State Of The Situation

What I Like About Fall

      The sound geese make while they're flying south. How much extra energy do they expend "Honking" for a thousand miles? When you're flying a foot from your neighbors wingtip, there doesn't seem to be much chance of getting lost.

      The first smell of smoke from a wood stove or fireplace. There's just something comforting about it. Like the smell of "Grandmother's house" after going "Over the river and through the woods" to get there.

      The opportunity to pick my own pumpkins and apples and all sorts of other things. I never do that, but I like the idea that I can if I want to.

      20 varieties of apples in the supermarket. Some have less, some have more. I've tried them all. I buy red delicious mostly.

      Bags of mixed nuts. They're around all year but I never think about them until the fall. I think they should reduce the ratio of Brazil nuts.

      Hay bales and corn stalks in every store. I think I'd be more inclined to buy a computer that was nestled in a hay bale.

      Winter squash. Some of the only truely colorful food available to the average american consumer.

      Stacking firewood into nice neat piles. There's something satisfying about seeing a wood shed jammed full of neatly stacked alternating rows of split firewood. And none of that mess around on the ground either. No bark or woodchips in the grass.

      The first fire in the wood stove in the shop.

      The first nap in the chair in front of the wood stove. It usually happens around four o'clock in the afternoon as the last sunlight streams in the windows through the bare tree branches.

      The warm spot in the shop near the stove. It's a great place to dry boots and gloves and there's a small shelf type thing on top to keep coffee or tea warm.

      Putting the garden up for the winter. Digging up and storing bulbs. Mulching the less hearty plants to protect them from frost heaves. Pulling the dead annuals and planning next years plantings. Draining and storing all of the hoses and sprinklers and such. I'm not sure why I enjoy it so much. Maybe knowing there's always the chance to do it over again next year.

      Walking through leaves on the ground. That's the excuse I use not to rake them up as soon as they've fallen from the trees.

      The earthy smell of the ground in the fall. It's most noticeable under a pile of leaves that's just been raked after sitting around for a bit.

      The first time the ground is hard from freezing. It seems to make each step spring off the ground ever so slightly more for not sinking in.

      Hearing the wind wip piles of leaves agaist each other and the sides of the house. Also seeing the action from inside the warm cozy wood shop. Unless you're right at the windows you can't hear the rustling. It's like a silent movie.

      The smell of stew and soup cooking or a crock pot full of baked beans when you come in from the cool fresh air outside. Sometimes it's worth throwing a batch of bread in the bread machine just to smell it baking. It never seems to go to waste.

      Did you notice one that mentioned the sight, sound or smell of huge amounts of progress being made in the shop or on the house? I didn't either.

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Copyright 1999, Chandler H. Johnson