It Isn’t Hard To Feel Me Glowing

I always used to say that everything happened to me in the summer.

It’s because it’s always been a time of such birth and death. Everything happens in the fall too, as well as the spring and winter, because everything happens to everyone at all times, and sometimes all at once. I keep notes in my Notes app in my phone and for years I’ve been trying to express something about fall. Memories and stories. How can I tell you what the chill in the air means to me, and all of the sensation and trepidation? I’m no stranger to the warm and cold comforts. My god, do I love flannel shirts, crisp leaves, hot pumpkin coffee, and warm autumn stew. I love the way fall reminds me of childhood – of ill-fitting striped sweatshirts and weekends at home. Soccer games and my mom’s chili simmering evenly on the stove.

I love how it sends you to the future as well. Thinking of your children, and your children’s children trick-or-treating with glee. Thanksgiving tables warming cold November hearts. Thinking of open doors and open arms. Yes. Now isn’t that nice?

The truth is, though, that it keeps me in the present too. Too much sensory goodness. The endless photo shoots and how I pay particular attention to the foliage, the sunset times, and the turning of the earth around the sun. In fall, I swear I can feel it tilting – softly, swiftly, endlessly. In fall I do cool things. It leads to winter, so no one ever realizes just how much I love it. I love summer and I hate winter. Fall should be a transitioning disappointment, or a disappointing transition. Really it’s that pinnacle of change – where the past, present and future meet. Fall is picking up the pieces that summer scattered.

And rebuilding them into something new. Crisp. Fresh.

Finish the Sentence Friday’s theme this week is “10 Things About the Changing of the Seasons” and I almost made a list of 10 things I love about the change into fall – like wood-burning smoke and TV premieres – but somewhere along the line it wrote itself differently. Instead, I’m sharing 10 brave/cool/life-changing/soul-shaking things I’ve done in the autumns of my life.

1 – I re-met Cassidy in the fall! We had been apart for two somewhat-horrific years and we had plans to go to Yosemite together and figure out our feelings. We couldn’t wait until early October, though! He flew in for a business trip and I arranged to meet him at JFK Airport, just like where we had met in 2004. There was a bomb scare and he was stuck on his plane. I was pacing the parking lot like a wild tiger. Suddenly, but finally, he was in front of me! He threw his suitcase and lifted me into the air! We drove through NYC streets with the lights swirling. We got into his hotel and heard “Layla.”

If you want to read more, and you really should, I wrote it all out as part of our story here. Of course I have a photo:

2 – Hey, a year ago this week we started the renovation of our house! That’s a big deal! I remember taking a sledgehammer to the wall myself. No regrets there. I can’t wait to see what kinds of magic we’ll bring to this house next.

3 – Speaking of which, we moved here in the fall! It was the year of the Halloween blizzard! So yes, we lost power on our second night here, but hey. Also, I was six weeks pregnant with Des at the time and not feeling my best.

4 – Speaking of which again, I discovered two pregnancies in the fall – one in October (early on) and one in November (already six weeks along). I did two first trimesters in the fall! I’m a freaking warrior, I should say!

5 – I went to Yellowstone in the fall, twice. Forever haunted by the beauty of that place and the things I saw – both at dawn and dusk. Animals straight from Japanese anime films. Gorges and cliffs and boiling geysers and snow on red peacoats, when only the previously day, we were in swimsuits. Take me back to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Please please please.

6 – We left San Francisco in the fall. (Who does that?) We also went back to visit a year later, in the fall.

7 – We went to Yosemite in the fall. How could I forget those winding roads, chilly nights, shooting stars, tiny churches, grand, sweeping cliffs, smell of woodsmoke and bacon, warm cabin, thick blanket, and more, with a pumpkin latte in hand?

8 – I met my future in-laws in the fall! Here’s the kicker – they weren’t my in-laws or even my future in-laws. I was broken up with Cassidy for good, I thought, but I didn’t want to be robbed of meeting them too! I know it’s crazy but my mom and I drove up there with vanilla spice lattes, getting fabulously lost in CT, and arriving late at night. They didn’t think it was weird that we went to see them, even with the broken hearts and Cassidy with a new girlfriend. Who knew, my friends?! Also, we got Chicken Fries from Burger King on the way home, listened to “Mandolin Rain”, and my mom let me drive/cry.

Magic, I tell ya.

