Nana Janet was in day four of dealing with the plain, ordinary common cold that’s been running rampant through the ‘hood; I was feeling miserable from that respiratory ailment where at first you feel so rotten that think you might die and then, a couple of days later, when its moved from head to chest and even your eyelashes hurt, you’re afraid you’re NOT going to die? The absolutely, positively, very last thing I wanted to do was spend the afternoon with a bunch of neighborhood kids.
“Oh, please, powers that be, please let all the little children call out. The big-uns, too!” I silently begged between sneezes and wheezes. “Word of honor, I vow to perform the duties of the Kidz Krafts Klub all by myself; I won’t even cough in the face of anyone who comes a’callin’….maybe even put a big QUARANTINE sign on the door…please let me have a ‘sickly Saturday’ just this once.”
Somewhat to my dismay, the Saturday gathering of the Kids Krafts Klub was called to order *sigh* with a mere nine young and three adult members in attendance; everyone else phoned or emailed in sick. Pinkie-swearing that the few runny noses were mere remnants of the same cold I had, some of the children were antsy from having been housebound for several days; others felt just fine, fully recovered from their own bouts with the bug. All were anxious to have a little fun. But what could we do to make everybody happy?
Since some fresh air was called for, we decided to haul our basket of assorted craft supplies outside and scour the yard for some nature-provided materials to turn into treasures. Almost all the trees were bare, their leaves ankle-deep across the entire lawn. Aha! That gave the most energetic kids the ideal opportunity to rake leaves into enormous piles into which they threw themselves repeatedly, gathering handfuls to shower upon each other in raucous play. Once the novelty wore off, they and the Klub dads cleared the entire area and loaded the leaves into our common compost bin, carefully stirring everything into the already decomposing vegetable peelings, eggshells, coffee grounds and other degradable ingredients all the neighbors contribute year-round. From the looks of the bin, we’re going to have a bumper crop of extremely rich mulch – and a very impressive worm colony – come next spring!
While cavorting through the dried foliage, the children found loads of huge pine cones, countless bird feathers, many in amazing shades of red, blue, black and yellow, as well as acorns aplenty. With those and a few other items we had squirreled away in the craft basket, we had everything needed to make some very unusual, impressionistic Thanksgiving decorations.