Autumn Saturdays

It is a rainy and raw Saturday in New York; the kind of day that reminds me of why Autumn is my favorite season. My mind immediately rolls back to Autumn Saturdays of my youth.

My mother and I rose early to do the weekly chores. My father went out to run errands. Momma had a pot of Great Northerns (beans) on the stove and cornbread in the oven. Storm clouds dimmed the sunlight that usually lit up the living room, which was now colored a muted gray. The raindrops tapped out a melody on the windows, and the growing wind later joined in harmony.

By the time our work was done, Daddy was back home so we sat and ate our beans and cornbread.  We watched television – flipping between the news reports of the Nor’Easter that was blowing through the area, and bowling matches (hey, don’t judge – we were a bowling family!).

Quiet afternoons led to quiet nights, preparing for church the next day. I miss days like this…the smells and sounds of Autumn Saturdays.

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Changing Seasons

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, I’m not talking about Christmas. I am celebrating my favorite season of all time, autumn. No other season conjures up awesome childhood memories like the fall. There’s just something about all the things that this season brings – fall foliage, air that’s cool and crisp, apple cider, pumpkins, sweaters, grey skies and brisk winds. I think about walking home from the bus stop as a child, sweeping my feet through mini-piles of leaves on the sidewalk, and hearing nothing but their crunch under my feet. I can remember enjoying the quietness of the chilly but still autumn air as I would walk across campus after evening classes while in college.  I think about rainy Saturdays, when my mother would make a pot of Great Northern beans with smoked turkey wings and cornbread. Somehow the smell of that “pot” would help make the morning chores go faster.

Seasons change for a reason – the Earth’s rotation dictates the weather each season. The Earth rotates on its axis at an angle, so there are times of the year when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun  (spring, summer) and times when it is tilted away from the sun (fall, winter). If you think about the differences in weather patterns during each season, you can see that there’s a purpose for everything. Spring and summer rains populate the reservoirs. Winter chills purify the air. Crops mature and are harvested in the fall. Everything has a purpose. So I don’t pout when the weather changes – I think of all the things that happen as the seasons shift.

Fall means back to school for the children, and getting back into daily routines with them. The positive side is that it is an opportunity to take part in and look forward to all they will be learning this school year. Like spring, fall is a season of change, transition and preparation – getting ready for what’s to come. In the spring, we watch the flower and tree buds prepare to open and expose their inner beauty. In the fall, we see the leaves change into gold, orange and brown hues, signaling the pending death and shedding of old leaves. In the fall, we start gearing up for winter – stocking the pantry with canned goods and staple items to avoid last minute trips to the store before a snowstorm. And now that the children are getting older, it’s a time for me to start thinking about fun activities for them. I’m especially looking forward to accompanying them on their school’s apple-picking trip in two weeks. Fall can also be a season of reflection, as we begin the final descent into year’s end. It offers a few moments of peaceful remembrance before becoming immersed into the holiday season. Now a mother of two, I draw from these past experiences with autumn and hope to help my children love this most wonderful time of year as much as I do.