Wednesday, September 22 marks the beginning of Fall this year. Since everyone in my family has been looking forward to this day since the first day of summer, we will be having a small celebration. I know most people love summer, especially those who live further north and those who enjoy water-related activities. For everyone in my family, Summer is the least favorite season for various reasons, so we spend the Summers just trying to endure until Fall begins.
Fall means football—Thursday and Friday nights in small towns, Saturdays in college towns, and Sundays and Mondays on the television. Even if you do not like football, you have to enjoy the excitement that surrounds home-town high school football. When I was a kid, I did not understand the game itself, but I sure enjoyed having everyone at home and a fire in the fireplace on the weekends while my dad sat in front of the television. The sound of a football game as background noise makes for some great napping. My husband explains the game to me in terms I can understand, not only the rules, but the dynamics, so now I enjoy the game—at least high school and college games. I still find NFL games are mostly good for taking naps!
Fall means cooking. During the summer I rarely fire up the oven and I only cook when it is absolutely needed. Salads and sandwiches or foods that require a minimum of stove-time make up most of our meals. Fall brings soups and stews, slow-cooked roasts, homemade breads, and various types of casseroles. My parents, who live in South Carolina, have a fall ritual of going to the mountains in North Carolina and picking apples. The smell of fresh apples IS Autumn to me. One year my mother mailed me several carefully wrapped hand-picked apples. I wish I could have captured the way the locker at the post office smelled when I opened it that day.
Fall means hunting. Everyone in my family hunts, so this time of year we are dragging out all of our camo clothing, backpacks full of gear, and weapons to prepare them for the impending deer season. Our lease hunters and cousins show up late in September and we have a work weekend on the ranch, moving and cleaning blinds and feeders, plowing and planting food plots, and having big communal meals in the evenings. Having all those people around really helps with getting the freezer cleaned out in preparation for the venison to come.
Fall means color. While I love the green of summer, I really love the colors of fall. The grasses turn red and blue and gold, the leaves turn red and gold, and the fall flowers add their bright yellows and purples. We have a growing colony of liatrice between our house and our gate and they are just starting to bloom. The hummingbirds and butterflies love the liatrice and add their own colors to the scene.
Finally, for me, Fall means serious quilting and knitting. I never really put down either craft, but hot weather dampens my enthusiasm. I have a suri alpaca project that I started late last winter but had to put away when the weather warmed up—that fuzzy yarn just does not feel right in sweaty hands. It is the same with quilting—I spend all summer trying to get cool, so anything involving layers of fabric is not appealing. On that note, it is time for me to wind this up and go complete this week’s block for my quilt/Bible study group. What does Autumn mean to you? SpringCreekArtsGuild@gmail.com