"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Eagerly awaiting Autumn.......

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth 
seeking the successive autumns." 

~ George Elliot ~

All images in this post were taken by me (except the one I am in...Kevin took that!) last fall.
All images ©Kristen DeSimone, Sept - Nov, 2007

Autumn paper project, made by me, 9/07

It is no secret to those that know me, and those getting to know me through this blog, that I *LOVE* AUTUMN! Ever since I was a kid I have loved this glorious season, and growing up in New England, the autumn capital of the world, I have been pretty spoiled with year after year of amazing falls. Now as an adult, I love the season in a whole new way. With my own home I am free to express my love for this season in any way I wish. And that usually means letting little touches of fall creep in to my home decor, here and there, starting, oh, in August! Yes, I have been known to have pumpkins (fake, of course) pop up on the mantel or Yankee Candle's Autumn Wreath or Spiced Pumpkin or MacIntosh candles burning, filling my home with their intoxicating autumnal scent.

First fire of the season, 9/07

And of course I am always waiting for THE night that the temps dip just enough to justify lighting the first fire of the season in our fireplace. I love our fireplace. It is so cozy and homey, the mantle is just right for decorating for autumn and Christmas. I love everything about it! 

Bailey on the deck, October '07

Autumn is the most perfect time to be outdoors in New England. If we take it season by season, let's see...winter, you very nearly freeze every part of your body. Spring...wet, cold, it could still snow, muddy, ick! Summer....OK, I will admit summer can be beautiful here, but for the most part, and it has seemed this summer especially, it is HOT. And HUMID. So.Flippin. Humid. Ugh! Gross! Yuck! But autumn...ah, autumn. Bright, sunny, blustery days. Cool and crisp, vivid blue skies creating the backdrop for leaves in brilliant shades of amber, russet, gold, and orange. Chilly nights, perfect for lighting a fire and enjoying a steamy bowl of hot, bubbly soup that has simmered most of the day with warm freshly baked bread. Cozy throws on the couch to snuggle under while reading a great book or watching a favorite movie. But it is the days...the days are the best. I just always want to be outside. There is nothing better than a long walk on a crisp fall afternoon. Or a day spent at the apple orchard, or the pumpkin patch. One of my favorite things to do, and it was even as a kid, is to walk around my neighborhood to see how everyone has decorated their yards to welcome fall. I love seeing the huge pots bursting with colorful mums. The happy orange pumpkins in every size and shape. The bales of hay. The scarecrows. And as we get closer to Halloween, the jack o'lanterns. I need to walk slowly, and stare. I breathe deep and soak it all in. Sure, everyone knows I pretty much always have a camera with me. But I also need to burn these images in my mind...and on my heart, tucked away for me to visit in my dreams during the long hot summers and the brutal cold winters. 

The road to Brooksby Farm, early October '07

I don't work on Mondays. I work a four day week. So I spend my Mondays mostly at home, or running errands that I can bring Bailey on, too. He loves to ride in the car. Something we always do is go to the Dunkin Donuts down the street so I can grab a coffee, and they are always so nice and give Bailey a couple plain munchkins. On our way back to the house we drive past one of the entrances to Brooksby Farm, my little piece of country in the city. almost every Monday I will drive through there. I love to look at the apple trees, those glorious little orbs heavy on the branches but still a ways to go. The huge stately trees, hundreds of years old, full and green but in my mind they are all the colors of the autumn rainbow. Then that day comes, that day in late August, maybe early September, when the sign appears on Smith Barn announcing the October craft fair hosted by the Peabody Historical Society. Oh I swear to you my heart skips a beat. That one little sign is one of my most favorite harbingers of the season to come. It is not the biggest craft fair, but it is very holiday-ish, very autumn-y, and Christmas-y. And it is in this big old barn in the middle of an apple orchard. Really, the whole scene just screams fall! 

Me, Robin, Marion ~ Honey Pot Hill Orchards, Stow MA ~ September '07

Speaking of apple orchards, is there anything more quintessentially fall than picking apples? And in New England, the McIntosh apple is almost like the mascot fruit of fall. LOL I am so fortunate that two of my GLU sistas and fellow Autumn addicts live right here in MA, too! Last September we had such a fun outing at Honey Pot Hill Orchards in Stow. To me, days like that are what fall is all about...good friends, lots of fun, lots of apples, perfectly crisp weather. I long for these days again, and just keep reminding myself that at least it is already August. September will be here in just 29 days. And I know that fall doesn't officially begin till the Autumnal Equinox on September 22, but I have always considered my start to fall to be once Labor Day has come and gone!

My ceramic jack o'lantern, made by me, September 1991. Photo taken October '07.

After September comes and goes, we enter in to what I think is the best, the most perfect month of the year: OCTOBER! I chose this month to get married (nine years, October 30!). My parents chose it, too (40 years, October 19!!!). And before you know it we arrive at what is one of my top four favorite holidays...Halloween!!! We don't even have kids but I still love Halloween. I love when the trick-or-treaters ring our bell, even if we don't get as many as I would like. I love buying way too much candy than we need, then claiming I will send all the extra with Kevin to work. Yeah, right! I love all of my ceramic decorations I made when I was younger, especially my jack o'lantern that is just like the one Mom made when she was younger. And I love love love when my brother brings little Jonathan over each year so we can see him in his costume! It is the highlight of my month!!! 

