Lana Vaughan


Cowboy Chili

The inevitable change of seasons is marked by falling leaves or falling snow or migrating birds overhead. All things I greet each year with joy. Fall is such a wonderful if short season. The crisp cool mornings with dew on the grass and windshield make it necessary to warm up the van a little before rushing off to join traffic and the busy day.

After dropping my favorite teen off a high school this morning dresses as Teenage Ursula I stopped to pick up a few items at the grocery store. When she was in kindergarten they were doing cowboy themed activities the end of October. Each one had chosen their own cowboy name, decorated a hat and made their own stick ponies. I was informed by Gingerbread Grace that Cowboy Chili was a must for Halloween before she could go trick or treating as a princess. Entering the fun, I created Cowboy Chili. It has become tradition.

Favorite teen is a senior in high school this year. By this time next year she will be in college and not home on Halloween. The seasons are changing. But today I will start a batch of Cowboy Chili again. We’ve discovered it’s better the second day.

The leaves will fall. Somewhere snow will threaten trick or treaters. Birds will continue to fly south. But for us a season will pass that will not come again. As I write I’m sure the tear sliding down my cheek is from the onion sauteeing in bacon renderings. Time to add the secret ingredient.

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