Autumn, Again

How are we here already? Autumn is my favorite season, one I deeply miss when it isn’t present and eagerly look forward to the moment I hit my threshold for being constantly sweaty in the depths of summer. I appreciate and love every other season but autumn? That’s perfection to me. And yet I am startled by its arrival because this summer was so strange and somewhat lost to us.

My husband would always tsk at “too-early autumn decorations” when they’d appear in stores or on yards in September, and it’s easy to see how it felt too-early when we lived in Virginia. The weather was humid and often stayed well into the 80s for the majority of the month. Labor Day weekend never felt like the end of the summer, it felt like an unfair slight by pool owners who shuttered up the best way to cool off. But in the Finger Lakes, September brings nearly immediate impressions of autumn. Already in August the temperatures began to cool off, more night’s were comfortable enough to have windows open and daytime temperatures steadily had less muggy afternoons that left a constant sheen of sweat on the skin. By September, the leaves were beginning to change gradually and the cooler temperatures became the prominent temperatures so the declaration of autumn and embracing the season seems appropriate.

But it still feels like we went from “oh, fall is going to be here soon,” to “oh my god it’s fall, quick! we need to can tomatoes!” and it seems like everyone else had that impression because Ball jars have been sold out at all the stores in my area for weeks.

None the less, I haven’t too much to say because I need to prep to go to the farm and pick apples and wash off paste tomatoes so I can make them into sauce tomorrow. So take this short post followed by a list of what late summer looks like here:

  • Putting away our summer wreath on the door and trading it for our fall wreath that will remain on the door until Black Friday
  • Pulling out our little autumn decorations–not to be confused with our Halloween decorations–and placing them around the house
  • Going through my clothing and my son’s and storing what we no longer need–for him it will be forever as he’s growing like a weed, for me it’s until next summer
  • Ordering new clothing for my son and I–for him it’s all new and only for the season, for me it’s to replace what I can no longer fit in or what has become threadbare
  • Take more walks because the temperatures are finally pleasant
  • Have the windows open nearly all day, every day and dress accordingly with blankets, pants, and sometimes light sweaters
  • Begin searching for sales to pick up Christmas gifts on the cheap, work on the making of other Christmas gifts
  • Build a shelf in our kitchen to store the various canned goods we have
  • Study canning and preserving then go crazy with the many beets and tomatoes we have and all the various recipes for them!
  • Don’t forget making pickles
  • Planning out entertainment for the colder months, particularly in this time of pandemic which will prevent us from doing many of our normal forms of entertainment
  • Budgeting: we did wonderfully this year in paying off a car loan and making a huge dent to my student loan debt, but there’s other areas we want to accomplish and we have high hopes of doing well in that regard
  • Switching over all the blankets for warmer items
  • Cleaning the windows one last time until spring
  • Enjoying hot coffee again by an open window that pours chilly air into the house

I am deeply sad we weren’t able to have the summer we had originally hoped for and I’ll miss that summer for what it could have been. But I also am deeply appreciative for the summer months giving us a reprieve of low COVID cases in our county as well as warm temperatures that allowed us to enjoy the outdoors. However, I’m ready for the change in season and this switch in our normal. Gone are the days spent outside with sweat and heat, now are days spent evenly indoors as we prep for winter, and out as we enjoy the last warm sunny moments. Hello, autumn. I’ve been waiting.

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