The Shawl

Fall has finally arrived, I was in doubt that we would receive one but here it is! There is no time I love more than fall mornings. I am usually the first one up in my house and I awaken to the aroma of fresh coffee. A few years ago my guy bought us one of those that you can set the day before and it’s a simple pleasure to awaken to hot coffee, even better when he makes it, he has a knack for the best coffee. So I grab a cup and my shawl and out to the porch I go. The air is crisp and the leaves are golden from my front porch and the world is quiet.

I am alone at the moment, no one else in the house has drifted out to break the silence, off in the distance I can hear a dog barking, my neighbor is up early busy at remodeling his house and a train whistle as it passes through town. Those are the only sounds on this silent Sunday morning. The leaves are falling and although I logistically do not have a tree in my yard, it is full of brown crunchy leaves waiting to be raked or jumped in.  My grandsons often offer to rake my leaves, however, they never seem to get picked up.. just played with! When they lived in Florida they actually had leaves sent to them so they could have a fall festival…. and the pumpkin patch was a gas station with a table. They are anxious for the fall life the Midwest provides. Apple picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes a plenty. The Rockwellian Midwest.

It’s the shawl that signifies its fall. The shawl holds special love for me and an indelible memory of the person who owned it.  it belonged to my friend Denita McCall. She has long ago departed us, but returns every fall to wrap me in warmth. I first saw this shawl around her shoulders, one brisk Spring morning in Colorado. She was hosting a dinner party for her girlfriends and that morning she went outside to let her dog out, she grabbed her shawl on the way out. At this point she lacked the energy to walk him so he she sat on the porch and watched from there with this shawl wrapped around her shoulders and a knitted cap on her head. As she sat in the crisp air with a bit of snow on the ground remaining and her breath captured in the air she was still gorgeous and full of life.

So each time fall rolls around, I unfold this shawl and put it on. It’s brown plaid with ribbons of red and white with fringe gracing its edges. It is like a magical cloak that covers me with a myriad of comforts. Through the fabric and across the dimensions, she gives me strength, she fought four kinds of cancer and won, it was the 5th one that stole her from us. She gives me love, she loved like no other human I know, fierce. She gives me warmth, she would give you the hat off her head if it would keep you warm, but it was her heart that generated the true warmth. She gives me joy, from the simple fact that I knew her. We laughed together, we cried together and thankfully we reconnected after many years and I got to know her again in the last part of her too short beautiful life.

She will resurface again in my writing, you never know when. There are stories to share. She was a beautiful soul, with dancing mischief filled dark eyes and force in my life. And every fall she comes around to remind me how lucky I am to be alive.

Who reminds you to be grateful for today?

Until Next Time,



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