Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Peak Stim Season

Autumn has come to this part of the country, with chilly nights and turning leaves. As we planned for our annual fall getaway to close up the family cabins for the season, I watched the fall-color map on the weather.com web site. Fall-color watching is a tourism activity in and of itself, and the past two years the leaves were pretty much at "peak color" when we closed up the cabins. The fall-color forecast maps gave us reason to hope that the same might be true this year.

But as dawn broke on our drive north, it was clear that the traditional peak had come and gone. Aside from the evergreens and a few bright splashes of yellow birch leaves, everything had already fallen.

And guess what? From Joy's perspective, it was just perfect. The forest floor, and even the roads, had a thick coat of crunchy leaves to shuffle and kick.

The leaves helped distract from the stim that's been driving me & JoyDad crazy lately, which involves grabbing handfuls of dirt and trickling the soil down onto her own body or hair. With all the leaves around, she was more interested in making careful bouquets of the bright birch leaves, assembling and twirling the stems in her hand. Lovely, and much less messy.

Rose enjoyed the fallen leaves too. She and JoyDad went hiking up into the woods, to find the continental divide between the Lake Michigan & Lake Superior watersheds that runs through the family property. Rose also used red & yellow leaves to decorated the chains on the rickety old metal swingset, which was just the right height for Joy to swing all by herself this year.

Other highlights:
  • Joy went swimming (Swimming! In the lake! In October!

  • Rose went fishing with her uncles and learned to cast.

  • Joy learned to drink from a soda can.

  • Rose played her first game of dice with the grownups in the evening.

  • Joy actually echoed the name of the lake, for the first time ever!

  • We saw some ruffed grouse in the woods -- but not in the cabins.

  • The weather was stunning all weekend -- shirtsleeve weather, blue skies, minimal insect issues.

  • The starry skies at night went on forever.

Unfortunately, vacation is never forever. Back home we had to go, hoping the transition back to school won't be too exceedingly traumatic. At least we got to see the fall foliage in full swing on the ride back home! Tune in next spring for more exciting northwoods adventures.


Anonymous said...

I think I might stim on this lovely post for a while and several times more. ;)


Anonymous said...

i had to laugh at the title of this post. now doesn't that just sum up my life right now?!

this is such a peaceful post. so glad rose and joy had a great time!

AuntieS said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I wish I could have joined all of you! I am very glad that the ruffed grouse remained outside of the cabin this time!!!!

Anonymous said...

omg, i'm with you on the peak stim season .. brooke can't pass a single dry leaf without crushing it. and we live in new england!!

the trip sounded fabulous. love and hugs.

JoyDad said...

Well, AuntieS, your name did come up in conversation while we were up at the lake, in the context of wondering what it would take to get you to come up with us when we go up next year... ;-)

Professor Mother said...

What an oasis of peace. There really is nothing better than crunching leaves- I'm totally with Joy on this one! We were just up in Boston ourselves- where fall has not yet quite fallen... but close enough for this Southern girl!

Lynn said...

Sounds absolutely heavenly. I love the great northwoods after a frost when you can walk through them without getting carried away by mosquitoes...