9 – We took the kids to see their first moose in the fall. It’s actually the best time to see them because their antlers are so big, before they shed them in the winter. I really, really, really want to go back. Like right now. Tomorrow?

10 – When I was 10 or so, I got this brilliant idea to go trick-or-treating a week after Halloween. My reasoning was that people still had candy they were itching to get rid of to punk kids. We got a ton of candy. We had to give it back and apologize to our neighbors, of course, but that embarrassing moment was worth it. I was enterprising, wasn’t I?

“Hey, I felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go”

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “10 things about the changing of the seasons..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What would you say?

5 School Bus Safety Tips: Cleaner Air Back to School

This post is sponsored by on behalf of the Propane Education & Research Council.

School buses are the safest form of transportation to and from school. Read 5 school bus safety tips for your kids, and cleaner air. #ad #PERCBusSafetyTips

This year, starting just last week, I made one of the greatest transportation decisions of all time.

Yes, that’s right. The school bus! We are just over two miles from the school, and that means that the kids are eligible for the school bus. Once I got the idea into my head that this would be a wonderful decision FOR ALL OF US, there was no stopping me. I applied for the bus pass in person and made all the arrangements. The kids are so happy! Their bus driver is wonderful. She knows their schedules and is getting to know them. She always has dog treats for Astro when I bring him to the bus stop, and she’s always a friendly and welcoming face to see in the morning and in the afternoon. So much fun.

Astro waiting with me for the kids and his school bus treat:

The other good news is that the kids have a new bus this week that they didn’t have last week! That’s why I’m so excited to share about The Propane Education & Research Council. They are a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs. They also invest in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. Since it’s a new school year, they’re helping to remind parents to talk to their children about the importance of school bus safety, and I’m all for that! Unlike the older diesel buses, propane school buses are quiet and clean, which makes the ride to school safe.

5 School Bus Safety Rules:

1 – When you’re at the bus stop, ensure that loose drawstrings, chains or other dangling objects are removed from clothing, coats, and bags.

2 – Walk your young children to and from the bus, or have them walk in a group. And make sure you leave home on time to arrive at least five minutes before the bus is due. It’s dangerous to run after or in front of a school bus.

3 – Make sure to wait in a location where the driver can see you. Do not wait in a house or car. And practice good pedestrian behavior while you wait – walk and wait on the sidewalk. If there isn’t one, stay out of the street. When you’re waiting for the bus to drop your child off, wait on the side where they’ll exit the bus – and not across the street from it.

4 – Tell your children that if they drop something getting on and off the bus, to never pick it up. Instead they should tell the driver and wait for their next instructions.

5 – Remind your children to look to the right before they step off the bus.

These school bus safety tips are all courtesy of The Propane Education & Research Council.

And there you have it! The school bus is the safest form of transportation to and from school. That’s why it’s important to follow safety rules. And it’s also important that the kids ride on propane school buses. For one, they’re safe. As you can imagine, safely transporting students to school, home, and extracurricular activities is a major task for the drivers! And this job requires focus. The fact that propane autogas engines are 50 percent quieter than diesel engines makes for a more pleasant ride, and a safer one too. There are standard safety features designed into propane autogas vehicle fuel systems.

This provides added peace of mind for everyone.

School buses are the safest form of transportation to and from school. Read 5 school bus safety tips for your kids, and cleaner air. #ad #PERCBusSafetyTips

For example, an automatic shut-off valve prevents the flow of fuel to the engine when it’s not running, even if the ignition switch is in the “on” position. And propane school buses are crash tested for impact in the side and rear areas, meeting rigorous U.S. FMVSS and motor vehicle standards.

Also, propane school buses are clean! The EPA and the WHO have both identified diesel engine exhaust as a carcinogen, which can cause short and long-term health effects. Alternative fuels, like propane autogas, provide cleaner air because the days of exposing our children to a black cloud of diesel exhaust are over! Propane school buses will not expose our children to harmful particulate matter found in diesel exhaust, which is known to escalate breathing-related issues and aggravate asthma.

And propane-autogas-fueled vehicles cost less over the life of the vehicle, since propane costs less per gallon than diesel. This saves school districts significant money on fuel costs. This allows more budget to be put back into the classroom!

And that’s where it matters most.

To find out more school bus safety rules, and about propane school buses, visit this link today!

Do your children ride the school bus too?

School buses are the safest form of transportation to and from school. Read 5 school bus safety tips for your kids, and cleaner air. #ad #PERCBusSafetyTips