Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's in the air

In the last two days, I've watched a lot of rain come down. Bad news for my friends who are camping. But even without the downpours, change is in the air. Now you're likely to catch a whiff of wood smoke puffing out of someone's chimney. Leaves are turning bright orange, deep red, or crisp gold. Grouse hunters are out and deer are scattering at the sound of gunfire.

We've split a lot of firewood recently but the rain's kept us from getting it stacked so I watch in dismay as the big pile of dried wood silently soaks up all that moisture. There are so many things left on our fall to-do list and not much time to get to them. Certainly not nearly enough energy to tackle it all. I look at the chilly white sky and see winter hanging over my head. It's coming, as surely as the next hard rain and blustery winds are going to tear all the pretty colors off the branches and end the joy that is autumn in a brutal and abrupt way.

Believe it or not, I actually love autumn. It's my favorite time of year. I start planning my winter pantry and think about slow cooking, crock pots, and comfort foods. I love turning on the oven and baking yummy things. Rolling out homemade crusts for sweet and savory pies. The smells waft up to my writing nook and torture me in delicious ways.

I had to smile at a woman I saw the other day. She'd already embraced Halloween. Her turtleneck was orange with a cute jack-o-lantern pattern, and the coordinated sweater she wore over it capped it. Adorable. Even her earrings screamed Halloween. I'm not there yet, but I'm already thinking of apples and cinnamon. I'm eager to walk the chilly shoreline and enjoy the waves. October and November are the best and biggest waves. I don't mind chapped cheeks and a cold nose, as long as there's something warm to drink afterwards.

So snuggle up. Fall is coming.

- Tara Mills

Image courtesy of Simon Howden/

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