Sunday, September 18, 2016

Celebrating Fall

A few weeks ago, I walked outside in the morning to turn on the sprinkler in my garden, and to my surprise, the air smelled different. I can't put my finger on it, exactly. Maybe it was a hint of crispness in the air. Maybe it was that the recently mowed wheat fields were giving off a slightly grassy, dusty scent. Whatever the case, it was faint, but I could just barely smell it: Fall! Once I realized what I was smelling, I stood there in the damp grass, breathing in as deeply as I could while everything inside me wanted to jump up and down and yell for joy!

Fall has always been my favorite season. My mom loved fall and made no secret of it. My childhood memories of fall are filled with apple picking, beef stew, a Saturday morning spent hauling and stacking a winter's worth of firewood, watching football on TV, baking apple pie for my dad's October birthday, and the spicy scent of wet fallen leaves after the rain. Those memories make me feel all cozy and comfortable inside, so I have always welcomed fall with wide open arms.

Then came 2010-2015. Six falls spent feeling miserable in flip flops, air conditioner running, and kids swimming after school. Six falls of humidity, love bugs (if you don't know what they are, look them up), and watching for hurricanes. Six falls of leaving most of my decorations in boxes because it feels ridiculous to hang orange leaf garlands everywhere when the only color on the trees outside is green. Because Florida. Six Florida falls, which are the ultimate insult to an autumn lover like me.

So naturally, that hint of crisp air at the end of August set the joy bells pealing madly in my heart! That was three weeks ago. Today, fall is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest. My Red Delicious apple tree is loaded to the point of breaking. The north facing sides of trees are turning yellow. At night I'm opening my bedroom window and throwing an extra quilt on my bed, because there's nothing better for sleep than a warm bed with delicious, cold air to breathe! Most evenings, we enjoy a fire in the fireplace...not because we need the warmth, but because it just feels right. I'm experimenting with all different kinds of soups in my Instant Pot. I wear jeans and hoodies morning and evening, but am comfortable in jeans and t-shirt during the day. I LOVE IT!

So what do we do to celebrate my most favorite season? That's easy! There's so much to do!

  • Go for a hike in a state or county park. The weather is perfect and the scenery is breathtaking!
  • Visit one of the fall festivals at the little farm town to our north, where they have hayrides, a corn maze, and homemade pumpkin donuts.
  • Go apple picking (yummy snacking apples, not like our Red Delicious apples at home)
  • Make applesauce out of our Red Delicious apples from home
  • Burn cinnamon candles
  • Put up some favorite fall decor and buy a few new pieces
  • Plant a few pots of mums in pots on the front porch
  • Gather pinecones to put in glass bowls around the house
  • Cook soup and homemade bread!
  • Take photos of the kids in all of nature's glory
  • Buy a new fuzzy hoodie
  • Collect colorful leaves
  • Go to a pumpkin patch and get pumpkins
  • Go to a local farm that lets you press your own apple cider
  • Read by the fire at night
  • Make an apple pie and eat it to celebrate my dad's October birthday
  • Throw the football around with the kids
  • Go to a high school football game
  • Start planning Halloween costumes
  • Start thinking about this year's Christmas crafts
  • Be thankful that I no longer live in the land of 90 degrees in October.
Happy Fall!

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