Autumn was beginning…

“The stream was running higher than usual because of the rain. The current was strong and the water turbulent, carrying leaves and twigs that had fallen from the trees. Autumn was beginning. The big horse-chestnut tree was bearing its fruit rounded spiky capsules that carried the deep brown conkers that Mandy loved to collect. A pheasant picked its way slowly through the tall grass. Everything was still and gray and dripping wet.”  
Mandy, by Julie Andrews Edwards
Not surprisingly this was one of my favorite chapter books growing up. It was published in 1971 and it’s full of lovely seasonal details. The story is romantic and old-fashioned and when I found it in a box of old books I had to read it again. In the book Mandy, an orphan, finds a neglected Shell Cottage in the woods near the orphanage and decides to make it her own. She gardens, cleans, decorates and makes the place homey.  Some stories just have a way to touching your heart.
I had the day off so I had to hit one of the local antique malls to see if I could find any October/Halloween decor to make the house feel more like autumn. Being in Vermont inspired me; New England has a way of decorating for the season that Coloradans haven’t really embraced. But I love being surrounded by pumpkins, gourds, autumn leaves and anything vintage Halloween. I found quite a few items and didn’t spend very much money. My finds included: a primitive wooden box painted to look like a Jack-O-Lantern, a small Gund teddy bear dressed in a orange cap and scarf decorated with pumpkins, a pottery pumpkin, two vintage Beistle Halloween die-cuts and some Currier and Ives autumn lithographs. I love buying vintage/gently used mostly because it’s the only time you can find items made in the USA.

I’ll try to post a picture of my finds tomorrow! I’m making minestrone for dinner. Now get back to work!

The Writing Nag

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