Ten Things Tuesday

The weather is starting to take a decided turn here in New England.  Since I’m pretty famous for griping about the impending winter (really, for a native Yankee, I ought to just quit my bitching), I decided to try to look at things a bit more positively.  Here, then, are ten things that I really, genuinely like about autumn in New England.

1.  It smells good.  Really; you wouldn’t think so, but there’s something about the combination of cool air, wood smoke, and rotting leaves that makes one want to inhale deeply.  Add to that the yummy smells of autumn food, and fall around here becomes an olfactory delight.

2.  It’s pretty.  My little corner of the world becomes a riot of color during this time of year, and the leaves are just beginning to change in some places (which I almost like more than the full-blown color that will come in a couple of weeks.  I think that the single, crazy-red tree standing arrogantly amidst all the green is more dramatic than a forest full of color).

3.  There’s a lot of great stuff to do.  My town’s apple harvest festival happens next Saturday, there are hayrides and apple-picking trips to take, and there’s football to watch.

There are also chores to do, but somehow, they seem less cumbersome in the fall than they do in the heat of summer.  Mr. Chili doesn’t seem to mind raking and mowing as much in October as he does in July.  Besides, the girls love jumping in leaf piles.

4.  The nights are made for cuddling.  In the summer time, we close our windows during the day but open them at night.  In fall, we switch that.  It can get downright cold at night starting at the end of September, and the nip in the air invites us to get closer together than we do in the sticky heat of summer.  Evenings will often find the Chili family watching t.v., Punkin’ on Daddy’s lap and Beanie in mine.  I love that.   I also love having to turn the Puck’s heat on in the morning, but being able to open the windows in the afternoon.  (sometimes, I open the windows AND turn the heat on!)

5.  The yummy, cuddly sweaters come out of storage.  This weekend will likely be the Great, Twice-Yearly, Chili Family Clothes Switch, when all the shorts and tank tops go in the bins and all the sweaters and cords come out.  It always feels a little like Christmas during the clothes switch; I find that I forget what treasures have been stored away in the attic for the season and am always delighted to reconnect with a favorite sweater or pair of fuzzy socks.

6.  The food.  There are certain dishes that I ONLY cook at certain times of the year and, while I absolutely have my favorites among all of the seasons, I think that autumn contains the highest percentage of winner recipes.  Since it’s cool, I don’t mind running the oven and the stove, so roast beef and chickens, stews and pot pies, and huge vats of spaghetti sauce are regularly cooking away in my kitchen.  My crock pot comes out and yummy delights are simmered within all Sunday afternoon.  I’m also fond of real, homemade apple sauce – if there’s one thing we have in abundance here in autumn, it’s apples - and I find that fall is the time that I start baking in earnest; quick breads, brownies, crisps and cakes are regularly available in my autumn kitchen.

7.  The slower schedule.  For all that we may complain about school and work, I think that they really are calming influences in our lives.  While I love the free-range feeling of summer, I find that I have a harder time keeping track of time – appointments, lunch dates, meetings – when I don’t have the constant of a work and school schedule grounding me.  We may have less time to sit around and do nothing in the autumn months, but I find that I have less stress because I feel I’m more on top of my time in the fall.

8.  The t.v. shows come back.  While this isn’t a HUGE part of my autumn life, I do find that, since it gets darker much eariler, Mr. Chili and I tend to wind down sooner in the autumn than we do in the spring and summer.  I’m looking forward to the return of some of my favorite shows.

9.  Holidays.  For all that they can be stressful (and, MAN! have they been stressful the last few years!) I really do like the traditions and the consistency and the fellowship of the holidays.  I also really love the food, but that’s a post for another time.

10.  I like the passing of time.  I think that Mr. Chili’s right; if we moved someplace that didn’t have distinct seasons, I’d miss them (though I respond to that by saying that I should at least be allowed to try!).  The feeling of the Universe plodding along through its rhythms is comforting and reassuring: everything is unfolding exactly as it should without any intervention from me.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

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13 Comments

Filed under celebration, cooking, fun, Home and Family, kid cuteness, Little Bits of Nothingness, love notes, my oh-so-exciting life, Parenting, ten things Tuesday, weather

13 responses to “Ten Things Tuesday

  1. Ah! I do miss fall in New England…

    I have to agree about the smell in the air. There’s just something about it that feels good. It is amazingly pretty, sometimes breathtaking. I think it looks nice when the leaves turn down here in Alabama… and then I’ll come home for a visit and remember what fall colors are all about.

