about bliss

Sunday, September 23, 2007

welcome, autumn!

The first day of autumn here in NE Wisconsin feels more like summer, with bright sunshine and temps climbing to the high 70s/low 80s. I like the contrast of warmth and bright blue sky with the first tinges of crimson and gold in the maple trees lining my street.

Last night I listened to *A Prarie Home Companion* and smiled as Garrison Keiler waxed poetic about fall, mentioned my humble little town in passing, and tempered his sentimentality with a well-placed Midwestern joke.

Yesterday at the farmer's market I chatted with the organic farmers, who regaled me with tales of their farm, their experience with my college, and even their religion. It was an interesting conversation and shows how food can really connect people. They gave me their card and invited me to call and come to the farm for veggies...I also stopped at the public library yesterday morning, and came home with my body, mind, and soul ready to devour the delicious, life sustaining foods and books I gathered.

I'm reading *Stealing Buddha's Dinner,* a memoir I've wanted to read every since Mom sent me the review from the GR Press last year and a former colleague asked me if I'd read the book. It's so lovely and melancholy all at once. The author/narrator, Bich Minh Nguyen is about my age and describes her childhood days, growing up Vietnamese-American in the Dutch stronghold that is Western Michigan. Many of the places she mentions are places I know, and at times the book made me so homesick for my home region that I had to set it down and walk away. I feel a real kinship with the author when she describes her escape into books as a way to both be alone and not be alone. It's a gem, and I'm going to teach it in my Multi-Culti American Lit class in the Spring. I'm excited to plan this class...

Today, my friends, their kids, and I are heading to Milwaukee for an afternoon of fun! this time I'm going to spend a little time in Barnes and Noble, selecting at least one new book of my own! Libraries are wonderful and elemental, but there's something about having "a book of one's own" that conveys a delicious pleasure. What I'll choose remains to be seen...several possibilities come to mind: *White Teeth,* *Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,* my very own copy of *The Omnivore's Dilemma*...or a book I have yet to meet. Ahh, the excitement of the unknown!

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