Today was the first full day of Autumn. I’ve been in a state of denial about the changing of the seasons and the end of my beloved summer but it seems everyone and their brother is in cahoots and determined to make me face facts. You know, it isn’t that I dislike Fall. It’s really a lovely season. The leaves start to change to red and gold. The dogwood trees have pretty red berries on them. The days are a little cooler and the nights significantly so. And there is something quite special about the quality of light this time of year. The way it slants through the trees in the morning and shimmers on the damp grass makes me happy.
So what’s the problem? Well, as night follows day, winter follows autumn. And that, my friends is the real issue. Oh, a week or two of cold weather and perhaps a light dusting of snow is all well and good. It’s fun to have a fire in the fireplace and drink hot cocoa. But heavens to Betsy, weeks on end of cold weather is simply too much of a good thing. We really don’t need to get carried away, do we? And if I never live through another ice storm I’m perfectly fine with that. David and I have made a pact with one another that if we ever move it will be someplace South. Southeastern Oklahoma is as far North as either of us intends to live.
But despite my best efforts at prolonging Summer, the calendar declares that today is (gulp) the first day of Autumn. Okay, let’s see what I can do to make the best of it. Well, for one thing, it is still nice and warm here and I have a secret little plan which involves talking David into taking off early one day. I can’t say anymore just yet because it is intended to be a surprise and he reads this blog. There’s still time for a few more meals cooked on the grill although since we are currently eating vegetarian that does limit our options. And it’s the perfect time of year for me to enjoy a cup of tea on our balcony, which is why I spent some time this week getting it cleaned up, wiping off the table and chairs and putting the tablecloth and chair pads on. I even have a special furry friend to keep me company (more about that in a future post).
One thing I do like about this time of year is that it seems a good time for evaluating my life and instituting some changes. For one, I’m determined to get in shape and now that I have some spiffy new tennis shoes, I’m going to spend some quality time with my treadmill and reintroduce myself to that somewhat annoying Wii Fit trainer-person. “Hello, Deanna. I haven’t seen you in a coon’s age. How’s ya mama an’ dem?” No, she isn’t Cajun and doesn’t really say that but wouldn’t that be cool?
I’m also spending more time on my house. Not just cleaning – I’m a pretty decent housekeeper – but what I think of as “puttering”. You know, rearranging decorative items, changing a few things, small decorating projects, cleaning/decluttering/organizing a drawer here or a cupboard there. Arranging flowers, planting mums and pansies in the planters on the porch, putting out the Fall decorations. It’s too warm right now but when it starts to get cool, I’ll start *cosy-ing* up the house. I like to have an afghan within arm’s reach no matter where I sit in the house so I’ll gather up my collection, wash, rinse with a bit of Downy, dry and fold, then place one on each sofa and chair with the extras stacked neatly in the big basket I keep in the family room. I’ll put out a puzzle for us to work on together.
I am going to start working on that scarf I began knitting a couple of years ago. A friend taught me how to knit and I bought some gorgeous, expensive purple yarn in New Orleans. Who knew how much yarn it would take when you knit as tightly as I did? I figured out that at the rate I was going that scarf was going to consume over $100 worth of yarn. Um, I don’t think I want a knit scarf that badly. I’m going to rip it all out (which is called “frogging”, by the way – are you impressed?) and start over again, trying to keep the stitches loose and relaxed. I’m aiming for a $50 scarf. 😉
Finally, I’m giving a lot of thought to my daily and weekly routine, as well as some special rituals to add to our lives. I don’t want a strict schedule but rather, a regular flow to my day and certain tasks for certain days. You know, like our grandmothers kept house. Mine never seemed rushed yet her house was tidy, the laundry kept up, meals on time and her other responsibilities tended to. She even made time for some extra things. I recall many years ago that she told me it was important to work in something a little *extra* once in awhile. Something she enjoyed and felt a sense of satisfaction from. The example she used was making jelly. Grandma made wonderful grape jelly and over the years we all were the recipients of this treat which she made in saved baby food jars (kept refrigerated, not canned). I remember how she taught me how to make it when I was just a teenager. I’ve made it numerous times since but not in a long time. And I’ve been promising some to my daughter who loves it. I think I’ll put jelly-making on my list next week, along with baking bread. That’s something else I haven’t done in awhile but just this morning I was asked to make a loaf for World Communion Sunday next week so there’s the incentive I need.
I have more thoughts on all this but this post is already too long (is anyone still reading?) so I’ll leave it here for now. I’m going to keep my camera charged and handy so I can take pictures of my little projects to share with you all. And there will no doubt be more to share regarding my thoughts on homemaking, routines, and change. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the changing of seasons and how that effects you, your home, your routines…