Sunday, September 4, 2011

Things I love, autumn

Fall has arrived.

Autumn is my very most favorite time of year.

There is a chill in the air and no matter how hot it might still get, that underlying chill will still be there. The air has a crispness when I breathe it and a sweet, sweet coolness on my skin. Our air conditioner is shut off for the season, and that too, is a good thing.

The autumn sky is a deeper blue. In place of the pale, cloudless, high clear blue of summer, we see a brighter, more colorful blue . . . with clouds!

Life slows down in the fall. Schedules become more important. Therefore, plans are less likely to go askew. Because I am a planner, I have a huge appreciation for this aspect of fall. Summer is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of season; autumn is all about organization and planning.

Preparation for winter begins. Summer toys are put away and gardens and flowers will be put to bed over the next few weeks. Trees will turn to yellow, gold, orange and red giving the landscape a brightness summer could never achieve. When the leaves finally drop to the ground, Liam will spend many a happy hour dashing through them, throwing them high and jumping into the piles CJE has painstakingly created in preparation for their doom.

Liam has started preschool. Though he had a little trouble on the first day, overall he seems to be liking it and that gives me great joy. Watching him learn and grow has become one of my favorite pastimes. This fall in particular will be great for that. He will enjoy a whole set of experiences that Mom and Dad are not a part of. This will give him new scope for his lively imagination and new reasons for him to say: “Mom, I need to tell you.”

The Nation Football League season starts this Thursday. I understand for some people this is not a cause for elation, but in our home, it is. Football season is one thing which seems to help our lives to slow from summer’s frantic pace. Sunday afternoons are spent alternately sewing and snoozing in front of the game . . . oh, and watching! I know the rules and truly enjoy the game. For reasons unknown to me, whiling away a Sunday afternoon watching football is guilt-free, and I certainly like that.

Naturally, in the fall my thoughts turn to Christmas. Which is, by the way, right around the corner. Crafty projects must be planned and started now or before if completion is expected by December 25. Always I have several and this year I started clear back in May. Most therefore are well on their way and I will have the satisfaction of finishing them over the next few months.

Autumn is a time of harvest and preservation. I have made jam and syrup already. Just today I started a batch of Zucchini Relish. It needs to steep overnight and I will finish it up tomorrow. I chatted with my neighbor yesterday and I think she and I are going to can up some tomatoes together in the next few weeks. She has always used a pressure canner and I am going to show her how to water-bath them. My mom has always liked the preserving part but has never much cared for the harvest. I have grown to enjoy the harvest as well. Picking a bucketful of whatever brings a welcome sense of satisfaction and then I have the completion of preserving to look forward to. See, I have many good autumn feelings.

Cooking is my most enjoyed household task, and soup is one of my favorite thing to make. Fall is a great time of year for crock pot recipes and soups, stews and chilies top that list. Just a few days ago I tried yet another recipe for Chicken Corn Chowder. I love Chicken Corn Chowder and have been looking for a really good recipe for it literally for years. I think I finally found it! This soup was creamy, thick and full of flavor. Oh, so yummy. It is definitely a keeper and all other recipes I have tried and tweaked and messed with can just go away. Yea! I predict many more varieties of soup to be created in my kitchen in the not too distant future.

I’m not sure this is a truly comprehensive list of what I love about fall, but it is a great start.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Mmmm ... SOUP! We should trade recipes.

And I love you. (Much more than I love autumn, but I'm learning to embrace it.)