The sun is shining and it’s a muggy, hot day! A drastic change from just a few hours ago and about a 180 degree difference from yesterday. Tuesday’s chilly temps and cloudy skies put me in the mood for Fall. So, dressed in my favorite pair of jeans and most comfortable sweatshirt, I spent most of the afternoon carefully packing away my home’s summer wardrobe and headed to the basement to dust off the totes that hold all of my fall goodies.
What I love most about living in Iowa is the chance to experience the beauty of every season. While most say it’s their least favorite part of living in the Midwest, I can’t help but think that if we didn’t experience the harshness of Winter we’d be hard-pressed to enjoy the arrival of Spring. Every Spring I am so thankful to see the new buds bring promise of warmer weather and fewer layers of clothing. Soon after the flowers bloom and the muddy lawns become green and lush, the intense heat of Summer on my skin always helps me shake the last of the winter blues. Pool days, catching fireflies, sand between your toes, dirt under your fingernails, and the unmistakable call of the cicadas in late-July always have a way of refreshing my soul. And, then, just when you begin to become a bit tired of it all, mother nature teases our senses with cooler temps, falling leaves and a bountiful Fall harvest. I think it’s the idea of coming full circle that I appreciate so much, or maybe it’s my tendency to get bored with the same ‘ole same ‘ole. Either way – I love to visit the desert and the beach, but prefer to keep my feet firmly planted in the prairie.
Fall is quite possibly my most favorite of the four seasons. Our garden is a family effort – my husband tills the soil in the Spring, we all help plant, I usually take care of the early Spring weeding until our grass clippings keep the weeds at bay. My husband keeps things under control during most of the summer and helps with the majority of the picking, the boys help with the eating and I am responsible for the canning. While I love the satisfaction of growing our own produce to eat, shelve and freeze, the Fall harvest, for me, is by far the climax of it all. The pumpkins are my pride and joy and the corn stalks take a strong second. I was recently asked, “So what do you make with your pumpkins?” And the simple answer is…absolutely nothing. They are solely for decorating.
Decorating for Fall brings a sense of calm and warmth. Perhaps it’s the deep hues of red and orange or the smell of apples and cinnamon. Happy pumpkins sitting on my front porch, the scarecrow standing guard over the corn stalks rustling in the wind and the acorns falling silently to the ground are all the perfect greeting when I come home to my little piece of the “country” on a cool Fall day. Bringing the warmth of the season indoors is just as enjoyable for me as it is outside. I love creating little vignettes around the house that bridge the gap between nature and home. While walking through the house, usually picking up whatever toy I’ve managed to step on, I love catching a glimpse of the little pops of Fall that have been tucked away in every little corner of my home.
And although it is without a doubt, my favorite of the seasons, when the last of the leaves have fallen and there are promises of colder days ahead in the forecast – I’ll gladly wave goodbye to Fall and open my arms to snow angels, hot chocolate and woolly scarves that Winter is sure to bring.