Monday, September 19, 2022

Autumn Reminiscences by Helen Henderson


Windmaster Golem
Click the cover for purchase information

Last month's post presented a memory from the archmage, Lord Dal's past and how it affected his actions. This month, the reminiscing will be more personal and include memories of the season. Since I've already covered the most emotional of my autumn memories, those associated with 9-11, I decided to focus on other ones.

The warm days and cool nights of autumn signal not only the upcoming winter season, but also harvest time. First the wheat or whatever grain planted earlier in the year had to be cut, the grasses crimped, turned, baked in the sun until dry, and
then the fun began. Baling took the entire family. My father drove the tractor. The rest of us rode the hay wagon, pulled the bales off the chute, dragged and stacked them. All of which required long sleeves to minimize scratches and clambering around the rows of hay bales. The full wagon would be pulled to the barn where the reverse loading took place. Front to back, top to bottom, bales were moved onto the conveyor and taken to the upper floor of the barn were we once again repeated the snatch, drag, and stack.

Another memory of autumn was the annual putting up the garden with the pickling, preserving, and making ketchup. Sometimes the work was done under the direction of the older clanswomen. Our reward for this work was not just the food preserved for the upcoming winter, but also the treat of grandmother's heritage dishes. Of course, workers got first pick at the butter-drenched lokse, onion-accented pierogies, and sugared fried dough fresh from the pan.

The boat, gas tank and hot water
heater are at the top of a bridge.

As to the teaser image from last month? Halloween is not always remembered for pumpkins and neighborhood children in costume trick-or-treating. A hurricane that became a post-tropical cyclone a frankenstorm, and then after she cut across New Jersey, became the infamous Superstorm Sandy. 

Whole flotillas of boats where removed from the water or lifted off trailers or storage racks to be scattered onto roads, bridges, or into fields in my area. Wind, rain, and tidal surges disrupted electricity service from parts of Quebec to North Carolina and as far west as Indiana and Illinois.

The remnants of the local history museum.
Many artifacts were washed out to sea.
Others were recovered by walking miles of shoreline.

Besides the images of the displaced boats, a more personal memory was being one of the 8.5 million people without power for what seemed like unending days. We were fortunate in that our electric company did a controlled shut down, minimizing damage to substations. When our electricity was restored, my husband and I took in his mother and sister until the lines of poles were replaced and wires restrung in their town. 
Most of the homes in my town didn't suffer much damage but we lost several businesses including the history museum. Although two senior high-rise apartment buildings had to be evacuated. An adjoining town was not so lucky. The entire town was submerged. My home renovation experience came in handy during volunteer tours removing sheetrock and plaster. My last stint was taping and spackling. I might not as been as fast as the professional I worked alongside, but I was pleased he didn't have to redo any of my seams.

 ~Until next month, stay safe and read. 

To purchase the Windmaster Novels: BWL

Find out more about me and my novels at Journey to Worlds of Imagination.
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Helen Henderson lives in western Tennessee with her husband. While she doesn’t have any pets in residence at the moment, she often visits a husky who have adopted her as one the pack. 


  1. Some of your memories of autumn are similar to mine. Keep writing

  2. Autumn is my favourite season. The end of Sept & beginning of Oct are specially beautiful in the eastern forests where the leaves of the maple trees turn fiery red, bright orange, and glowing yellow.

  3. Homemade goodies are simply the best. Thanks for sharing, Helen :)

  4. These sugared fried dough from the pan look suspiciously like my childhood crepes. I still make them as soon as the temperature drops. I will probably have to wait another month or two to make them, as I live in Arizona, and we are still at 100F in the afternoon. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This is a timely post with the horrific storm that hit my home province of Newfoundland and the rest of Atlantic Canada last week. The photo of damaged boats and debris is so similar to the current devastation there.


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