But I think I love fall most of all...
Gone are the days of laughing about putting pumpkins on the porch in 90 degree weather! All of a sudden, fall is upon us! And that makes me so happy!!! Three weeks ago my kids were swimming in the pool and now that feels like a lifetime ago. Autumn has arrived!
Spring is wonderful with its freshness and youth, but autumn's beauty is seasoned with strength and wisdom. The warm glow of the sunshine, the crunch of the leaves, the smell of the earth all speak bliss to me! The colorful beauty is like eye-candy! The air feels sparkly to me and has happiness in it. Can you tell I love fall most of all? My heart was so overflowing the other day I almost hugged some unsuspecting older woman at the grocery store who was innocently looking at things in the baking aisle. I just felt so happy!!!!
I do love the changes of the different seasons and the variety they bring, but I think September 1st through the end of the year is the best time of year! It is cozy, cozy, cozy! I think my love of autumn goes back to my childhood memories. We lived close enough to our school that on nice days we could walk home from school. I remember walking home on crisp days, coming into our kitchen, where my Mom was working and usually baking something delicious, and the wood stove was burning, it was the most beautiful sight!! The smells of the delicious food mixed with the wood burning, the feel of the warmth from the stove, and just seeing my Mom and feeling the goodness of being home, cared for and comforted deep into my soul!
And also, years ago my Dad planted apple trees on the farm they bought before their house was even built. He always used to take good care of the trees and they produced so many different kinds of delicious apples. He would let us ride in the bucket of his big tractor (years later my kids did the same thing!) and he would lift us up so high we could reach the best apples at the top of the tree. We would come home with bushel baskets full of apples, not sure what to do with them all! He was also a hunter, and I remember him coming in the house after he got a buck or when he needed a break and to warm up a little. He would have his hunting clothes on and his bright orange stocking cap and his cheeks would be all rosy. Every time I go to the local farm store and see the hunting things and the heavy duty outdoor clothes it makes me feel close to him. It's weird thing, but it's a happy memory for me. The anniversary of his passing and his birthday are next month.
So, for me, fall is full of wonderful and sweet times. And I hope my kids have the same kinds of wonderful memories I did. I really want to keep things cozy to comfort and nurture the souls in my family! Every year we pick apples and go to the pumpkin patch. I like to have lots of fall parties, although we didn't get to this year. And I try to make my house cozy, cozy, cozy! I get so excited for fall that I have to hold myself back from decorating until the beginning of September. The first thing I always put up is the apple picture I got from my Mom years ago. It used to hang in her kitchen when I was a kid, and every kid loves this picture. It is a great treasure to me!! I hate taking it down when it's time to decorate for Christmas. I always hang it in our entryway so I can see it everyday.
I made this little flower arrangement to have a more neutral feel in the entryway. I like how it turned out. The hydrangea is actually a real one that I dried after it came out of my flower garden.
From the entryway we go into our living room. I hope to share more about how this room came together soon. Let's just say it wasn't what I had pictured when we first moved in here, but it's beautiful now! You can see I decorate with a lot of fall colors. This is where we spend much of our time. It has the best view from these windows!
The one thing about fall the really makes my heart hurt is that I have no wood burning fireplace in this house! For the past 15 years or so I have had a wood burning fireplace or wood stove or both, but at this house we just have a gas fireplace. I know it's super convenient, but I really don't like it! I long for the warmth, the smell, the sound, and the glow of a real fireplace! I actually have chimney envy when I drive by other people's homes and see smoke coming from their chimney, is that weird? I try to be content with what I have, but I have a real problem with it sometimes. It's a tough life, I know! Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's chimney. Pray for me! :)
From the living room we go into the kitchen. Since this is where I spend most of my time and it's pretty closed off, I long to have beauty around me. It's a small room so I just have a few fall touches in here. I always like to change my chalkboard for the different seasons. The best comfort from this kitchen is the food! I try to have warm soup or chili simmering in a pot on cold days, or lots of yummy baked goods. Even if I can't always say it or show it in other ways, I always try to show my family my love for them through my food! It speaks when I fall short!
I love that each season has a different taste to it! Every year my family and I make egg rolls in the fall or winter. We only make them once a year and they are so good! It's an all day production and everyone pitches in to help. It's a lot of work and a fun day! Here's my hardworking little kitchen in the thick of it!
One of the things we miss from back home (since we live 800 miles away now) is going to the apple orchard and getting apple donuts! There is nowhere around where we live now to get these yummy treats, so I make them! They are not quite as good as the ones back home, but it's better than nothing!
After we leave the kitchen, it is on to the dining room. This also doubles as our school room, since I homeschool my kids. This is another hardworking, multi-tasking room. I think a big table with lots of people around it is one of the most beautiful things in the world! My dream is to have a big farmhouse table with enough room for everyone to have a seat! (Plus the big kitchen to put it in!)
I have a few other touches here and there around the house. I remember years ago one of my nephews was so amazed that I had decorations in my bathrooms! There is no place that is safe around here!
Here are some more pictures that show the beauty of this wonderful season! I think where we live in the mountains is the most beautiful place in the whole world!
I pray you are enjoying this glorious season and are able to experience the warmth and coziness of it all! I hope that you are letting your light shine in this dark world and are able to be a barrier and a comfort to those around you in whatever ways you are gifted. Like Mother Theresa said...
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family."
And I hope you have enjoyed my indoor fall tour! It's not perfection I'm seeking after, but to bring comfort from all that my family faces in this hard world. I think there is a nourishment to the soul when you are completely loved and and inspiration when you are surrounded with beauty. I want them to walk in and take a deep breath and say, ahhh it's good to be home!