~ Thanksgiving 2007 ~

October, sadly, does have to come to an end, though. By now, the leaves are mostly in piles on the ground, the trees are bare, the coming winter is starting to show itself in bits and pieces as a permanent chill settles on New England. November is here. And November does bring on of my other most favorite of holidays, Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving really is a magical day. It is just all about family and loved ones and friends. I love Halloween, and I love Christmas (my other favorite holiday is 4th of July), but there is so much extra that goes along with those holidays. Thanksgiving is a time to just be. I even love Thanksgiving Eve. The anticipation is so exciting. I have this weird quirk (my sista Liz will back me up on this one!) where I *must* get out and do some grocery shopping on Thanksgiving Eve day. Normally, I despise grocery shopping. Can't stand it. Kevin does it every week. But on that Wednesday in late November, I suddenly *love* it! I love that the store is busy with people scrambling to get what they need at the last minute. It actually feels festive. I only leave a few things for me to get because I don't want to miss out on something I need but I just love being there and soaking in the holiday magic.

That night Kevin and I always do some kind of yummy take-out for dinner. We keep it easy because there is a lot of prep we are doing for the next day's cooking of the feast. We will watch a holiday movie, something that focuses on either Thanksgiving or Christmas, or watch re-runs of Thanksgiving episodes of favorite sitcoms.

The next morning, before anything else, it is all about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! It is not Thanksgiving to me if I don't get to watch the parade. And I always DVR it, because I can't just sit and watch the entire three hours. There is food to be cooked! But I forbid everyone from changing the channel during the broadcast because even when I am in the kitchen I can hear it! The rest of the day is all about two things: family and eating! Well, actually, the biggest thing is giving thanks for this little family of our's. It is just Kevin and me and Bailey, Mom and Dad, Kevin's Mom, Jonathan, Jonathan Jr., Phie and Kya, Uncle Harry, and cousin Diane. And this Thursday in November is the one day of the year where we have nothing to do but to just be together and enjoy a leisurely family day. What could be more perfect?!? 
The kitchen island all ready for appetizers, Thanksgiving day, Nov. '07

By 7PM, usually everyone has gone home. We are tired and could probably easily go to bed, but the night is not complete till we watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! It is now, after all, the start of the Christmas season. But still, I will take some quiet time, just me and my journal, to reflect on everything that made up another perfect autumn.

Autumn. Just hearing the word evokes feelings of contentment and bliss for me. Something stirs deep within my soul, like the rustling colorful leaves flutter on their branches, so, too, does my heart. My heart flutters with all the anticipation and excitement of another autumn, fleeting as it is. Each year I vow to make the most of it, to make it last. And each year it does seem to go by all too fast. But that is OK. I will take all the autumn I can get, even if I am only meant to have it for a few short months. It is my time to come alive. My spirit awakens, my creativity flows, my life seems full and rich. 

Page I designed for a Circle Journal group I am a part of ~ 9/07

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. " 
~ Stanley Horowitz ~


Anonymous said...

Great post, Kristen!!!
I am starting to get the "itch" for Autumn...even if it does mean going back to work!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Lord, I need a Kleenex! You spoke straight out of my heart, baby girl! What an awesome, beautiful, PERFECT post!

DJ said...

What a lovely post! I'm in South Florida and we never get fall at all and I long to some day live where my son and I can enjoy the seasons. So for now I pretend.

lacey said...

Fall is my fav season too! i love taking pics during this season. so so pretty and i love the weather too! yay for autumn! :)

Robyn said...

Hey girly! Love the post! Come by and see what I just made using a medium I have never played with! Oh great fun!

Tanya said...

OH MAN! This post totally put me in the Autumn spirit! I can't wait for days of sweaters and not be hot and sweaty, I can't wait to put the AC away for the year and feel the cool breeze from the cool crisp Autumn air!

RenaeS said...

You have such an amazing talent for taking pictures and writing! I love spring and summer a lot, but now, I am so anxious for Fall!

Robin J. said...

Sigh. You touched my autumn heart. I'm starting to pine for fall and craft fairs and apples with my GLU girls.

Tina ~ Blessings Friends. said...

Love Autumn, and your right, we must be sisters, lol. That's to funny. Girl, you have such a way with words. I wish we could all have a gorgeous autumn day together!

Hugs, sweetie!

Tanya said...

Hey, did you see Tim Holtz is coming to AE in Sept? Wanna take a class together?? I couldn't find an email on your blog to email ya?!?

Terri and Bob said...

Such a beautiful, heart felt post!

Robyn said...

Kristen come check out my funny post! i was tagged and it turned out very funny! You will enjoy it!
Us and our sick and twisted humor!

Anonymous said...

Kristen this is the first chance I have had to really sit and read your blog.

Absolutely wonderful writing and I love your pics. Your house always looks so pretty.