It’s Fall! My absolute favorite season of the year! Technically it has been Fall since the end of September, but the weather got a bit confused and gave us a couple weeks of 90’s weather. But, it has finally figured things out, and we actually woke up to a nice brisk morning. Hurrah. I am unofficially celebrating by cooking soup, making homemade bread, having a tea party with some of my kids, and possibly lighting our cook stove tonight.
Of course, I really don’t like it when I give the impression of a life that’s all bright and cheery without any bad points at all. This day has had its moments. Like this morning, when I got the entire family up and ready to go see the Shriner’s Circus, then just before we left, I checked the tickets one more time and realized that the circus is actually next weekend. Not this weekend. Oops. Unfortunately, if you are in my family, you are used to mom making colossal mistakes like this. I also went to get out my nice LLBean Flannel sheets to put on my bed and discovered that someone had taken scissors to the elastic on the fitted sheet. Thank you children. My husband said it was Entropy. I said it was children. He said children are a part of Entropy. I also asked my girls to clean their room. They said they did. I asked if it was amazing and would I come upstairs and say Wow? And they said Yes! When I finally got around to checking their work, I did say Wow. They were right. I said, Wow, this is horrible. But, despite all of that, it is a wonderful, bright, Fall day. And I’m happy.
Since I was a child Fall has always been my favorite season. From the age of six to eleven, we lived on my grandparents farm in Eastern Kentucky, back in a holler (Hollow). My grandparents had around thirty acres and all the farms around us were also big properties. We lived in a little trailer tucked up in the woods, my cousins lived down the road in one direction and my best friend lived up the hill from me. If we needed more kids than that, there were several families with kids down the holler we could invite to join us. It was really a children’s paradise. There were hills, fields, a creek, ponies, lots of dogs and cats. We had the freedom to wander all over the place without our parents worrying about us. The basic rule was: be home for meals. Check in every once in a while.
Fall meant crunchy leaves all over the ground. We would make leaf piles and jump in them. Roll around in the dry, crispy carpet that covered the ground. One of my favorite memories about fall leaves was the ravine we happened upon one day while stomping around in the woods. It was a very steep incline, a good long drop down into a dry creek bed that only filled up when it rained. The side of the steep hill was covered in leaves. We discovered that if you sat down on the edge of the hill and just let yourself go, it was kind of like sledding. On leaves. Not sure if the seat of our pants stayed intact, but we had fun.
Another big part of fall was the smell of wood smoke. Most people in those parts heated their homes with wood burning stoves. Every fall my dad would get his big red farm truck and load us up in the back then head off down some little trail into the woods where he had scouted out some fallen trees. We would then spend the day playing on the fallen tree while my dad did the heavy cutting with his chainsaw. When he had the wood cut to movable pieces my brother and I would then step in and help load it all into the back of his truck. When the truck was as full as he could make it, we would climb on top of the wood and ride slowly back home. Where we then had to unload all the firewood and stack it up into a woodpile behind our trailer. It was a family project and we all felt content when we knew we had enough firewood stacked for winter.
Fall. It’s bright red cheeks from running outside in the cold. Dark by suppertime. Hot soup and warm bread. Reading books out loud next to a fire. Blue jeans and flannel shirts. Slippers and robes in the early mornings. A time for pumpkins and hay bales and hot apple cider. What’s there to not love?
So, I’m off to enjoy my fall evening. We’ll have some pinterest-worthy moments, and we’ll have some crazy, smack-my-head, roll-my-eyes moments, cause I’ve still got a houseful of kids, but I’m going to choose to be happy, cause it’s Fall!