Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Conflicted October

I love October. It's really been one of my favorite months for a long time. I love the changing colors of the leaves (especially when I view them through my sunglasses--the colors really pop!). I like the fact that the weather is cooler. It's also a month when there are fun activities planned and people gather together, and I always like that.

I don't like October, though, because it makes me sad. I was married in October (by choice, because I love this time of year), but ironically, my divorce was final in October, too. And my dad passed away six days before his birthday in October last year.

I was dreading October this year, mainly because of the first anniversary of my dad's death. I wasn't sure what it "should" look like and feel like and what we should do. I didn't want to ignore the day and the memories of last year, but I also wanted to celebrate my dad's life and the life we live now and the fact that he's with his Savior for eternity. I wanted to be with my mom and sister and be together in whatever ways we needed, but I also wanted to be alone to process my grief (or truth be told, to try to ignore it sometimes).

This October has been a busy month in our lives, with it being "crunch time" for Daniel and his college applications. We took a trip to Knoxville to tour the UT campus, with neither of us having very high expectations of it being the place for Daniel. We were proven wrong and he actually came away (we both did) with a great impression of the campus and of the music program. This was a surprising twist to Daniel's pursuit and desire to only apply to Belmont University and their School of Music.

On the drive home, it hit me that while I want Daniel to go to whichever school the Lord wills and guides him to, there is some conflict in my heart about the fact that Belmont is in our backyard, so to speak, and UT is two and a half hours away. I know that I don't have much room to talk, since I went over a thousand miles away from my home when I left for college. And with today's technology, it will be a lot easier to stay in touch with Daniel if he ends up at UT. Not that I'd pester him with daily texts or anything. Give me some credit here!

So, there are some of my thoughts from this month. I've been quiet on the blog, but I haven't been in the doldrums all month and have had some fun times with friends and family this month. In fact, I am getting ready to go on a fun trip to Florida and get some R&R on the beach. Not a bad way to end the month, although I do hope that the colorful leaves will still be on the trees in Nashville when I return so I can look at them through my sunglasses and stand in awe again of God's wonderful creation.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Favorites: Apples

I think if I had to choose only one favorite food, it would be apples. I love many other foods and types of foods, but there is just something about a nice, crisp, tart/sweet apple that makes me go, "mmm!" And then there are all of the apple by-products:  apple pie, apple butter, applesauce, and my mom's apple cake. YUM!

A couple of weeks ago, I took my nieces to an apple orchard, mainly to buy some local apples and some apple butter. Sometime, I'll take them to actually pick apples, because that can be fun, too. I also remember going with Daniel's kindergarten class on a field trip to that same apple orchard. You haven't really lived until you have gone on a field trip with a bus load of five-year-olds. We had so much fun that year going on eight different field trips!

Last night I decided to cook up some leftover apple slices that I had in the fridge. I probably could have figured out out on my own, but I got out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and got the right time for microwaving them. I only added cinnamon and once they were cooked, they were just the right thing for my fall taste buds. Of course, a little vanilla ice cream would have put them over the top, but those apples were just fine by themselves.

I could probably go on and on about my love for apples and how I used to decorate my house with apple-y things. We had some friends in Virginia who lived in a farm house and they had a red-and-white checkered floor in their kitchen. I loved that idea and dreamed of decorating my kitchen that way when I grew up. Miss Lenora probably made one of the best apple pies that I've ever tasted, too, except for my own grandmother's pie.

And speaking of apple pie (and then I'll stop, I promise): my Maw-Maw even made me an apple pie for my birthday when I was five years old. She knew how much I loved apple pie and I may have even requested it. We have a picture somewhere of me standing in front of her refrigerator holding my birthday pie with five candles in it.

So, now you want some apples, right? They shouldn't be too hard to find, so go on out and get some!