    You sound just like my mother when it comes to cooking. For three months out of the year she won’t turn her stove or oven on – everything must be grilled outdoors – otherwise the house gets “too hot.” We don’t have that problem down here. You just cook and sweat.

    And I have to agree on the TV thing, too. This summer has been dreadful for television. I’m sick of Jay’s reality shows, they make me want to scream. I’m looking for a big puppy pile with all three dogs and the cat piled on us and we cuddle up to watch Gray’s Anatomy.

    Final comment – the great clothes switch. In Alabama that is still MONTHS away… it’s 6 AM here and 67 degrees out. No need for jackets and sweaters just yet!!

    Happy Fall!

    ~M

  2. Ummm, didn’t you forget the absolutely, positively, most fundamentally important reason about why to look forward to autmn?

    FOOTBALL, BABY!!!!

    (no, it’s not specific to just New England, but it’s FOOTBALL BABY!!!!)

  3. Falcon, I mentioned the football in #3. I’ll grant that it wasn’t a category of its own, but it certainly IS one of the things I love most about autumn (though I’m a little disappointed that the Pats have their bye this weekend – it’s too early in the season…)

  4. I love fall down here, too. Our seasons are not always as distinct as yours; sometimes we skip spring. But, fall, …, what a relief from summer. The highs have been hovering around 85 this week and it’s fairly cool in the mornings. Delightful. It gets even better in October.

  5. Kari

    I’m definitely going to have to visit New England in the fall. I’ve always thought about it, but now you’re putting it back in the forefront of my mind.

    I understand you wanting to have the option of 4 seasons or trying something else. I grew up in CA where we only had 2 seasons, warm and hot. Very few trees lost their leaves or even changed the color of their leaves. I LOVE having 4 seasons now and fall is my favorite.

    I found your blog last week (I think Wednesday) and I have started your “Ten Things Tuesday”. I hope you don’t mind. I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for putting yourself out there.

  6. Whoops! My bad. :(

    I’m still docking you a point for not making football it’s own category, though… ;)

  7. Yeah, well, Falcon – if I’d run out of nice things to say about autumn, I’d have made football its own category. You’re lucky that the Pats have their bye this week, or we’d have been hard-pressed to agree to help you move!

    Kari, “mind?” You hope I don’t MIND?! I’m going to put your link on the Ten Things Tuesday page – of course I don’t mind! Welcome to the party!

    I really do love living in New England – I was born and raised here and have never lived anywhere else – but I often come off as sour on the place. I find that I like winters less and less as I get older, and I long for an extended growing season. I feel as though I JUST start grooving with summer when it’s over. If I could knock a month or two off of winter and add it to summer, I’d be a happy clam.

    Now I’m off to check out YOUR blog out!

  8. So, I went to my local apple farm yesterday to get my very favorite apples (Honeycrisp) and they haven’t started picking them yet. I was never so disappointed in my life. Seriously. I’d been thinking honeycrisp allllllll day long.

    I’ll haunt them until they begin the picking.

    I love this time of year, too. :-)

    The difference between our lists would be the holidays. Mine haven’t been stressful since my sister got divorced.

  9. I love autumn, too. And although we have four seasons here in our high desert, I miss midwestern autumn (which isn’t even as spectacular are New England autumn). I love the desert. I love the blue skies, but I miss the trees and smells in autumn.

    And I’m with you on the food. I love autumn for my weekly pot of soup that happens until spring. Every Friday I make soup and bread for dinner. Usually a diffferent soup every week, but we repeat a couple of them. That’s our favorite food, and I miss it in the summer.

  10. Organic Mama

    Autumn IS warm sweater time, cuddling under the down comforter that’s been banished for the summer, apple pies and crumbles and cakes, Thanksgiving food orgies, a riot of colorful leaves and I wouldn’t trade NE and this season (having lived in the NW and the SW) for anything. Lovely post!!

  11. Lawd, I miss fall. I came back to the sunny south (hmmpphhh) 5 years ago from the rocky mountain west, and sometimes I can’t believe I did it. The things I miss the most definitely include fall. It’s still 90 and humid as f&*k here…..*sob*

    and sweaters? I sent all mine to friends up north and out west, LOL!

  12. I made chicken and dumplings this weekend. A sure sign in the Dingo household that fall is here.

    When I went to college in TX, I missed the New England fall sooo much. My Mom sent me a big box of leaves from our backyard. I almost packed up and moved back home right then and there.

  13. twoblueday

    Ah, the changing of the seasons, the marking of the passage of the earth around the sun, the yin, the yang

    the three chilly days in December, January, or February.

    I’m right with you on this, mrschili!

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