...with a husband and 5 sons, I am truly outnumbered....stories and thoughts on life from a mom in a houseful of little men!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Everlasting Autumn: day 5

 For as long as I can remember, I've always adored autumn.
 I love the crispness that creeps in, along with shorter daylight hours and bright sunsets.  Leaves twirling and swirling in the breeze.  Woolen things and warm beverages.  Candlelight, bonfires, and lighting the first fire in a wood stove.  The scent of chimney smoke.  The sound of geese honking in the distance.  
Pumpkins.  Apples.  The shooshing sound the leaves make under my feet.  Looking forward to and decorating for upcoming holidays which bring families and friends into fellowship.  I simply love this season, and always have.
    
 In the other gardens             
  And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
  See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
  And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
  The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
  Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
  Fires in the fall!
 -Robert Louis Stevenson 


In Alaska, it comes in with a blast, slaps you upside the head, and then it's gone.  It's lovely, but it's quite abbreviated. I have loved all 16 of them, nonetheless.  I had a bit of a learning curve the first couple of years, however, when I tried to do my autumn decorating.  I quickly learned that it's best not to bother with much outdoor decor, unless you want to look at it all winter long.

The first year, I stuck a little shepherd's hook pumpkin lantern in my garden.  It promptly froze in, and so remained until May when the soil thawed.  The second year, my leafy garlands blew away into the neighbors' yard.  Yep, in Alaska, it's best to just stick with a pumpkin or two for outdoor decor.  And you must be ok with the fact that a moose will probably come by and eat it at some point, which is actually quite a bit more entertaining than looking at well-placed pumpkins anyway.
video

Autumn has set in slowly here in East Tennessee.  So slowly, in fact, I was rather bewildered to see fall produce and decor lining the aisles in stores when we were still experiencing suffocating heat and humidity.  I was not sure why in the world anyone would be thinking about pumpkins and scarecrows.  I was not convinced I would ever enjoy a pumpkin spice anything here in the South.  But it was happening, ever so subtley.
Summer was beginning to give way to fall, but it was doing so reluctantly.  Then one day, overnight actually, the change seemed more obvious. Humidity dropped abruptly, and it was just a titch cool one morning.  We began to see a little more color in the leafy boughs as we drove around town and through the countryside.  The honor-system watermelon trailer on the edge of town suddenly held a gigantic load of charming, brilliant orange, bumpy pumpkins instead of watermelons.  Fall had come, ever so softly.
This is what has happened throughout September, and now in the beginning of October, there is definitely a clearer quality to the air. It can still be in the 80's on any given afternoon, but the temperature dips to 40's or 50's overnight. And in fact, we've been enjoying highs in the 60's the last couple of days, and last night we had a frost. Gentle breezes blow and nuts and leaves are falling.  They crunch beneath our feet, reminding me of my Midwestern childhood.  I am so incredibly thankful that our sons can experience autumn this way for the first time this year.
 With this refreshing weather has come new energy to our community.  Although we saw plenty of folks out and about during the dog days of summer, certain outdoor activities are just a whole lot more enjoyable at present.  People go crazy with decor; this is time to celebrate!  It is stellar camping, hiking, and biking time.  It's perfect weather for pleasure drives with the windows down.  So with a fresh spring in our steps, we're excited to get out and see more of East Tennessee, knowing that there are still weeks and weeks of this luscious weather and color to savor.
You can read about more things for Alaska Girls to love about the South by clicking here.

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