September Song

I was coming home from my big day out–a sortie to the horse barn, followed by a grocery run, a bank stop, and a swing through the emissions inspection station, when I got stuck behind a school bus. I was on the windy mountain road that runs past my house, a glorified logging trail flanked on either side with big trees, and only an occasional homestead.

I had the thought that the leaves would soon be gone, and that I had best wallow in the greenery while I may. September sunlight is among my favorite, all golden and mellow, and as I tooled along enjoying the sense of autumn just around the corner, the school bus creaked to a stop.

Two kids got out, and in the fenced front yard, a golden retriever started barking and wagging his tail. Grandma hopped off the porch and the little girl ran right up to her and hugged her.

I had groceries in the back seat, and my house is a good forty-five minutes from the store. My frozen goods were thawing, the school bus makes bad time over the back roads, and I was tired from what, for me, is an ambitious day–to say nothing of the joys of the annual trek to the emissions station.

But that moment–the kids, the dog (a golden, of course), granny, the spontaneous hug, beautiful fall weather–was so powerfully sweet, that my groceries and fatigue, and the frustrations of why won’t a state employee wear a mask (why wont’ so many people in public places wear masks?) all fell away. The joy found me. The delight in a small scene of everyday love and wonder hit home and sank in.

I’m pretty sure I did not notice the beautiful sunlight last fall. I did not notice the silence resulting from a lack of school buses creaking along my windy back road this past year. I hid from the anxiety, but I also hid from many joys, and from much beauty and goodness. I am profoundly grateful for that moment behind the school bus, for that little girl running up to granny with her arms held wide and granny enfolding her in that special hug only grandparents can bestow.

I am profoundly grateful for all the folks who are doggedly masking up, all the folks who in the midst of this protracted stress and upheaval have sent me a little note–love the books, please keep writing. It helps. Thanks, from the bottom of my soul, to each of you who has read those books. It hasn’t just helped that my readers are still picking up the happily ever afters, it has saved my sanity.

As we put the long, hot summer behind us (or the long, cold winter for the southern contingent), I wish each of you a return of moments of love and wonder. If you had the fortitude to never lose sight of those moments, then I wish you more of them, and more ways to share those moments.

Tuesday marks the retail release of Miss Delightful, book two in the Mischief in Mayfair series, and that means I can give away signed copies to three commenters. Have any golden moments graced your life lately, or in the past months? Small, luminous times when the joy and wonder found you  and sank in?


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23 comments on “September Song

  1. September sunlight is golden and glorious, I must agree, and I’ve not had time to enjoy it—until today. This morning, I was doing some prep cooking for tomorrow’s lovely Sunday dinner, bustling around, finishing a few chores. I realized I had about 90 minutes until I had to do the NEXT thing for tomorrow’s family (everyone is vaccinated) get-together and decided to sit on the patio with a cool drink.

    The sun and our garden looked especially beautiful and I just breathed! It was the best 90 minutes I have spent in weeks! 🙂 The ONLY thing that spoiled it was, toward the end, yellow-jackets buzzed around and wouldn’t leave me alone. 🙁 But even that was fine–I still had opportunity to enjoy my Golden Time!

    Have a lovely week, Grace!

  2. Beautiful sunset this evening. Sadly it was due to all the smoke in the upper atmosphere from the wildfires out west – but it was beautiful none the less.

    Love the picture of the Golden Retriever. My last dog was a Golden. They have such a sweet and loving nature. He has been gone many years, but I miss him still.

    BTW, I do love your books- please keep writing.

  3. I enjoy the peace and quiet in the early morning. I spent most mornings in 2020 watching the sunrise with my corgis Rose and Greg. We sit on the couch on the front porch and start each day together. My daughter had graduated from law school and passed the bar in 2019 but, had been unable to secure a position due to Covid. It was tough keeping her spirits up and convincing her to stay positive. She volunteered as an intern for the Public defenders office and worked at a local coffee shop until this spring.
    This spring things changed. We were vaccinated, Jobs started to open up and Rose slowed down. My daughter was able to secure a position at a law firm and her face lights up when she talks about her day.
    This morning Greg and watched the sunrise together. I find him sleeping in Rose’s bed even though he has a comfy bed. He misses Rose as our younger corgi wants to play 24/7. I went to let him out this morning- he grabbed his leash and went to the gate and barked. I guess he let me know that it’s ok for us to walk together without Rose. I saw the joy or determination in his face and knew it was ok to move forward. He’s a smart little guy.

