Instagram is bubbling over with shades of orange and pumpkin flavor – post after post of fallen golden and crimson leaves: #finallyautumn.

But I get it. It is so yummy to experience this time of year – you can hear the masses celebrating their sweaters and boots as they open their doors to hang twiggy wreaths and set out mums and pumpkins. Me included.

The weather is fine; I am most content in a layered outfit – with scarf, no jacket, so right now fits the bill just nicely. I like to posit that it’s my Bay Area roots that cause me to wave my hands in the air at the absence of humidity, but I think it’s rare that anyone turns her nose up at crisp fall air.

Saturday, we joined our friends at the pumpkin patch, Phillips Farm, in the Morrisville/Cary area. A farm that also grows strawberries and Christmas trees – they have your photo-op moments covered for every season!

When I was 22, I went for the haunted corn maze, but secretly, I was just as excited by the hay ride. So imagine my excitement that I now get to use my kids as an excuse to do ALL of the activities offered by the pumpkin patches!


I imagine that the staff members have a ball when all of the minivans are packed up and pulled out and they can go to town on all of these cool attractions “for kids” – at least I was fantasizing doing so if it were me there after hours. And I did as many as I could under the guise of “my three-year-old needs her hand held”.

Among the offerings at this particular patch were

  • a corn maze
  • petting zoo
  • water gun races
  • huge plastic pipes to race like hamster balls (I really wanted to do that!)
  • pumpkin chunkin’ slingshot
  • corn cob gun
  • a giant spiderweb hammock/jungle gym thing
  • a tunnel/swing made of that same huge pipe
  • a tunnel slide to match – so fast!
  • another potato sack slide
  • a fun house – Maya was informed it was too scary for anyone under 8; she obliged.
  • football and basketball games
  • cornhole
  • horseshoes
  • a huge bouncy house
  • a smaller bouncy house
  • a corn crib filled with dried corn kernels – I am installing one of these whenever I renovate my house – so luxurious to lounge in!
  • a giant trampoline that stumped us – was there underground piping keeping it inflated!?
  • a hay ride
  • the pumpkin patch, duh

I used to celebrate Halloween on Franklin Street with 100,000 other people without kids. Now, I am elated to jump on a mystery trampoline and watch as all of our kids run straight into the pumpkin patch and immediately fall on their faces because they didn’t realize the rows were raised. THAT was funny.


I am so grateful to my kids for opening this door onto fun – the cheesy kind of fun that doesn’t care if I look cool – though I look straight VIP with my bare toes dipped in unpopped corn.

Happy Pumpkin Season, everyone!


An Exaltation of Larks

I have never quite figured out what I want this blog to be. I know that I am happy with what has been collected here, but I also know that I have been inconsistent, and perhaps that inconsistency comes from a lack of focus for this medium.

I know that I want a space to say that the sky is beautiful today. That the air is clear and fresh, the clouds thin and light, and the blue, generous.

My dear friend, Mike, once gave me a book called “An Exaltation of Larks”, and that is what I saw this morning. I don’t think the birds were actually larks, but the group’s shared lifting felt like an exaltation. A lifting of the heart, on wing, in joy.

I am in it right now. I am deep in the muck of figuring out this new day to day life with Coltrane and Maya and without my traditional day job. And I feel like I am getting somewhere: I am writing most every day, though not so much here; I am trying different forms and different things to say, things for me, not ready to be put out there yet. But I am finding my process.

I am working on house and home, routines with children. These are challenges more often than not. But I am beginning to own it.

And I am happy. I get frustrated, but I see beauty here, and I have never been more grateful and more aware that I have everything I have ever wanted.

I am exalted about our future prospects and the expansion of our lives – the lifting of our selves in joy.