September Meanderings ~ Or: File This Under Quirky and Incoherent

People are always asking me “How do you come up with a column every week for the paper?”  And I just smile and try to look wise–but darn it, sometimes it is hard. The column I wrote for the paper I work for this week proves it. Please provide me with a little feedback (positive if you can stomach it) to quash my fears–I am not exactly asking you to lie–just be creative. As you can see, I used yesterday’s haikuish to open this somewhat dubious column:

My September Haikuish*

Abandoned meander (2 of 3)

Abandoned meander (2 of 3) (Photo credit: Darkroom Daze)

Branches bowing with leaves

One last summer fling before

Green turns to red-gold

Warning: This week’s column is going to be a bit cheesy. Okay I just checked with the thesaurus that inexplicably lives in my laptop (I am so computer savvy) and I guess this column is not going to be cheesy as its synonyms are: tacky, cheap, tasteless, vulgar, tawdry and the opposite of everything tasteful. Okeydokey then, I am switching to that dynamic trio–sappy, nostalgic and sentimental, all words I thought meant cheesy, but apparently not. Good to have that cleared up.

Now for the not so cheesy but the promised sappy-sentimental-nostalgic part–these words are from the illustrious Edwina Fallis:

“A road like brown ribbon, a sky that is blue

A forest of green, with the sky peeping through

Asters, deep purple, a grasshopper’s call,

Today it is summer, tomorrow is fall.”

You just can’t make this stuff up. Well, that is not true, Ms. Fallis did—and in her own sappy but charming way she captured the transition that the month of September represents. Sometimes I love stuff like this—it is not cool like my haiku(ish) above, but it really does stir memories of the days when all poetry seemed to rhyme (something I for the life of me cannot do and make it make sense). Today most roads are not brown ribbons, but sort of cement grey, and the only grasshoppers I hear calling are in my basement (or are those crickets?), but the proper sentiment is there.

My haikuish, which I hesitate to call a haiku, because there are so many who are expert in this type of expression that I only pretend to follow the rules of  5 , 7, 5 syllables in a line (and then I get confused: branches is just one syllable right?). I have found that following the rules is a good thing for the newbie. Those versed in haiku can do whatever they want, but for those like me, who are fairly new to this way of expression—stray not.  And do not add an s to haiku—apparently there is no such thing as haikus—I was set straight in no uncertain terms by an authority on my blog.

I seem to be meandering a bit today, which hopefully you will forgive—as September itself seems to be a bit of a meandering month. It meanders from summer to fall, from green to colourful, from hot and humid to warm and dryer and to finally cool sweater weather.

Once when I was fussing about a column which would not write itself well, my husband told me: “Well, you can’t hit a home run every time”. Though I did not find this particularly comforting, I am thinking this week’s column may fall into that category.

In an effort to make it worth your while – I am going to provide you with some advice from my favourite cookbook, Taste of Autumn, by JoAnn and Vicki of Gooseberry Patch.  It is down home and just warms the cockles of your heart (whatever that means). They suggest this as a fall outing you:

“Plan a trip to a local apple orchard for a fall outing….swirling leaves and the sweet smell of apples make it the ideal picnic spot! Take a couple of sawhorses and a length of plywood in the back of a truck for a fast picnic table and borrow a few straw bales for seating.”

Does that not sound delightful? Now being married to a contractor, we have plywood and sawhorses and a truck, but it is the straw bales that have me stymied. Have you seen the size of the bales now—a lot of them are almost as big as a house.

Round Straw bales

Round Straw bales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I said before, no home run today. (Had my husband read this to find out if it would irritate my readers and he said no—so it is his fault if you are irritated by my meanderings. Should I be diagnosed in the future with brain burps—I do not want people to look back at this column and say that this was when they noticed the beginning of my problems.)

*Haikuish – an alternative to the creative art of (the) haiku, a Japanese poetic form

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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I can’t imagine why you’d think your writing would irritate your readers. I love your conversational writing style. What paper are you published in? I’d love to look it up online.

    • Kingsville Reporter, but they only publish the lead stories online – sometimes they publish my news stories–but only advertise me as On The Homefront–guess they do not want to give too much away – thank you for your encouraging words today–so funny–I was just at your blog.

  2. I too enjoy your writing, just be yourself. And yes, I am dismayed by the hay bales today, big and round, it’s hard to find the “old-fashioned” rectangular ones any more. I have a funny story about the round hay bales you might enjoy. My one daughter-in-law came from the southwest. One of her first visits to the Northeastern states she spotted the round hay bales covered in white plastic off in the distance all lined up. She exclaims, “Look, they are growing marshmallows!” Now she loved marshmallows, but my son and I just look at each other and then back to her…then burst out laughing, afterwards, we try to gently explain to her what those were, but my son can’t help but ask her what marshmallows are made out of (sugar and chemicals) and how in the world could you grow such a thing. My son the diplomat 🙂

    • good story! can you even get the small hay bales anymore — I suppose they may sell some for decorative purposes
      thanks for the encouragement

      • Yes, if you know where to look. Since we have a farming community around our town and several of the farms have incorporated public celebrations and events on their property to allow them to make a living at farming, they still have the small bales for seating then later use them for feed. Speaking of which I need to pick up a couple to winter over the gardens.

      • so my column was useful after all

      • Yes it was 🙂

  3. Yes you can find small bales of straw and hay (there is a big difference) My haymow is full of small straw bales…. right next to where my husband files things that will never get done!
    I did not find your article irritating at all. In fact I copied that little poem you started with…. sounds like something I may have used when I was a first grade teacher (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth).
    You have never disappointed me with your blogs!

    • thank you for the encouragement and the you have my curiousity up – what is the difference – I lived in the country when I was young but never on a farm

  4. A trip to a local orchard is always on our To Do list for the fall!
    I think the straw bales always look awesome! Sometimes I see them & feel like rolling one to my front yard – LOL

    • We always used to go to an apple orchard when the kids were little- am going to see if I can gather everybody up for Thanksgiving weekend (in October) and go with my grown up boys

  5. I just posted that poem on my facebook page (thank you) and got a bunch of “Likes” from all of my elementary teacher friends! It’s a bulletin board waiting to happen!

    • That is wonderful news – glad to be of some help in getting the new season started

  6. Loved the way you described September as a meandering month….never do you disappoint ,always interesting, and funny.

    • thank you — needed that vote of confidence – today was a little harder than usual

  7. I LOVE the quirkiness of this – you are wonderful!
    ps. ‘branches’ is two syllables hahahaha!
    I so miss writing my columns!

  8. Nice post. Not cheesy at all. You manage to keep my interest and that’s what’s important.

    • Keeping your interest in a longer post is a compliment – thanks so much 🙂

  9. So glad we could provide some inspiration…thanks! 🙂


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