Sunday, October 8, 2017

Ah, sweet autumn

Put the cauldron on! We're going to revisit memories. How can you not go back in time when you feel that crisp, fresh air and smell the leaves and other detritus, that decay giving the earth a blanket for a winter's sleep. Our thoughts turn to pumpkins and pumpkin pie. Not just about today but about those yesterdays remembered. Nutmeg, cinnamon, apple cider. Somehow nuts and apples and pears are a bit more alluring. Autumn. Ah, let's add ingredients

The first thing into the cauldron must be the sound of farm equipment rumbling across the fields, taking in the fall harvest. Wagons full of corn, signaling a healthier bank account, and livestock with food in their pantry. It signals a quieter time for the farmer and a honey-do list waiting for him when winter brings him out of the fields and into the house. A time to sit by the fire.

Next comes the anticipation of snow and thoughts of Christmas. A quick stopover at Halloween and then Thanksgiving with thoughts of finishing crafts and buying presents. My granddaughter Emma took me into her closet to show me her snow pants. She is anticipating tubing down the mountain. "I need snow boots, MeMe," she imparted with perhaps a motive behind the comment. Ah, yes, snow. I remember. I remember the anticipation.

Add a few memories of counting days until kids come home from college or grandchildren come to visit. The excitement of planning. The anticipation of hugs long missed. For me, it is a time of missing those no longer here, remembering the family gatherings and anticipating my son coming home after months at Northwestern during his college years. A yearning for those we love and the past.

Let's toss in hay rides. Pure joy and smiles at the memory of straw in a wagon, singing at the top of our lungs and snuggling together against the fall chill. Cider and hot dogs. Popcorn and cookies. Donuts and hot chocolate. Sugar Grove and youth group.

Let's add a little bulk to this stew of memories. Homecoming, marching band, football and soccer. Pumpkin Show and fall bazaars. Summer put away so that a new season can bloom once more. A hearty fall menu.

Bold colored leaves of yellow, gold, red and orange are reflected in clothing. Tank tops make way for sweaters. Heavier bedding comes out of storage. Feather beds, down comforters, flannel sheets. The stew is a palette of memories and colors. I hope I have stirred a cauldron of memories for you. Enjoy every minute and savor the stew.

"And in my heart, sweet Autumn, thou art the awakener of many, many things. At thy touch the deep fountain of memory is stirred, and its shadowy bank is thronged with many cherished images and hallowed recollections of the Past!" - Elizabeth J. Eames from "An Autumn Reverie, October 1940

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