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Hasten, autumn. Bring your mellow yellows and your lowlights, your red leaves and blushing apples fallen into piles on the side of the road. They're already falling, and the fields are tinted russet, and dry. It's okay. The yards, my yards, have defeated me: the flowers, the pots, the hanging baskets, the watering — as usual, things have frizzled into colorless, wilting beggars, laced with spiderwebs from chair to pot to post every morning. I can't keep up. I cry uncle. I'd like to put the hose away, drain it for good and sit on the deck in my nightgown, nursing a big cup of strong coffee while Amelia throws blueberries into the yard, listening to birds make plans in the golden-leaved morning light.

The house is just as bad. Outgrown clothes, piles of catalogs I'll never order from, sofa cushions blobbing in every direction, pillows on the floor, sand-covered shoes in a heap by the door, dusty succulents on my windowsills, toys piled into bookshelves, books stacked next to the bed, half-filled bottles of shampoo and mismatched conditioner, slivers of gooey soap in the dishes, balls of yarn tumbling off of tables, stacks of fabric waiting to be cut, mail that hasn't been sorted in weeks, everything pushed into the centers of tables and counters to keep it out of the reach of a little girl who carries her mini-chairs all over the house and (quietly, looking back) stands on them, and reaches, reaches. There are only so many places to put things one shouldn't touch, and the things of summer, the sunglasses and sunscreens and sandals and beach towels and beach chairs and beach balls and pails and shovels and cups and water bottles, have filled every nook. I'd be happy for a good thunderstorm, and a cleaning lady, and a trip to Goodwill.

Instead, we go 'side. To the waterside. Woodside. Riverside. Fieldside. At sunset, where, in the relief of honey light, with a big baby girl heavy in your arms, it's nothing but beautiful. Where it washes over you, and makes you cry. Because it's August 23. It's been an incredible summer. I don't want it to end.

***The green cottage is my mama's house.


Such a beautiful post!

lucy in london says: August 28, 2014 at 08:40 AM

Aw I know that end of summer feeling. The mess never ends by the way. Bigger feet bigger clothes still dumped in piles by my four college-aged kids. Looks like you three had a great summer. Those memories will keep you warm all through winter.

Lovely, lovely post. I never want summer to end either!

Beautiful post. How old is Miss Amelia now? She has such beautiful flowing hair!

What a lovely summer you have experienced! I am so sad to see summer end too, especially this year after such a brutal Minneapolis winter. But boom. One day we are at the water splash pad with granddaughters (ages 4, 5 and 7), and five days later the days are cooler and they have begun preschool and school. I always am so melancholy at this time of year. Memories are everywhere I look.

Love the images in your prose. As always, beautifully written.

Welcome to motherhood! Acquisition and accumulation are a constant battle. Things move in and out....sometimes it is harder to move em out. Sentiment gets in the way, as does optimism (I will use this again!). Take it as it comes.

It's overcast today in Portland and I am so glad! Like you, I am tired of watering and would rather have everything just dry up! But, neighborhood appearances must be kept up (in my mind at least), and so I will water today. Your post is aptly titled, for Amelia's hair is a beautiful honey gold color, along with nature. It is so lovely as it blows in the warm air. Wish mine was that color! You'll have lots of time to straighten up the piles of stuff in your home -- for now just enjoy the rest of the summer. When the cold hits, I plan on tackling all the kits I've ordered from you and get them finished!

I agree, it has been an incredible summer. Summers are the best with a little one around. It is an opportunity to see it all new. Your girl is gorgeous!

Well, you weren't kidding... you've been outdoors and you've been taking pictures.
I don't know which to thank you for first, or most... your beautiful photographs, or the beautiful description of real life, with real people. As soon as I finish painting the laundry room, and the washer gets installed, I'd like to find a river or a tree, or even a cloud in the sky, be outside, and take some pictures. I'll worry about our messes another day!

Exactly. Your descriptive powers seem as though you are looking right into my windows. Unsorted mail, pillows everywhere. P.S. You forgot to mention the dust! 😁

Your photos, as usual, make me look and look again. They're all beautiful, but I dearly love the one of geese flying!

I have just finished posting on my blog a quote from L.M. Montgomery, and here you are saying things like "listening to birds make plans in the golden-leaved morning light". Have you ever considered writing a - I don't know - something short, maybe - children's book, poem, short story, something, where your ability to express things so beautifully could be used in a different way? (in your spare time, of course. :D )Just a thought. It's so soothing to read words like that, so lovely - she's gone, but Alicia lives! Just an idea. :)

Here the season turned suddenly from scorching hot to wild, windy, and wet. Today was a strange combination of both: muggy and wet.

Your post got me thinking I need to do a bit of picking up and sorting out in this house (and out) myself.

All the best there xxx

Every thought in my mind. Lovely.

What a beautiful post about summer ending. Your pictures are gorgeous, as always, and I love the glimpse it gives us into your everyday life--pure bliss. Amelia gets more beautiful every day. Love her hair, so pretty.

Your little girl is growing so fast. Her hair is beautiful. I enjoy your photos.

What a lovely post. I don't know where the summer has gone. So many things going on. Just yesterday it was January and a new year and now we are almost in September. The past fe years the time has simply flown by. Amelia becomes more beautiful every day. The stuff in the house and yard will stay there and will wait to be attended to but the time with your family and that beautiful daughter will not wait. Enjoy that outside! You are making such beautiful memories. I remember outside beautiful memories as a young girl in Alaska. I will always cherish those as you will cherish yours with your family. I'm repeating myself, but Amelia is such a beauty!

Late August in the Willamette Valley.
I am heartily tired of watering too.
Then September breezes in with its promises of rain and you notice the grapes turning color and the brisk mornings which seem to breathe new life into your space.
Your writing is, as always, pure poetry.

The messes can wait for the rain. You're right to grab every golden warm moment and make the most of it. I am surprised by the cloudy morning. I'm off to volunteer at Multnomah Falls. I bet there is precious little water coming over the top today. Amelia's long hair surprised me.. it's so pretty.
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Pure poetry Alicia, I want to print it out on paper so that I can keep it and fold it into a book to come across later and read again...

What a lovely post, such beautifull pictures and a text to remember
In one word, Great !

I think your daughter is going to look back when she grows up and be enchanted with her wardrobe. You have so much talent (and good taste), mama!

I laughed, I sighed, I smiled reading your post today, Alicia. Your words, written with such eloquence, speak of what is in so many of our hearts. Enjoy that baby girl. Enjoy the transition of the season, for children grow up and life passes so quickly. It's always a pleasure to visit you and your corner of the world.

Beautiful, anticipated post, as always. Thank you. But I'm laughing out loud picturing Littls Missy carrying her chair, looking back to see if she's being watched, and hoping to climb up to touch/grab a "no-no" object! Seriously, just cracks me up, as did the restaurant table in your last post where her side of the table was empty, everything pushed out of reach!

I agree with Paula, my Mom gave a verse from a poem about 35 years ago, when my son was born that went something like: cobwebs and dust can wait but babies don't keep, so please enjoy this golden time with your little sweetie, all too soon she'll be grown, P.S the benefit to grown kids are my 5 wonderful grandkids!!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com