The air is crisp and light. The leaves are starting to change colors and fall graciously to the ground. As the sun rises and sets, the colors of the sky are tinted with pinks and oranges. The colors are so warm, yet the coolness that hits your skin reminds you that winter is coming. There is stillness in the atmosphere. It is almost as if the changing season is preparing you for crunchy leaves, busy squirrels and breezy nights.
I have always loved Autumn. There is a certain peacefulness that comes along with the cooling of Summer. The fall season always reminds me of my great-grandmother Edrie. When I was younger, I used to love visiting my great-grandmother during the fall season. Her house sat on three acres of land that was filled with endless amounts of crunchy leaves to fall into. She had a Golden Retriever named Sandy and he was my companion for many outdoor adventures on that property. He loved the crunchy leaves as much as I did and we would spend hours exploring the land and testing our boundaries to see how far out we could go before being called back in. There were several Crabapple Trees on the property, but there was one in particular that I loved to climb. I would climb as high as I could and pick the crabapples I could reach and throw them to the ground. Most people don’t think of crabapples as a yummy treat. They are very sour and do not leave a pleasant taste in your mouth. However, my GG was able to turn anything into a snack. There were a few times she would take the crabapples and somehow slow roast them into a sweet and sour treat. I wish I could remember how she prepared them… I remember flavors of cinnamon and brown sugar, but there is no way I could possibly replicate her recipe. She was very good at taking foods that most children couldn’t stand and turning them into a delicious memory for me.
For some reason, the fall always reminds me of my GG’s kitchen. It was a very quaint little kitchen. It is where she spent most of her time. She was always preparing amazing meals for us. My GG was a master homemade jelly maker. You name the jelly, and she made it; strawberry, blackberry, peach, apple… The best time of year was when she canned her homemade jelly (which happened every fall). Each grandkid and great-grandkid received a basket filled with her homemade jellies. I was always so interested in learning how she did it. There were several times she would try and teach me, but like most children, I was always just a little too distracted to really recall all her secrets. Thankfully, my mother loved the idea of canning and my GG taught her all her secrets. I have been reaping the benefits of delicious canned goods for a while now.
Autumn has always had a way of bringing me back to really good memories and I get excited for all of the fun stuff this season brings. With Autumn comes fall decorations, pumpkin everything and Halloween. Words can’t express how much I love pumpkin and Halloween! This is the time of year I get the itch to bake and I can’t wait to see all the neighborhood kids in their costumes. There are so many reasons Autumn is my favorite season:
- The COLORS. Everything has a warm and inviting hue; the sky, the changing leaves, the burning sun. Deep pinks, oranges, gold’s and even deep purples. Nothing is more beautiful than being surrounded by trees of color.
- The Air. It is so crisp and clean. It smells fresh with hints of burning wood and pumpkin pie. It brushes across your face and leaves a light chill on your cheeks.
- Caramel Apples. Mmmmmmmmm. Nothing makes me feel more like a kid again then a caramel covered Granny Smith Apple.
- Pumpkin Everything. I love Pumpkin. No, seriously, I am in love with Pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin loaf, pumpkin cream cheese muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin coffee… The list is pretty long for me. I should stop while I’m ahead… Oh wait! I can’t forget about pumpkin carving. Soooo much fun. It’s a favorite past-time.
- Pumpkin Picking. Okay, so I know this technically falls into the same category as Pumpkin Everything, but it is in its own category in my book. Going to a farm or orchard and finding the perfect pumpkin has always been more fun than just buying one from the local supermarket for me.
- Corn Mazes and Hayrides. I don’t care how old I get, I will always love a good hayride and corn maze. There is something thrilling about getting lost in maze. It reminds me that I am not always in control over everything in life. LOL.
- Homemade Soup and Chili. This is the time of year when I start craving homemade potato cheddar soup and chili. I want to bust out my crockpot and come home to a hot soup that sinks to the bottom of my belly and fills me with an all-encompassing warmness.
- Football. The fall brings endless amounts of football which means passionate game days and fantastic tailgates. It’s a whole different kind of happy feeling.
- Bonfires and S’mores. It took about 23 years before I experienced a real bonfire. Growing up, I was always moving and we never really lived in areas where bonfires were acceptable forms of fun. We always lived closer to major cities and didn’t see a whole lot of country. LOL. I am a seasoned bonfire lover now and I can’t wait for cooler nights, warm flames, and soft and gooey S’mores!
- Apple Cider. Apple Cider speaks for itself. If you aren’t a fan then you have horrible taste!
- Cozy Sweaters and Riding Boots. The clothing just gets more comfortable and cozy this time of year!
- Thanksgiving. So I have a confession to make: I am not a huge fan of Thanksgiving Dinner. The food is not as appealing to me. However, I love me some Sweet Potato Casserole topped with Roasted Marshmallows. The bread is always the softest for Thanksgiving Dinner and the night usually ends with a delicious cup of Hot Chocolate which is why it made the list.
- Hocus Pocus. This is arguably one of the greatest movies of all time. Don’t try to fight it. Every October, this classic comes on several channels and is played on repeat through Halloween. Its amaze balls.
- Halloween. What’s not to love about Halloween?!?! The candy, the costumes, the trick-or-treating… Most importantly, Haunted Attractions. Whether it is a haunted house, haunted hay ride, haunted prison tour or a combination of all of the above, I have the most fun exploring spooky places and getting the bejesus scared out of me.
- Curling up with a good book. On a particular chilly fall evening, I love curling up and getting lost in another world. Sometimes I need the escape. A great read and a steaming cup of hot chocolate sounds like a perfectly good night to me.
- Watching our puppy play in the leaves. Panda (our three year old Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mix) and crunchy leaves make for a good laugh. The first time we threw him into a pile of leaves he just stood there and stared at us with a scowl on his face. It is really quite adorable watching him try to figure out how to get out of a pile of leaves before he gives up and lays there in total crunchy bliss. Truthfully, he is more of a snow lover.
- It’s almost Christmas Time!!! I love, love, love Christmas! It literally is the most wonderful time of the year and fall reminds me its right around the corner. It makes me very happy!
To say that I am ready for fall would be an understatement. It definitely is a season that makes me feel at ease. It must be something in the air that causes me to reflect on a lot of things. From the first moment when the cool morning air touches my skin, I will be brought back to a moment I cherish. I will remember my GG and Sandy’s golden fur. I will remember being that little girl who felt like the world was at my fingertips as I climbed as high as I could in that crabapple tree. I will remember, if only for a brief moment, that there was a time I could escape into childhood innocence. I will remember what it was like to feel free.