sharpened pencils

This rest of this summer was brutally dry and hot, but now our mid-August weather has mellowed into a gentle respite of 70-degree days. With a cool breeze at night, sleep comes easier and deeper. (At last. I never sleep well in the summer.) And after that, these mornings are just right for steaming cups of coffee on the patio. I love this. The very end of summer signifies a turn to my favorite season, fall, and I usually call these weeks of changing weather “Pre-Autumn” in anticipation. I spend them obsessively dreaming about piles of leaves, apple cider, flannel shirts, butternut squash (not spaghetti squash – I will never eat that again), mugs of chili topped with sour cream, wool sweaters, hot tea, crisp mornings, thick socks, and orchard apples. Also, school supplies. I can’t get enough. I love the feel of paper, the tab dividers on folders, the sharp open-close of the rings on 3-ring-binders, and, second only to sticky post-its, I love writing with regular sharpened wood pencils. I usually indulge myself in some unnecessary stationery purchases during this time because that urge to browse the school supply aisles is so overwhelming.

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.” – Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail.

This year I join my teacher-friends in a collective mid-August panic attack because school is starting. On Monday I leave this state of suspense and enter my favorite season with exciting challenges that will stretch me in many different ways for ministry and business. (And luckily, I feel like the business is a bit of a ministry, too.)  There are thirty-one students registered for fall semester piano lessons, I’m leading a group of other ladies in my Bible study program, I’m on a Sunday-School rotation at church, and I’m directing six academic subjects for a group of ten home-school students in 8th and 9th grades.  It was a huge leap for us when I quit my job and let my marketable skills and budding entrepreneurial spirit take us into uncharted income territory, and it’s wonderful to see this dream coming to fruition. I’m overjoyed that this is happening, but I’m also hyperventilating every time I look ahead to how much is already filled in on my calendar.

But I think fall is a great time to be stretched. Nature will provide some important lessons, because I know there is a lot that has to die and fall away in my life during the next few months. I’m thrilled about my new adventures, but also very aware that  last year’s leisure is almost entirely over. There will be a lot of dying-to-self required this year. There is beauty in that mortification. And there are also freshly-sharpened pencils, so I’m sure it will all be okay!

a bouquet of pencils via u-create.

13 thoughts on “sharpened pencils

  1. Wow Abby, you have a plateful! Praying God will totally lead you with what needs to go and what needs to stay and that He will expand your time when you do not see any time left in your day or week. Excited to see you soon!

    • I do have a platefull! I’m very excited, but there will be some serious self-discipline and time management going on. 🙂 See you soon!!

    • Thanks! I want to hear about your church job sometime soon, too! You should blog about it. (Which I do totally read, by the way, but I can’t remember if I have ever commented?) If your fall gets too crazy, you should blow it all off and bring your babies to Iowa for a weekend! 🙂

  2. Thanks Abby, A fun read.

    It is a break to hear from you for us. Nick had the computer up and running three days ago,I’m just getting to it. After-the-move days seem as wearing as before-the-move days. We have boxes looking at me soulfully at me in most rooms and I haven’t found my cosmetics yet.. Therefore I haven’t had eyebrows for some time. You know how moves go. The actual moving days were fun. Family and helpers all over and not letting us do anything but give directions and take pictures.

    Gwen and Scott were just here and we were talking about excess furniture and stuff currently stored in the pole barn that you might be interested in. Some of it has been precious to us, but if it goes to family, then we’re happy. We sure don’t like it sitting in the pole barn.

    31 piano students!!! The word is out. And the rest of your schedule Wow! I hope the blog doesn’t suffer too much. We love the connection.

    Love, G & G Cheney

    We’re loving these cooler days too, and every single sunrise has been an easy view over the field. A lovely way to start each day.

    • I am sure you look wonderful, Grandma. 🙂 We hope the move has been going well. And furniture! Such a treat to get family treasures, though I’m quite certain we have no extra room for now and I can’t say for sure what we will need in future homes since I don’t know where we will live and when we would buy a new house. So much uncertainty about those sorts of details still feels a little unsettling. But we are good, so I can’t complain.

      Glad your sunrises have been lovely. You have such a great view! We will have to come see it sometime.
      Abby (and Aaron).

  3. Reading this made me giddy and happy for several reasons:
    1. SHARPENED PENCIL BOUQUETS!!! (Why did I not think of scrapping flowers and carrying school supplies?)
    2. You are so amazing and accomplished and taking over the world for good, and I really wish you could homeschool little Wegmanns someday.
    3, FALL. IS. COMING. Amen. I smelled it last night and I did a little dance.

    • 1. We may be able to convince Bethany of this very idea.
      2. We need to live in the same place. I am all about getting together with friends so we can have kids that turn out homeschooled without having to do all the work.
      3. Take lots of beautiful fall pictures and think of us while you sip some wassail.
      4. Come to Iowa sometime! 😉

  4. your blog is such a great way to keep up with your lives! Sure, nothing beats personal communication, but there’s obviously constraints to that for many relationships. Given that I care about you and Aaron, I am enjoying “keeping up” with you two through this!

      • seriously. That’d be the best. My bro was just in that neck of the woods last week – backpacking trip on Isle Royale…got injured and had to be rescued! crazy story!

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