It was my husband's idea, first: the long-stemmed red roses. With our six-year wedding anniversary coming up on Friday, he suggested I pick up roses for myself when I went grocery shopping on Thursday after work, and he would buy them for me as an anniversary treat. But it was my idea to pick up a bunch for my mother too. Her 84th birthday was also coming up on Friday, and we planned to go down for a visit, so I would get the privilege of delivering them to the birthday girl in person.
And so my husband and I went down early, spending part of the morning with my parents and having lunch with them and my brother, who had also stopped by. And yes, I got to deliver the long-stemmed roses in person. The delight of my day was the look on my mother's face when I walked up to the house with the roses in my hands, knocked on the door, shouted "Special delivery!" and asked, "Is there a birthday girl here?"
While the morning began with drizzle, it then turned into a spectacularly beautiful, sunny October afternoon. Shortly after lunch, we took our leave of my family and left for the Hairy John picnic area along route 45, where we planned to spend several hours hiking before heading home.
The foliage was still lovely along route 45 out the valley and we parked my car at the picnic area and headed straight up the hill with our daysacks and chairs. We probably made it only about two miles - though it felt much further than that! - before finding a sunny meadow where we claimed a spot for our chairs and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. The bonus was that the hike out was all downhill, through yellow foliage backlit to the point of glowing by the golden afternoon light.
The very last thing we got to do was that after we made it all the way back down the hill, we had a few minutes to sit by the little pond and the picnic area. I got out my camera and took some pictures of the pond and its reflections. This shot is a close-up of the reflection of a nearby orange tree, afire with late afternoon light. A fish had surfaced several times, and each time, it sent out ripples upon the water. So a quick shout-out to the fish, who can claim some artistic responsibility for the making of this photo.
Autumn is a precious time to me, with its glorious golden yellows, its bright burnished coppers, and its shining reds. I try to fully live in, enjoy, these moments, as they - like the foliage - are fleeting, too fast gone. But I carry them with me. Yes, I carry them in my heart: these golden moments that pass as quickly as ripples on the water.
The song: REO Speedwagon, Girl With the Heart of Gold.