fall down memory lane

The perfect autumn morning...
In this part of the country, Fall, as I always knew it, doesn’t really exist. Fall, as I think of it: The freezing morning, chilly midday temperatures, the breath hanging in the air, vivid leaves surrounding you. Mornings when fog lay nestled between the hills, and mist wrapped itself around the trees in the woods. The constant need for a heavy sweater, jeans, and shoes, and always longing for something hot to drink. It always made me want to bake pumpkin bread, to build a fire in the wood-burning stoves, to settle down in a comfortable corner with a beautiful book. I always slept with my window open, just so I could smell that particular Fall smell when I woke up, and feel the chill. Those crisp mornings were my very favourite time of year; they were always so refreshing; they made me feel so alive, so vibrant.

Since moving here, I have missed Fall terribly. Here, and it’s only about 700 miles south of where I grew up, the version of Fall exists in slightly chilly mornings and high temperatures of 85, sometimes even 90. The trees are mostly still green, but when they change, they turn yellowish, then brown, and fall to the ground all dry, curled, and brittle. The cold air in the mornings triggers the old impulse to dress warmly; and I have, layers, denim jackets, scarves, tights, and long sleeves. It’s as though there’s a disconnect in my brain still, regarding this version of Fall – I’m always sweltering in the sun a few hours later when the temperature soars.

So these last few days, I’ve been living vicariously through images from my Mom; bushels of apples from their tree, sitting on the picnic table, and waiting to be made into apple crisp, cider, or sliced and frozen for future pies. Vibrant leaves coating the entire lawn, falling onto the pond, lying on the brick patio. Icy-cold mornings, woodsmoke in the air, the scent of pies, of spices, twirling through the air and making their home feel like the coziest place in Earth.

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