  4. During the worst of Covid, before any of us were vaccinated, and my grandkids were “Zooming” their class work, there were a number of days when the kids came to our house early in the morning to spend the day with us when their parents couldn’t (because of work obligations) stay home with them. In those early, scary days, we would set up tables in the family room, keep a door to the outside open, crank up the heat, turn on the (newly purchased) air purifier and all wear masks whenever we had to be in the same room. When lunch time came, we sat out on our screened porch, on opposite ends of a 6 foot table, trying to keep warm-ish with an electric heater while we scarfed down our food. Now, that the adults have been fully vaccinated, when we spend a day with our grandkids, we can sit, unmasked, indoors next to them, while we eat; we can cook together without worrying about air flow and keeping distance between us, and (joy of joys!!!) we can actually HUG our kids and grandkids. That first hug after we were all vaccinated was like coming home after a prison sentence (not that I’ve been to prison, but I can imagine). That first hug and all the subsequent hugs we have been fortunate enough to experience have been some of the most special and incredible experiences of my life! Who knew something so simple could be so important?

  5. Multiple moments this week.
    1) My vision post surgical complications finally improved to where I could pick up one of your books that was accumulating next to my bed as a token that I would eventually get back my reading ability.
    2) My lovely young dentist, who bought the practice I’d been going to for my entire life & used to bring her daughter so she’d understand what Mommy does, did a marathon fill of the three cavities that formed & festered while we were restricted, then gave me a bodacious 50% discount, knowing I’m cash pay without dental insurance & had a LOT of medical procedures stacked this year as space & plague permitted. Plus her artistry is such I can’t even see where the huge dark holes were.
    3) A dear friend called last night to tell me how much I meant to her & how valuable my support has been this year, even if it was only phone calls or tidbits of information she needed, but didn’t have time to find. I’d been feeling like an albatross the last few months when I had to ask for so many rides to or from surgeries or grocery runs when I couldn’t drive. It was lovely to know I’ve been as valuable to her & her family as she is to me.
    4) A beautiful cormorant has decided my little scrap of bank next to the lake is the perfect place to spread its wings for a sun dry & I’ve had multiple chances to study the lovely aerodynamics of those huge wings & the rakish sweep of its sharp beak.

  6. I gave a w woman I know a bar of handmade soap from my favorite store to buy natural products & she, a confessed chocoholic professed to love this new bar saying it was her new favorite
    The childlike joy on her face made me feel 100 ft tall!!

  7. Sitting out on our screened in porch, just watching the green (and my neighbor’s beautiful garden) sipping tea is the best part of my life right now. It holds you in the moment.

  8. I am having a September moment while sitting this morning on the patio of a coffee shop enjoying my coffee. My dog’s vet has my dog just down the street in a dog friendly neighborhood. The fall sunlight is mellow and filtering through trees and umbrellas. I watch a steady stream of dogs and their owners venture up for a Sunday morning repast of beverages and dog treats. Well loved dogs exchange soulful looks of devotion and anticipation with their people and it strikes me how honest and true their feelings are. Truly heart felt moments to keep close and sustained when our busy lives intrude.

  9. Grace, good for you feeling that sense of happiness! Those moments of grace in our lives are such a blessing and can buoy us.

    I try to pick 3 things a day to be grateful for and journal about them in some detail. Not just “the beach” but “walking on the beach with the squeaky sand beneath my bare toes and the cool water lapping my feet, watching the shore birds fish”
    There are so many wonderful things around us when we slow down and really pay attention to LOOK for them.

    Blessings on you!
    and I’ve got an electronic copy of Miss Delightful, so draw somebody else if the random number generator comes up with my comment. Somebody else needs to read and love your beautiful story too 🙂

  10. I’ve had two recently… both involving small kidlets.
    First was I had a birthday celebration with my husband at a restaurant. A Mom and Dad with three kids came in and the little ones were wander-y and excited as little ones get… then, just about as we were getting ready to leave, I overheard Dad say that they were there to celebrate the first birthday of their youngest. Well! I couldn’t let a fellow birthday sharer go without an acknowledgment, so I asked my server to give my “free birthday desert” to the family. They were so lovely and gracious. I’m so glad for that experience!

    Then the second one was just last night. I needed to get a charging cord for my eReader. There was a Dad and a youngster playing with a balloon and just having a grand time out with Dad. Turned a very pedestrian and task-oriented event into a lovely experience.

    They were all SO stinkin’ cute!!!

    I love those moments when we see love in action. 😀

  11. Just as an FYI… and this may not mean anything and it certainly is not something for you to deal with…
    But, I can’t pre-order eBooks… my eReader has to be reset if I try…
    I just wanted you to know I would preorder if I could!

    I will be purchasing Miss Delightful sooooon!!!

