Merrie First of October!

I admit to having seen La Vie en Rose, the bio-pic of Edith Piaf, multiple times. Not  just because of Marion Cotillard, not just because of the music, although that was a lot of it. The movie was filmed nostalgically in the style of the 1930's and 40's, which I loved. I gather some people complained because of the clichéd cinematography. Hey, that was avant-garde in the 1930's and 40's. There was a shot of calendar pages flipping, another of newspaper headlines succeeding one another...

Those shots reminded me of autumn in New York, or I guess, in any large city, as one set of holiday decorations pushes another out of the stores. I'm already walking past Christmas ornaments and New Year's Eve finery, and I haven't even polished up my broomstick for its season yet! It's possible that what I took to be glittery New Year's Eve finery was in fact back-to-school sequin wear, but can the elves and Santas be frolicking because the end of  September approacheth?

And what do I do every time I sense the arrival, however distant, of an event? I make a list.

I already know who's getting the first five books of the Betsy-Tacy series, and who's getting The Velveteen Rabbit.

Whether Himself likes it or not, I am replacing his much-loved sweatshirt with its exact duplicate, minus only the indelible food and wine history. I can say exact with confidence because I'm going to buy it at Ralph Lauren. With a little luck, he might not even notice. Sadly, this year there are fewer old folk to surprise with outrageous underwear, but we have the joy of buying goofy stuff for more little ones, including a little guy who stopped being little at 11 weeks.

I'm so glad I decided to wait to buy him a "welcome-to-the-world" gift until he arrived in the US. He's here now, and like both his parents, he's tall and strong and gorgeous. Still not employed, but we've noticed scouts. Perhaps he'd like a javelin.

My sister, very close to me in age, is still wishing for a pony.

A good friend who has a difficult apartment situation owns a dog who doesn't live with her, but visits. Another friend "time-shares" a cat; its owners know that it likes to visit around the neighborhood and spend time with other human friends where the food might be more elegant. Cat has great charm, so much so that some of its friends share its vet bills with the titular owner.

Shared ownership of a "companion animal" may reflect our time's commitment issues. However, if you try to buy a share of a horse, it's called syndication and all four syllables of that mean red tape and regulation. Sister dear will have to settle for a ratcatcher shirt. You might let me know if there's a shared guppy in your circle of friends and family.

If the advancement of seasons continues at this pace, maybe my grandchildren will buy fluffy ducklings and chickens in the spring, and strings of twinkly lights and little Santas in December. Until then, as always, crisp mornings ⇒ to-do list. .


  1. Fred!

    I love this post! I loved that movie as well - I am a huge old movie buff and I love those little homages. I actually watched "When Harry Met Sally" yesterday afternoon whilst doing work, specifically so I could watch the scene of them walking through Central Park in the fall with the leaves on fire! And of course to see them pulling the christmas tree home.

    The Betsy-Tacy series is one of my "comfort" books - I read at least one of the books in the series once a year and when my mother was dying the hospital and i was sitting beside her for hours at a time, I read the whole series. I first discovered the Velveteen Rabbit when I was a teenager and wrote out many quotes from the book and tacked them on my wall.

    As for how the retailers treat the holidays, I am one of the few people I know who is completely oblivious to this and could care less either way. I don't mind seeing decorations of any sort at any time of the year and would likely be nonplussed if I saw Christmas decorations laid out for easter! But then, I am odd, an affliction I freely admit to!

    1. I've been waiting since I learned these little ones were on the way, to share favorite books. How sad, but how lovely, that Betsy, Tacy and Tib were able to bring you some comfort at a terrible

  2. Hello:
    How exceedingly well organized, if not a little frighteningly so, you appear to be.

    For our part we loathe the appearance of Christmas decorations so early on. Thankfully, here in Hungary things are far less commercial than in the United Kingdom and elsewhere that we know.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Not well organized at all, that sweatshirt should have shuffled off years ago, I've just decided that its time has come. Finally.

  4. Merrie, velveteen rabbits, broomsticks, I love everything in this post.
    I always thought it wasn't so bad in the US because Hallowe'en is so big there and you have Thanksgiving, I actually thought there wouldn't be a single Christmas decoration to be seen till December!

  5. Hi, Tabitha, it's crept up year by year. Back-to-school used to begin in late August, now it's mid-July. Goblins pop up in September, and Christmas merch is appearing already, to be Interrupted in November by a brief flicker of Thanksgiving. In Manhattan these days, Thanksgiving is the holiday where people who've never produced a sit-down meal before take up sharp knives and sizzling pots. Very dangerous.

  6. We used to "lease" part of a horse, which meant a monthly contribution to his upkeep, when my youngest rode.

    What a cute little guy! He appears to have a pleasant personality too, at least at that time of day. A little basket of books is my favorite baby gift to give. I love the little Jamberry book and R. Wells Bunny Planet series ( ? still in print). Of course V. Rabbit.

  7. hi, Lane! I forgot to mention, I loved the NYT article, what a great event!

    We will wind up getting the newbie and his "big" sister some piece of outdoor climbing stuff, his little family will be stationed in a warmer climate, and were just waiting for them to close on a house and move in. No point in loading them up with more stuff to move.

    Oh it is so much fun to reread beloved books....


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