into his living room uninvited. As she gathered from the forest floor, she was pelt from above with nuts! A chittering accompanied the pelts, and we could only imagine the words being hurled at her along with the nuts...which found their mark, more than once!!! It was too, too funny...!

After packing our day up the ridge and back into the car, we stopped by a noble pine tree...old, stoic, solid and stately. His gift lay before us... huge, tan pinecones frosted with sap... fragrant, curved and large. Without even trying, they evoked thoughts of upcoming Christmas... and we gathered each a bag of them to take home... the car smelling like a Christmas tree on the ride home.

I have to give a 'shout out' to my Autumn Angels... these two women are as pure and true and genuine as friends can be. They are the true epitomy of friends. They, WITHOUT RESERVATION, were so agreeable to make this trip with me.. no reservations, no hesitations, no worries and no 'uh... I don't know...'s.... These angels packed up goodies that made this trip so special, so memorable... and they did it with purity and love in their hearts. Thank you, my ya-ya's, for taking this trip with me. Thank you for your love and honor and support. Amazing you are... blessed I am.

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