  12. Let me see if I can relate this in an understandable way. I was in the last weeks of my job before retirement. I worked in the public school system with special education students. The stress and struggle had been off the charts for over a year partly due to COVID-19 & partly due to other things. I was feeling pretty low as I headed into the classroom of a resource teacher to join her in working with a group of high need 1st grade boys (behavior being the #1 deterrent to successfully learning in a regular classroom environment). To sum it up, it was a rough session, being aware that our responses to their various actions and way of presenting expectations was the key to having them succeed in the session was exhausting. At the end it was apparent that we had a surprisingly successful session. At the same time I realized that I was energized, joyful, full of optimistic vibes. I think it comes from witnessing and being a facilitator at some level of these little ones achieving control over their little nervous system and being proud/happy at the end. I love that feeling and it is why I have loved working with these kids all through my career.

    I want to go back and volunteer at some point in a way that allows me to continue to engage the kids while dodging all the paperwork

  13. I sat outside in my small but sunny court yard with a cool drink watching the sparrows chasing each other in and out of my beautiful fuchiia bush.They come close to me and I try not to frighten them. I have been fascinated by them and have watched their youngsters grow.Six months ago they were driven out of their huge row of tall hedges across the road.Builders moved on to the land and are building very expensive houses on it.I am so glad the sparrows enjoy my little garden.I fill the bird bath up often which they also enjoy.They give me pleasure,peace and calm.The world’s going crazy but here in my little garden I am happy.I enjoyed miss delightful,another marvellous read. I love this series.Many thanks.

  14. Your books have saved my sanity during these last 18 months of home isolation. They bring me joy, laughter, tenderness and compassion intertwined. The vulnerability of your characters is so sweet and genuine that they all become my friends. I read them several times each to reconnect with those friends! Thank you for your amazing talent and gift!

  15. Hi Grace. Your blog on sudden joys was a very timely reminder. I have a number of places that when I drive by them make my heart jump. I live on the prairies and when I drive west out of town there’s a point where the trees along the riverbank fall away and there’s nothing but flatland and blue sky going on forever.
    On the people front when I go over to visit my grandson he is standing on the couch looking out the window with a big smile on his face. He doesn’t yet run to me but I hope that will come.
    Another joy is a new Grace Burrowes book. I lie in wait for them and pounce as soon as they come out in e format. So I already have Miss Delightful ,read it, loved it.
    Thank you

  16. Grandma’s and Golden’s make everything better! As I type this I have my 2 cats vying for lap space for their morning cuddles – a tradition that developed thanks to the pandemic and me having more time at home and less rush to get things done. Pets help provide some golden moments and despite us spending the summer in the Teton Valley Idaho – far away from the Texas heat, we still have our cats with us. Next year God and all the Fates willing we will have a golden retriever pup and both cats with us up here for more perfect moments.

    Just stepping outside on a clear day when I’m surrounded by mountains and nature when it isn’t 100 degrees and 70% or high humidity puts me in a golden moment. If we happen to be out somewhere and see some wildlife – like the 3 bears we got close views of within a week, or the otter, the multiple moose, the deer, the elk, the birds, the moment becomes even better. We saw a mama moose and her calf gamboling up to her one day. It was perfection.

    Miss Delightful is absolutely delightful! You books always are. 🙂

  17. I finished Miss Delightful this morning. I am already sorry it’s done. It was Delightful- I thank you so much for your precious writing skills. I laughed and grinned, got mad, and wanted to slap that rat. I can’t wait for the next one. Thank you. I agree about the golden moment you had. Heartwarming.

  18. This time of year is pure chaos in my industry. Long hours and short tempers abound. Monday night my gift from heaven in more ways than I deserve husband walked in with a gallon of apple cider. I almost cried. I dug out my mulling spices and heated a large mug full of hot spiced cider. Like your school bus, the timing was perfect. I was immediately reminded of all I love about the fall in northeast Ohio. The smells, the cooler evenings, the brilliant, rich colors, and my stress melted away with every sip.

    • Oh, and Miss Delightful is delightful! I’m starting A Rogue in Winter tonight. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent with all of us HEA readers.

  19. Grace I can’t tell you how many or how often I have read you books this year and last. I have loved the steady determined care that your main characters show each other and with which they approach their mistakes, families and challenges. The world needs so much more of this … a character based antidote to toxic masculinity/feminity and self-centred triviality. Your loyal fans and yet to be fans need you (no pressure). With much gratitude, Kate

  20. I may be one of your fans. Read I think all your books. Pre-order from Amazon. REceive Miss Delightful, love it can’t wait for the next one. will reading I notice an error in the printing, It says Book 2 but in the back, it says Book 3 and on the first page says book 3. Sorry but that is a printing error. You fan Celeste Pagan Carreras.