Tag Archives: Autumn

The List Lady

I’m an odd amalgamation of free-spirited, crunchy-granola-earth mother and Type-A, follow-all-the-rules list maker. It makes for an interesting life. Lists relax me, they release some stress, and in many cases they’re actually pretty fun. So because I really need to start this week on a calm, relaxed note (Novel-writing and Thanksgiving baking in the same week? I shudder at the thought!), here are some of my fun lists.

Things I Miss About Autumn in the East:

  • The smell of wood smoke when I step outside.
  • Leaves in bright colors.
  • Hiking amongst said leaves.
  • Flannel sheets
  • Hot soup as a necessity to warmth.
  • Boots, gloves, hats, scarves.
  • Hay rides and bon fires.
  • S’mores at said bon fires.
  • Watching White Christmas and Meet Me in St. Louis with my mom.
  • That cozy evening feeling when it’s cold and dark outside.
  • Watching Big Ten football with my dad.

Writing Necessities:

  • A hot beverage, preferably tea.
  • Candles
  • Solitude
  • White noise or calming music. (Damien Rice, various classical artists, Explosions in the Sky, and Norah Jones are among my favorites.)
  • A handy thesaurus, just in case.
  • Being totally ready: hair done, teeth brushed, dressed as though I were going to see people, etc. (I’m always more productive this way.)

Things I Miss About Being a Kid:

  • Getting lost in a book all day because I had nothing else to do or worry about.
  • Not caring about what other people thought.
  • Discovering amazing things, like science and literature and art, for the first time.
  • Halloween. It was so much better as a kid.
  • Being innocent to the world.
  • Visiting my grandparents.
  • The exhilaration of Christmas morning.
  • School. (Not even kidding!)
  • The comfort of having my parents in charge, not me.
  • Having my own room

Things I Liked as a Kid that Make Me Smile When I Remember Them:

  • Barbies; Beanie Babies; Doodle Bear; Polly Pockets; the game Trouble; jump rope and tag at recess; playing dress-up; running through the sprinkler; the Columbus Zoo; tea parties; finger painting
  • The Muppet Show; Reading Rainbow; Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood; Bill Nye the Science Guy; The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show; Letter People; Shelly Duvall’s Fairy Tale Theatre
  • Muppet Treasure Island; The Wizard of Oz; Pete’s Dragon; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Babes in Toyland; The Sound of Music; Mary Poppins; Brigadoon
  • Nancy Drew; The Wind in the Willows; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Rabbit Hill; Dusty Mole, Private Eye; Alice in Wonderland; Heidi; The Twenty-One Balloons; Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH; From the Mixed-UP Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Things I’m Excited About:

  • Thanksgiving: parade, food, all of it!
  • Christmas!!!
  • The Hobbit movie
  • Getting a Christmas tree on Friday.
  • Colder weather
  • Skyping with my family this week.
  • Finishing this novel. NaNoWriMo, I am ready for you to be over!
  • My birthday
  • The bubble bath I’m taking tonight.
  • The book I’m reading. Deborah Harkness is just fantastic!


Filed under Odds and Ends


Today, I am missing home. Something about fall always makes me lonesome for my roots. I miss feeling the brisk early-autumn wind and knowing that the leaves will start their last dance soon. I miss being a little cold as I step outside in my sweater and boots. I miss actually needing a coat before my birthday. I miss the smell of fall in a place that has an abundance of trees, how it smells like wood smoke and decomposing leaves and cold, with just the teeniest hint of cinnamon. I miss the way autumn sunsets are crisp and clear and always arrayed in fiery oranges to match the leaves. I miss my mama’s pumpkin roll and strolling with my father through the evening mist, my small, cold hand enveloped in his large, always-warm one. I miss Big Ten football. I love my California life, but some days I just miss my home-home. I miss my Ohio.

Autumn in one of my favorite places: The Hocking Hills.

But if I scrunch my eyes closed in just the right way, I can hear the geese as they fly South, I can smell the cold as it creeps under the door frame, I can see my dad mowing the lawn one last time through my bedroom window, and even from three-thousand miles away, I feel the peace of home wash over my bones. I wrote this little something that follows while I was home this summer, when I didn’t have to imagine.


The earth I tread is called “Ohio.”
I don’t know what God calls it, except for maybe “mine.”
I called it home once, and now I
walk here with a happy heart and muddy shoes-
a familiar visitor passing a night in the spare room

of a house I sold to finance my adventures.
I have learned a truth that cannot be told, only
tripped upon and thus found: You cannot know the worth of Ohio until
you have traded her for magic beans and found
them unable to deliver any fancy equal to their price.

The adage is true: home is never the same once your dig
up your roots.  The earth I tread
is called “Ohio.”
I do not know what God calls it,
but I pronounce it blessed.

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Filed under Ohio, Poetry