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Leafy Inspiration


The Color Won’t Last

Nine-year-olds have a limited knowledge of the life of leaves after they’ve fallen from the tree. At least I did! Obvious to me, though, was my need to share their delicate beauty with a friend whose yard was treeless. Perhaps you can  understand why I had to send a boxload of them across town to her. And my mother encouraged me.

It was a sincere effort to give the gift of autumn leaves to Suzanne, my Sunday school friend.

On the phone several days later we talked. Disappointing as it was, Suzanne said nothing of the magnificent leaves despite the fact she should have received them. I couldn’t keep myself from quizzing her about the package. 

A weighty silence on the other end of the phone said something was very wrong. Then the truth came out: “There was just a dirty pile inside—crumbled and broken pieces of brown leaves.”

Delicate Beauty Has A Mind Of Its Own

Who wants to see beauty crumble and turn brown? No takers on that one! Wouldn’t it be nice if the suppleness and vibrance went on and on? But foliage has a mind of its own, especially when it comes to magnolia leaves.

I’m thinking about the holidays ahead. For magnolia leaves to stand up to the longevity test, you’ll need to start about now with the preservation procedure. Personally, I haven’t ever done the glycerine thing that makes leaves last. Apparently it holds them in suspended animation for weeks. That trick can be googled, but I simply layer selected areas in my home with an artificial foundation of greenery. It’s easy, then, to add fresh magnolia sprigs at two or three times during the holidays to cover the more permanent underpinnings.

Practical Help

The little water tubes like the florists use are available on Amazon. They’re great to preserve longer lasting clusters. 

My mother didn’t have the practical advantage of water tubes. She, too, wanted to share the beauty of the season with me (many years ago when I lived in northern Indiana). Mamma enjoyed a climate much more conducive to lovely foliage. Because of it, she sent me a boxload of magnolia and other scrumptious seasonal greenery. Much like the crumbled and dried offering to my friend Suzanne, Mamma’s arrived brown and dried.

Many times, on the first day of the month, I like to refresh myself with the reminder of the connection the Heavenly Father provided to keep usfrom withering. (And it outlasts water tube!)

The verse that reminds me is this: Psalm 1:3 “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. The tree yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”  I want to be firmly planted near the source of life, don’t you? I believe that’s God.

Sideline Warning

An important point of emphasis in football for the rules committee and the officials is keeping the sidelines clean. Because of that rule players and coaches are not allowed in the restricted area—the space between the sidelines and the coaches’ box and team area.

That Came Out Of Nowhere

I did switch from magnolia to football, but from the scrimmage line here’s the snap: I wanted you to have this fun snack idea for your game party.

Nothing to it: just hollow out and fill green peppers with pimento cheese. For great fall color, fill a yellow pepper with a mixture of two parts cream cheese to one part mayonnaise, chopped pecans and olives, and fill a red pepper with hummus—plus the green one with pimento cheese. Nice trio. Surround it with veggies and dig in! No need to drop back ten and punt. Just enjoy!


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