Screw it, I’m watching a Christmas special.
I was scrolling through my photos and realized I have not been taking enough pictures of my family lately. There are tons of listing photos for Etsy, pictures of food I might or might not blog about, but very few from our recent family outings. I haven’t posted any photos from our recent apple picking trip because they all turned out really dark (we had a setting wrong on our camera and there was so much glare on the screen we didn’t notice until we were home) but they’re just about all I have of the last month, so here are the best of them:
You wonderful month–
The leaves are all changing,
We’re ready for funth!
We’re going to make cider
And paint the town orange–
We’ll paint all our pumpkins
And then go buy morange!
We’ll bake pumpkin pies
Till we run out of cinnamon
Then run round in circles
Cuz we want to stay thinnamon!
It’s time for leaf raking,
Football, The Great Pumpkin,
For Lucy to trick Charlie brown,
The poor lumpkin!
We’ll tell spooky stories
And dance to the Time Warp
While gorging on candy
And maybe some nice GORP
(That’s Good Old Raisins and Peanuts)
So welcome, October,
the best of the best,
Your spices, your colors,
Your fabulous -fest.
We’re glad that you’re with us,
We’re glad that you’re ours,
We’re glad we have money
To buy more Mars bars!
So, it’s not really fall yet but a lot of us like to pretend it is. If you’re in the Northwest, you’ve probably had a hard time with that fantasy lately, what with the smoke and raining ash and horrible heat. If you’re in the South, you’re more worried about hurricanes and flooding than the arrival of the pumpkin spice latte (which is now available, btw, in case you’ve been distracted by these real problems and didn’t have time to check in on the Starbucks menu).
Okay, so it’s hard times. But retreat with me into fantasy for a minute. It will make you feel better. At least, I hope it will.
You’re in a beautiful cottage in the forest.
Happy Labor Day! A sad day for some, a last hurrah, as it marks the unofficial end of summer. Kids are going back to school. It’s getting cooler. In a couple weeks it will be official: summer, quite possibly my least favorite season, will be over. Then fall, my absolute favorite season, can begin.
I was the kid who loved going back to school. As soon as the paper and pens went on sale and every store displayed rows of Pee Chees and Jansports, I went crazy. I loved filling a new three-ring binder with a clean, smooth ream of paper and carefully organized tabs to keep my schoolwork in order. I never really needed a Pink Pet eraser, but I usually bought one. I would put my face in my new school supplies and just breathe. The smell of fresh paper and still-packaged pens, the stiff fabric of back-to-school clothes. There is just nothing like it.
I was also the kid who wore sweaters and turtlenecks as early as possible, then begrudgingly peeled them off and carried them around all day or, if I was optimistic enough not to wear an undershirt, pushed up my sleeves and dutifully boiled in the late-August/early-September sun. It irritated me, the way summer lingered. Kids would go home and play in their wading pools or throw water balloons at each other. They kept eating Otter Pops and watermelon for weeks. It rankled me. As far as I was concerned, the time for that nonsense had ended. I was ready for hot cider and pumpkin pie.
The word “summer” evokes for me the sting of a sunburn; the discomfort of swimsuits, shorts, massive self esteem issues; awkward barbecues where the corn kernels and rib meat get stuck in your teeth and the potato salad’s mayonnaise has gotten too warm. Camping always seems like fun but turns into a dirty, mosquito-bitten mess. I used to enjoy hiking but my three-year-old is too small to manage anything much longer than a mile and too heavy to be carried very far. Yes, the kids can play outdoors with abandon, but there’s the constant application of sunblock, the swim diapers that rip as you try to adjust them, trying to change a toddler’s wet clothes in a park bathroom while your baby does her best to get her hands into that public toilet. Bug bites. Splinters. I could go on.
The fall solstice doesn’t happen until September 23rd, but as far as I’m concerned, autumn is here. Labor Day has passed (September 1st marked the start of meteorological autumn) and here in the suburbs of Seattle, it’s a damp 62 degrees. Starbucks has yet again rolled out the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and the pumpkin-spice-loving world has rejoiced. I’m sure some of you are sad and cold, while others are saying, What? Fall? It’s still 92 degrees here. But I’m not hiding under a blanket or sunning on a beach. I chose the Pacific Northwest for a reason. In some regions it’s perpetually summer. In others, winter lasts nine months. In the Pacific Northwest, we get a gorgeous, lengthy fall.
Fall is my favorite season. I could moon about it all day. Rainstorms, falling leaves, my birthday, pumpkin patches, cinnamon, sweaters, firewood, chili, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Charlie Brown specials about pumpkins and pilgrims, turkey, cranberries, raking, hot tea. Oktoberfest. If you go by the solstices, then technically, most of the Christmas season is part of fall. My husband’s birthday, my mother’s birthday, my brother’s birthday: all fall. I love to put on a turtleneck and heat the house up with baking. I love to spend an afternoon knee-deep in leaves. I love the way the tip of my nose stays cold long after I come inside. Continue reading “All Hail the Pumpkin Spice Latte (And Other Thoughts About Fall)”
I used to hate football. Vehemently. It’s always been my brother’s sport of choice, which perhaps has something to do with it. We fought like maniacs over the TV during football season, when as many football games as possible had to be watched, and when the season was over the fighting continued because he’d hog the TV with his football video games.
I minded it less when he was on the field–some of my friends’ brothers played football, too, and I could talk to them or run around the bleachers. One year in elementary school, I joined the cheer squad, and that made football something I looked forward to. Still, though I loved the kicking and the pom-poms, I had no idea (or interest in) what was going on on the field. I didn’t have to. The head cheerleader knew, as did the coach, and when told to do so, I would shout First and ten, do it again! Go! Fight! Win! Continue reading “It’s Football Season Again.”