Saturday, October 1, 2016

Happy October!


While December is my favorite month, October is a close second. November is great, too —  the days are often as mild as October's and it's often Boston's best time for colorful trees.

October arrived today with gray skies, chilly drizzle, and mist, and what could be better after that long, parched hot summer? Autumn is my favorite season, wet, dry, or whatever — as long as it's cool and the leaves begin to turn color. New England is at its most glorious in the fall.

I'm wearing a turtleneck, sweater, and socks, and it feels good. I'm looking forward to making a pot of chicken soup and a bigger pot of tomato sauce this weekend; for months, it's been too hot to make either. Flannel sheets will go on the bed tomorrow.


The little orange chocolate mousse pumpkins are back at Trader Joe's, along with pumpkin everything. I tried the pumpkin tortilla chips and harvest salsa they were sampling this week, and it was as weird as you'd expect, and the guy serving it agreed. But roasted pumpkin ravioli with a creamy white sauce and maybe some baby peas and/or prosciutto will hit the spot. As will my homemade pumpkin bread. I can finally bake again without overheating the house.

It's still late July in old New Yorker Land, however. I still have hopes of catching up one of these days. I've been reading books instead, including Nancy Hale's A New England Girlhood. Hale was the daughter of Boston School artists Lilian Westcott and Philip Leslie Hale. She was born in 1908, so she was a near contemporary of Janet and Ruth Sabine (born in 1903 and 1906) and all three attended the Winsor School. A prolific fiction writer, she also wrote a series of essays about growing up in Dedham, taking dancing classes with her fellow little Brahmins, train trips to Back Bay, summering along the New England coast, and partying as a flapper debutante. Many of the chapters were initially published in The New Yorker before the book was published in 1958. For me it's a window into what Janet's experiences may have been as a fellow deb.

Now I'm reading The Young Die Good, Hale's "decadent" first novel about New York flapper society. It's out of print to the point of extinction, so I had to get it through the Harvard Libraries, and they had to get it from a library in Chicago as a PDF. It's just what I was hoping for — flashy, shockingly casual about sex (the word itself is occasionally used and clearly meant to be a scandal) and full of "dazzling" dialogue from a large cast of bright young things who must be thinly veiled sketches of real persons she knew or heard about at the time. It's too packed with detailed, gossipy anecdotes to be anything else. It's fun but a little exhausting, and a good refresher course for my 1920's slang vocabulary.

Next up is The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu, which I had to reserve at the library for its title alone.

I wish you a wonderful October. Now I'm going to go back to reading about "leggy" flappers who spend hours riding around Manhattan in taxis so they can kiss their beaux in privacy.

1 comment:

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