Things I learned in September

Here we are again at the end of another month. September.

I like September. It is a month for wearing boots and scarves but still pulling a sweatshirt over long shorts and flip-flops. September is for picking apples (love the Honey Crisp!) and while the light is changing, there is still sunshine to warm my freckly face.

It seems especially apropos in the month that school begins to reflect on lessons. September is that month of yellow school buses, composition books and sharpened #2 pencils. It is a month of change from long days to shorter ones, from summer to fall, from loosey-goosey hours to more of a routine.

Here are my lessons from September.

"Reclaimed" speaks to many hearts.

There are times when God pieces come together to make something beautiful as in a mosaic or a quilt. Those times make my heart sing.

"Reclaimed" is an unfolding theme in my Door to Grace work this year and in my life.

First came a First Thursday in the Pearl hosted by the PREM Group, a fundraiser called "Reclaimed" to benefit Door to Grace, an organization whose heartbreaking work puts me on my knees every single day.

Here is one piece from that night by master artisan Cody Kimmel
of Woodvibes NW. It is made of reclaimed lath from historic buildings in Portland's Pearl District. All of his pieces are beautifully storied.

The "Reclaimed" theme continued in my own life as a dear friend of mine who was absent from the YaYas for 4 1/2 years has returned to open arms. Someday I will tell you about the YaYas. It is a funny, sad and beautiful story that is still being written.

Remember that when you think something may never happen. I sure will.

Art is hiding in emojis.

But seriously, it is.

I am not a huge fan of emojis, but I do have my favorites.

Kissy face, Sunglass Face, Baby Face, Doggie Face and Little Dollop of Poo, perhaps not classy, but very fun and useful.

Here are two new to my repertoire.

I recently used the ferris wheel emoji for a time I glimpsed a new perspective.

It seemed to capture the feeling when I took my youngest daughter back to college the day after my oldest daughter had her first baby girl.

Whew! Life is coming at me full tilt. No wonder I am finding new emojis.

I just discovered that the wave emoji is actually "The Great Wave Off of Kanagawa", a classic woodblock print from Japanese artist Katsushika Hosukai. It is actually a series called "Thirty six views of Mt. Fuji" which has sparked both poetry and music.

Now you know. Use it and be classy.

Simple reminders are sweet.

I recently ate dinner with my son Sean, his wife Monica, and the Blueberry.

Photo by Monica Conlin.

Here is the wall where we stood in line to order.

A good reminder to teach TWO brand new grands and myself.

There you have it, September lessons.