Fall is absolutely, positively my favorite time of year. I love the brisk chill of a windy day, the tumble of leaves from the trees, colors so stunning they bring tears to my eyes, and the amazing aromas of green chile roasting and cornbread baking in the oven.
I love harvest soup, pinto beans and red chile, fresh apple pie, and… Well, just about anything that brings autumn alive.
I suppose this love of fall is in part because I remember vividly fresh vegetables from my family’s garden being prepped for canning. I recall my mother insisting that we stop at every roadside vegetable stand to buy fresh chile and anything else we didn’t grow, so she could “put it up” for winter.
I don’t know of anyone who does this any more, at least not in the way my mom and grandmother did. I suppose I enjoyed it as much for the family time it provided as for the food carefully put away for use during the cold winter months.
There was a time in my life as a young adult when I followed these traditions, but that’s been a while ago. At 71 the idea of lining up Mason jars and filling them with harvest bounty just makes me tired.
I’ve been noticing on Facebook that several of my friends are showing photos of their yummy garden produce. It looks so lovely, bursting with life, and much prettier than anything you can get in the store. One thing I did not inherit from my family tree – either side – was a green thumb. My dad and grandmother could pitch seed in the ground, hardly give it a second’s thought all through the summer, and end up with enough for us an plenty to share. My last attempt at a garden provided a lot of bounty… for the rabbits and deer. Too much work for very little reward.
I admire anyone with the energy to tend a garden. I know the result has to be far healthier than anything available commercially. So hats off to all my gardening / canning / domestic goddess friends! Enjoy the fruits of your labors. You’ve earned it.
The photos in this post were taken the first day of fall. The collection of scarecrows – and I admit it – a few silk sunflowers – brighten our day and say Happy Fall every time we come home. The apples are real. This is the largest production in five years or more. All our summer rain certainly helped. The flowers I think of as a curtsy to the season. They’re hanging on, but barely. The waving grass behind the house is turning a burnished gold. Collectively these images warm my heart and make me smile. What more can a person want?
Have a blessed and happy day, every day.