The sounds of Fall are all around us upcountry, and I've got to tell you right here and now that I like some of them, but could do without others. I like hearing the wind blow the leaves around, even though it seems like it usually blows all the leaves from those big maples down the road right smack into our dooryard and up against the ell that connects the house to the barn. I like hearing the ducks and geese fly over; those big flocks that don't mean they're just leap-frogging from the river to a cornfield - they're on the move southward as they feel the cold air give them a little push from behind. I like the way the dry leaves on the ground convince me that a big deer is walking toward me when I'm in the tree stand with my bow, even when I feel like I must have dropped my basket when this animal finally steps out in the clearing and I see it's just Sam, our cat, dropping by to see how the afternoon hunt is going. This is the best time of year up here, right now, and I wish you could see it, smell it, and listen to it. Maybe we should forget the smell because many of the farms in the area spread manure right about now, so you've got to play the wind right if you go out for a jog. It smells bad, but it sure pushes that corn up next summer.
I like most all of the sounds, but there's one I could do without. Sitting in the tree stand, trying to get a little venison for the freezer so we can avoid wondering if growth hormones in some types of commercial meats are going to cause our beautiful daughters to grow beards and sing bass in the choir, I've noticed a trend the last few years and I don't like it too much. Many, many afternoons as I sit back there behind the house all I can hear is the constant, annoying drone of leaf blowers. Nature deserves a little better, I think, and it makes me wonder what ever happened to our society. Kids are getting larger and weight is becoming a problem for many, everyone spends less time outdoors, families find it tougher to spend time together. The solution to the noise and flab and other problems is simple - just rake leaves the old fashioned way.
I don't care what it is that's bothering you, a good leap into a big pile of leaves can yield a temporary cure for just about anything. You get to bond with your loved ones as you pick the bits of twigs and leaves out of each others' hair, and then there's always the strange act of sniffing one another as you try to figure out if someone raked dog poop into the pile. It's usually in there somewhere, but don't let that bother you. Today here in Maine the sun is shining brightly, the air is nice and cool (about 44 this morning), and we've got plans to rake up Mount Leafmore later today. I can't wait. That Dog will be right in the thick of it, of course, and she'll lick faces in the fray, which will cause leaves to stick, so we should be looking like real wrecks later in the day. Just in time for Halloween.
OK, so if you like old trunks very much you've probably learned to keep your eyes peeled for a Vuitton, hoping you might find one at a yard sale for a dollar so you can sell it on eBay, make a mint, and finally buy that new flat panel digital refrigerator. Problem is, once you have the trunk, it probably needs new handles, and the handles on Vuittons aren't like the handles on many other trunks (except for Goyards and some of the Moritz trunks that were made in Switzerland so we call them Yodelers). Finding replacement handles for these trunks used to be tough, but now, with the help of a design drawing from Pat at The Trunk Shop in New Hamster (www.trunk.com) we're rolling out our new handle style TH-14, which you can see here:
In the Leather Crafts division I guess the big news is that we've got
an amazing collection of new decorations listed on the site, with way more
to come. Bought out an old shoe company's inventory a few weeks ago,
and we ended up with the darnedest collection of solid brass and brass-plated
steel decorations, doo-dads, and un-identifiable parts that I've ever seen.
The Kid (our afternoon employee, a local high
schooler) has spent the last several weeks sorting it all out and getting pictures added to the site. We've got about half of the stuff listed now, so I thought I'd spout off about it. Here's that page on the mess we call our website:
I think by the time you scroll down through that page you'll see what I mean. It's quite a pile of stuff. Our Full Grain Black Sides have been very popular, and luckily we got in a new load of it this past week. Keep in mind that we still have this same leather in white and dusty rose (pinkish) if you need it, please.
OK, the coffee cup's empty, and the sun has done its thing, so time to go get the rakes heated up. I'm keeping my ear plugs in my pocket so that if someone on yonder hill fires up a leaf blower I won't have to listen to it. That lazy wind blasting son of a gun.
Have a great week-
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