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Editor’s Note: A slice of life

Oct 31st, 2012 | Category: Columns

“When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness… all the good things.” –Maya Angelou

The countdown begins. It is Halloween as I write this, and our 6-year-old son is asking how many more days til Christmas. (For the record, it’s 55, as of press time. His response: “Oh man! Why not tomorrow?”) We can’t be the only household in which the holidays are brought up each day, right?

Our kids have been talking about Christmas once the pumpkins hit the porch. It’s like their wish lists were running through their heads as soon as the leaves started falling. I believe the words “purple spaceship” (by the way, gladly accepting your donations of large cardboard to make this one happen) and “purple kitchen” have been spoken with the highest level of enthusiasm a 3-year-old girl can possibly muster, and said about a wazillion times. However, I think the real reason they are talking about the holidays so much is the anticipation of the day, the season, and the simple joys that come with this time of year. As the days get shorter and we have more down time in the fall and winter months (at least we are supposed to have more down time), we find ourselves doing more in the way of cooking, crafting and hanging out. We celebrate the season in a different way. Rather than being outside, we are inside doing activities and crafts, baking and reading, and making lists of all the projects and work we want to tackle.

Once we fall back (remember to set the clocks back Saturday night), the 4:30 p.m. darkness will cue it’s time to start our seasonal crafts. Our traditions include making a family turkey, each of its feathers naming a family member, both human and animal. (Above, see our daughter at age 2 with last year’s turkey). Another paper turkey craft we do is like a countdown to Thanksgiving. Each day, we add another feather, writing something we are thankful for. At Thanksgiving, we then read them all together. The Christmas tree comes after Thanksgiving, and then we go crazy for paper snowflakes, rings and lots of other little crafts throughout December, as we count down the days to the big holiday. I bet you when our son wakes up tomorrow he’s going to tell me, slightly tugging on my shirt, “Mom, 54 days!”

Another thing our family loves to do this time of year is bake pumpkin bread. It’s a family staple and usually made throughout the year. Last year we grew 60-something sugar pumpkins, but this year, as we took on our homeless summer adventure, we had no garden, and my late container efforts – with a double dose of crossed fingers – failed in the exception of one itty-bitty, wee tiny sugar pumpkin. Oh, look at that cute gourd, I thought. At least the kids liked it.

Now that we’re settled for the fall and winter, and have an oven again, we are baking their favorite pumpkin bread, a lot. They enjoy eating it, a lot, and sharing it too. (I concocted a much healthier, constantly-eaten-by-the-kids recipe using one less cup of sugar, applesauce instead of oil, half wheat flour, and no salt.) The other day, while stopped at a red light, we gave our last  piece of pumpkin bread to a fellow who was clearly having hard times. He smiled and said “God Bless You,” repeatedly. When he took a bite, his smile grew big and he was nearly jumping up and down with joy. Apparently he thought it tasted that good, and seeing that brought a smile to my face. The kids, sitting in the back seat, were giggling with delight. “Does he like it mommy?” they asked. “Yes sweethearts, he does.” As we drive through the green light, our window down, he gives us a thumbs up and yells, smiling, “Next time bring me a whole loaf! Please.” The giggling continues. “He likes it!”

“Yes, sweethearts, he really likes it.”


Coming Up

• Family sponsorships during the holidays: We are sponsoring families this holiday season and invite readers and businesses to participate. We are collecting food and household items, and purchasing gifts for children. Donors will be able to choose from a list of gifts/household needs and/or make a food/certificate donation. Donations due Dec. 10.

• December cover contest: Want your photo to be on the December cover of Grow Northwest? Must have a holiday theme. Enter your local, high-res, color photo to Include a description of the photo and name of photographer. Submissions due Nov. 23.

• Focus on Farming: Are you attending the annual Focus on farming conference? Stop by our booth and say hello during the trade show.  We will have t-shirts available, stickers, copies of the magazine, and more. Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Comcast Arena in Everett.

• Local Grange feature: Our January issue will feature the local granges in our northwest corner and look at their roles in our communities: Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, San Juan and Island counties. We invite grange members to submit old photos and stories, and share what is happening today at your grange. Deadline for submissions Dec. 15.

• Junior Growers: Welcome to our new section (see page 29 in this issue) for younger readers to enjoy activities with their family and friends, and share artwork, stories, jokes, and photos. Send submissions to To become a Junior Grower, send in three completed activity sheets and we’ll send your child a Junior Grower certificate, sticker and membership letter into the Junior Growers club! T-shirts coming!

• Gift subscriptions: Want to give a gift subscription to Grow Northwest? The rate is $36 for 1 year, or $65 for 2 years. Includes sticker and gift subscription note card. Must include address for gift giver and recipient.

To submit information, or if you have questions about any of the above items, please contact or call (360) 398-1155.

Published in the November 2012 issue of Grow Northwest

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