Monday, October 27, 2014

What October is for Me

Ah, October. My favorite month of the year. The leaves are afire with color, the air begins to feel a little crisp and sometimes bites at the nose. Those of us involved in music begin to rehearse selections for the holidays (for me, it is never too soon to sing Christmas music). My birthday is in October and I always reflect on how graciously God has blessed me from year to year. But, I must admit, one of my favorite things of the past few Octobers is the Halloween candy commercial starring .... wait for it...THE HORSELESS HEADSMEN! I love that little dude. He arrives on the scene of some excited trick-or-treaters and says "I've come for your heads! I am the Horseless Headsmen!" One of the kiddos says, "You mean, the headless horsemen." He looks at that kid with a raised brow and says with much drama, "No!" and gives the kid a look that speaks of "I mean what I say and I say what I mean".  I don't even know what kind of candy they're selling on that ad. I just love the short, big-headed, tiny bodied, horseless, Medicare-aged hunter of heads.

     Another thing that happens in Colorado during October is the annual Women of Faith conference in Denver.  Our church, Rocky Mountain Chapel just outside Cripple Creek, sent a nice representation of ladies to the conference this year and what a time was had by all. For those of you who keep up with the Who's Who of Christian Music and Speakers who frequent the event, here's the Denver list: Sheila Walsh, Lisa Harper, Christine Caine (from down under), Lisa Bevere (Colorado's own), Priscilla Shirer,, Nichole Nordeman (also Colorado born and bred), Matthew West, Gateway Worship band, and the one and only Anita Renfroe.

     Anita Renfroe. What can you say about Anita Renfroe! Her parodies of pop culture music is second to none. At the conference she did a medley of pop music on the topic of MENOPAUSE. Among them were "You're Gonna Hear Me Snore" (Katie Perry's "Eye of the Tiger, You're Gonna Hear Me Roar"), "This Girl is On Fire", ode to hot flashes, "Crabby" (Happy). and "Let It Grow: (Let it Go from Frozen) a myth buster about older women needing to let go of their long locks and wear grandma dos. It was hysterical.

     One of my favorite sessions was Lisa Bevere's talk on "Girls with Swords" taken from her book of the same name. We must wear the armor of truth and fight with the sword of the Spirit, girls. Christianity ain't for the lazy, faint or tea and crumpets crowd. It's a battle everyday. Especially now. It's no joke that evil seems to be global. ISIS is a threat. Haters abound. We need to be wise. Take up your swords, ladies. WE ARE DAUGHTERS OF THE KING!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Autumn in the Rockies

Most every summer I wait and wait, anticipating the first hint of autumn in the Rockies. It's a beautiful sight. Aspens aglow, quaking in the breeze. It literally looks like gold with a background of azure skies. Our front yard is surrounded by aspens and we have often remarked that we feel as if we are encased in a cocoon of ore right out of the gold mines of Cripple Creek and Victor.

Autumn holds for me memories of a childhood spent raking leaves then running and falling into them, laughing so hard I could scarcely catch my breath. Back in the day, we were still allowed to burn our leaves and I can still, if I concentrate hard enough, smell the aroma of burning leaves on a crisp fall day.

When I was little and my big sisters were in high school, there were sometimes bonfires on an empty lot on the main drag of L.A. (what is commonly known to everyone else in Arkansas as Lonoke). These were, if I remember correctly, the night before a big football match against such rivals as Carlisle or Cabot or England High Schools in surrounding towns of our small farming county.

My grandparents lived on 88 acres on Mount Carmel Road just outside Cabot and I spend many fall afternoons wandering through the woods, getting lost in nature, but never far from home. My childhood memories are not unlike the memories of many other folks who grew up in Farmland U.S.A.  The crops might not all be the same: our farmers grew soybeans, rice and cotton and our town claimed the largest minnow farm in the world (can you imagine?). I also joked that Arkansas had another crop that most people didn't know about. We grew the biggest cotton-mouthed moccasin snakes known to man. I swear they must have been given steroids. I've seen my sister chase them around on her riding lawnmower, but that's a story for another day, which will give everyone a new opinion of the demure Southern woman.

One of the things I always gravitate to in autumn is apples. Here in Colorado we are blessed with lots of orchards, many of them close by. This autumn I have spent many hours canning apples. I've made such delectable goodies as apple butter and applesauce. And then there's apple bread, apple pie, stewed apples, chopped apples in salad. (I'm beginning to sound a little like Bubba Gump, so I'll stop now.)

I will reiterate how much I love autumn. I wait all year for that small window of time when the leaves reach their peak in anticipation of the first snowfall...which sometimes comes at about the same time in our neck of the woods.
Hopefully, you can dip into your memory bank and make a withdrawal of your favorite childhood (or adult) memories. Time has a way of slipping from our fingers...don't let the memories go with them.

Happy Autumn, All!