Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall, reluctantly

Yesterday was a cold, stormy day and I'm still pouting about it. Our Northwest Washington summer has been beautiful and I have enjoyed all the highlights: lunch breaks outside in the sunshine, watering my garden at 9pm while it's still light and warm, an entryway littered with flipflops, fresh fruit and vegetables from the produce stand. But I'm not ready for summer to be over. 

I can respect people who love Fall simply on principal, who espouse the glories of changing leaves, longer nights [shudder], more hours as a homebody, beef stew simmering on the stovetop, whatever. But break it to me gently, okay? I'm still enjoying bare feet and watermelon and tan lines. Don't force your love of autumn on me yet. I want a few more weeks.

But I have a feeling it's a losing battle. The air is different, cooler. It's already dark by 8pm. I'm trying to remember the positive things about autumn, but it's hard this year for some reason. In years past, I've loved the changing seasons. It just feels abrupt this time around.

So I'm reminding myself of Nice Fall Things.
  1. Playing in the leaves at the park. From the house we lived in when I was five years old, our local park was a block away. The ancient maple trees dropped leaves as wide as my arms could reach. They blanketed the park, knee-deep. Walking with Mom required shuffling and kicking and all manner of leaf-upheaval. My brother and I threw armfulls (armsfull?) of leaves in the air and watched them fall again, with twirling seed pods. But watch out for slivers! Those furry, twirly-bird seed pods were dangerous, like fiberglass.
  2. Hot cocoa, apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes. No explanation necessary.
  3. Foggy mornings. Eerie, but beautiful. We used to get up early as a family before Dad went to work. He read aloud from the Bible and we had family devotions. We were sleepy and chilly but I knew we were the only ones awake in the neighborhood, except for the dairy farmers across the street. As the sun came up, we were ready for a new day.
  4. Dinner time: lights on in a warm kitchen while Mom made dinner and listened to Jurgen Gothe on CBC radio. In my mind, his voice symbolizes so many of the things I love about my childhood. Fresh bread and bean soup and classical music mean all's well in the world.
  5. Heating with a wood stove. Every January, my family was tired of chopping kindling, dusting the house daily, and trying to circulate heat all the way to the back bedrooms, but during the first few weeks of fall, the fireplace was still romantic. I'd hear Dad build a fire before I got out of bed and knew the house would be warm soon. The sound and smell of cedar crackling and snapping as it burned meant the deep, permeating heat of firewood burning all day long.
  6. Crochet. Some craft projects are just better on chilly nights in a cozy house. These pictures are almost 2 years old already.
  7. Family photos! Preparing for the Christmas newletter (which I've desribed fondly here) included an updated picture, usually taken in the fall.
  8. Circa 1992
  9. Wardrobe change. It's always satisfying to bring out the cooler weather clothes. Sweaters, tights, long sleeves, curduroy pants...and any excuse to supplement last year's ensemble with a few new pieces.


  1. This was so beautifully written! Now I'm especially anxious for fall.
    I'm one of those who is rushing fall's arrival. Like I said on Facebook, you wouldn't be lamenting summer's end if you lived in Florida. There's no luxurious sunbathing on lunch breaks, cause you'll come back drenched in sweat and completely energy zapped. Seriously, summer is the time of year when I ask, "Why the hell do I live here?" Fall and spring are when I say, "Oh yeah. Now I remember." It was interesting to read how glorious summer is for you.
    Maybe we should swap states for a few seasons. :)

  2. I have fond childhood memories of maple leaves, home-cooked meals and the crackling wood stove, too. The crisp, colorful entrance of autumn is my favorite time of year. And pumpkin lattes...yummy! I love that picture of your family. I believe that's the year we first met! We had so much fun at GNF. :)

  3. Pumpkin spice lattes? Can I add to that pumpkin pie, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin slice - any thing pumpkin! Good blog.

  4. My favourite season is summer! I love wearing summerdresses and the heat!
    Yesterday I´ve been to a thermal bath to escape from the cold weather! More information about that weekend in the thermal bath is on my blog.