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Beyond the first hello

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A beautiful autumn field in Fireflys Western New YorkYesterday afternoon we drove down toward Buffalo for a family visit, enjoying a lazy driving chat and some quiet moments of reflections along the way. We passed by many, many fields of rusty-golden corn and yellow soy beans. I asked my husband if it is my imagination or are there significantly more corn fields this year than last. He affirmed there are indeed many more corn fields this year.

Last year, if you recall, we had corn growing in our fields and tracked their growth and beauty in photographs and descriptions. This year our fields are empty, though the farmer who rents our land does show up from time to time to prep the acres for ...something. My husband feels certain the farmer will be planting winter wheat, but he tells me the wheat must be planted by the end of September. I suppose we have to wait and see.

If he does put in winter wheat, my husband says it will be beautiful because we will be able to see clear out to the woods beyond the fields all winter long and when it snows the snow will lie in blankets on the wheat. I do so hope I get to see that view this time around.

Autumn has come early in Western New York and the views recently have been spectacular. Spring is lovely and lush with green growth and new flowers, summer is gorgeous with persistent green and healthy crops but autumn is where it all seems to come together visually. As the leaves and plants begin to change to autumn yellows and gold, all around there is a depth and texture that glows from within. Details non-existent during the barren months of winter and hidden in the lush greens of spring and summer emerge both gradually and suddenly, growing and expanding with each passing day.

A field of pumpkins in Fireflys Western New York

The beautiful autumn colors of leaves on trees are of course quite lovely to behold, but what I am seeing and loving is so much more than those leaves. It is the fantastic light, color, and texture of crops near harvest and fallow fields bursting with the last big splash of this year's wild, abundant growth.

I have been out there in this world of ours taking many, many photographs in preparation for paintings I long to execute over the coming winter. Last year, my first year here, though I loved my new home and environment much of it was a blur because it was all so new. There was so much to take in it was difficult to focus on individual qualities of the land, the farms, the fields. So difficult to take it all in.

Last night was we drove home I was thinking about how different this second year is for me. There is a direct correlation between my relationship with my husband and my relationship with my home, this place, this land.

Last year when my husband and I met online and decided to get married, though we had tremendous faith and knew instinctively, somehow, that this would all be right ... honestly, we could not possibly have known each other so very well. We knew each other instinctively, inside ourselves where faith is the stronghold. Outwardly however, in the living of life and the handling of life's trials and tribulations, we could not have known each other ... it was too soon.

So it was last year with me and the place I know call home. Instinctively, we knew each other. I knew this was the place I had always dreamed of, the climate I longed for, the way of life I wanted. This place instinctively knew me, knew I was a friend, and that I should be welcomed with a lovely year of tasty weather and beautiful views. Though the place and I knew we were right for each other, we could not have known just how right it all was until we had some time together to test the waters ... literally, considering all the rain we had last year.

Cows in a field at the Amish Place near Fireflys Farm Last year between my husband and I was "hello". At the time I didn't realize that, but I do now that we have gotten into the nitty-gritty of life and living.

Last year between the place and I was "hello". I was here, but I was a bit dazed by the newness of everything. Where could I start, where could my focus land ... what could I concentrate on and sink my artistic teeth into?

Side Bar: I just put up an online version of my current artshow at the I Live on a Farm website. I think you will enjoy it, if you wish to take a few minutes to view it after you read this post.

Back to the Blog: This second year, for my husband I, is about rolling up our sleeves and really living together, in each other's company ... through thick and through thin. No matter how much love, no matter what a feeling of romance, there is bound to be thick and thin to confront together or flee from in opposite directions.

This second year, with the place, I am seeing things that I instinctively knew where here before, but that I could not focus on last year. I catch my breath when I take it all in, because now I am seeing the depth. Every time I am out there in it, I look and I see way far off into the distances and I see the way the light shines on this or that ... not just a momentary glance, but I see it at different times of day in different types of weather.

Now I have comparisons I can draw, and it opens up my sight so much further into what I am truly seeing.

Two weeks ago we drove down toward Buffalo after a rain, when the skies were still gray, but some sun shone through. I saw textures and colors and places only visible during that particular lighting situation, that time of that day at that particular moment only. It hit me, it penetrated my perceptions and struck a chord because I could compare it to other times I saw those same fields, or trees, or barns, or skies under different circumstances. I have driven that road enough times now that I can truly SEE it, truly take it in, each and every time ... because I can compare.

As for the husband, it is similar with him. Neither of us is perfect (thank goodness). There have been a few points on which we have disagreed, sometimes vehemently. Always, though, there is this persistent and real affection and respect. We have fun together; we always have something interesting to do together or to speak about. Our minds and creativity are well matched, our values are in harmony. I can evaluate my feelings for him and my attitude toward him because I have quite a bit of life experience behind me and I can draw comparisons between our viewpoints, comparisons between him and other people I have known, and I can see him very clearly ... more clearly now than last year when we were still on "hello".

I like what I see. Well, actually I love what I see in him, and in this place. More so now even than when we first said hello ... big surprise, huh? I also realize I am only beginning to get to know, and the road ahead looks very, very promising.

Fireflys first adult sized sweater has made its way to New York

I have a bit of knitting news: I am recently reunited with a sweater I knitted back in 2003 in California. It was the first adult sweater I knit, and I love it dearly. It was a fun project and went very quickly. Sadly though, I knit it out of a beautiful chocolate brown merino wool and I could not for the life of me find a time to wear it while I lived in Los Angeles. I tried, but each time I put it on, no matter how seemingly cold it was in LA, the sweater instantly made me so hot I would have to rip it off and pant for a few minutes.

Ah, but now I live in upstate western New York where winter is winter and cold is cold. The sweater was in with my things I shipped here from California earlier in the summer. I recently unpacked it and can hardly wait for cold enough weather to warrant its use.

I got the pattern for this sweater from "The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book", page 5 "Spinnery Jacket" (well, they call it a jacket, I call it a sweater). I knitted it of Aurora 8 100% Merino by Karabella Yarns, with size U.S. 6 and 7 needles. Varying from the pattern a bit, I edged my sweater with Paton's Grace 100% Mercerized Cotton in Taupe, just for a bit of a contrasting accent. I also changed the sleeves to make them longer and so they would flare out a bit rather than hanging straight or tapering in. I have all of the info and details about the sweater because, that year my son gave me a Knitting Journal as a Christmas gift and I recording the project in that journal ... another item I am recently reunited with.

Until next week then ... enjoy the textures of your life!


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