I confess – I far prefer autumn to summer. Crisp mornings that lead to comfortable temperature afternoons, the lack of humidity, harvest festivals, gorgeous tree colors – the whole thing. Autumn… BRING IT ON.
Granted, I live in New England, for which autumn was apparently created. I’ve been here for many years now, yet every year I get that little kid excitement when I see the red leaves starting to glow on the trees. I don’t remember trees turning that color in Montana during my childhood, despite what all of the travel photos seem to claim. I remember a whole lot of yellow, brown, and clumps of sticky sap on my shoes from all of the cottonwood trees as they molted in September (followed by snow, usually for Halloween).
I wonder if my dad still remembers my silliness from my first year of college, where I actually mailed him a red leaf. I forget that he grew up in Pennsylvania, so this whole color thing was normal to him. It certainly wasn’t to me.
And for the record? I saw the first full-color tree in Massachusetts on my Wednesday commute home. So yes – Autumn Is Here.
As September starts, I’ll celebrate this glorious season with my Thursday Thirteen for this week: Thirteen Things I Love to Do in Autumn.
- Roadside Farmstands. Erich and I love heading to them any time of year, but they get particularly cozy in the autumn. We have two in particular that we adore – Schartners Farm in Essex, RI and The Big Apple in Wrentham, MA. Hot pies, buckets of apples. Yum!
- Halloween Hayrides. Massachusetts has several of these that run in October. We haven’t gone in a couple years due to scheduling, but I’m hoping we can get to one of them this year. There’s nothing quite as spooky as New England woods in the dark.
- King Richard’s Faire. Every September and October in Carver, MA is the regional Renaissance fair. We’re those geeks – fully dressed in costume as we wander around with “yards” of ale and turkey legs, getting our yearly fix of the big cat show and Hercules the Liger.
- The Brimfield Show. This is THE largest antique show/flea market in the United States. It’s held three times per year in Brimfield, MA, and we’re heading over there on Thursday the 8th with some specific buying plans. Everything from kitschy stuff to gorgeous furniture can be found here.
- Leaf Peeping. I don’t go where all the tourists go in New Hampshire. I wander back roads closer to home. Far less traffic and far more time to enjoy the scenery.
- Blanket Snuggling. There’s no better way to start a weekend for me than with no alarm, waking up with a cat curled up against me as I burrow under the comforter. I may or may not be able to confirm mornings where I fake being asleep so I can just stay there a bit… longer.
- Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. This is a tradition Erich and I have moved away from in recent years because we’re living a bit further away, but for the first few years of our relationship, we made an annual mid-October trek to Concord, MA to the historic cemetery that is so gorgeous in autumn color, especially up on Author’s Ridge, where Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne are buried.
- Cape Cod. For part of Thanksgiving weekend, we gather with friends on Cape Cod for a lazy weekend away. It started as a computer LAN party, then became a Dungeons & Dragons weekend. Then became “D&D – Now With Added Turkey Dinner!” This year we’re scaling it back and are just going to chill. Board games, some drinks, some good food, and fabulous company.
- Halloween. A lot of people don’t like being the neighbors giving out candy, but I confess – I love it. We live in a great neighborhood for trick or treaters, where the kids do still go out after dark (none of that weird daylight stuff here!) I remember it fondly, and I hope that I help the current generation build some of those memories for their future.
- Sabbats. Two of my favorite high holy days happen in Autumn. Mabon and Samhain, both harvest festivals. Mabon has taken on a more important meaning personally to me in recent years. Samhain is such a beautiful holiday, love and rememberance mixed in with a little secular whimsy.
- Wedding Anniversary. Mabon (Sept. 23rd) is Erich and my wedding anniversary. It wasn’t intentionally planned that way, to be honest – but sometimes scheduling fate just takes over. We’re approaching four years this month. :)
- Pumpkin Coffee and Apple Cider. Dunkin’ Donuts is my downfall in autumn. I cannot get enough of the coffee and the muffins. Apple cider is THE best thing on a cold night.
- My Morning Commute. Dew on the grass. Crisp smell in the air. Autumn really is the only time of year I absolutely feel energized in the morning.