Tomorrow or next day I will go to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds even though the Fair is over, because I need to pick up my entry in the needlework competition – I won a red ribbon, coming in second in the senior arena with my Christmas stocking.
It has a B on it because it’s a gift for my good friend Becky, who came to England with me a few years back. I got sick on the flight over and wound up in Leicester hospital. We went there for the reburial of King Richard III’s bones, found under a parking lot. Only I missed almost all of the ceremonies, and poor Becky, who is not a fan of medieval English history, stayed without complaint in Leicester and missed most of the other things we were scheduled to see, and was a great comfort to me. The stocking is the least I can do to thank her.
The closing of the Fair marks the end of summer in Minnesota. That was underlined yesterday when I was out on our balcony and saw that of the five trees across the street, three are turning gold already – not just here and there, but all over. It feels early for that marked a change, but I am further reminded that in the hat-wearing population, it’s after Labor Day, so straw hats are now put away until spring (white shoes, too). I’m not really complaining; I like autumn, I feel energized this time of year when the sun shrinks south and the thick, wet air cools, dries, and smells of apples. The Michaelmas goose is fattening, unaware of his fate: who eats goose at Michaelmas (September 29) will have enough money for the next year. I will stuff him with cloves of garlic, chopped apples, and onions, and invite my friends to share the promised blessing.