10.23.2011

Falling Into Fall, The Ontario Version: Party Gnomes & Pumpkin Patches.























There is no doubt about it. I love fall. Dean thinks I'm a loon--he readily tells me so--when I openly confess every October that pumpkin is one of my favorite words. I love how your lips have to gently pat together twice to muster out the two essential consonants. And, I could rap myself up in all of the cozies that it conjures up in my mind--nutmeg scented candles, steaming mugs of cider and woolen socks warming nippy toes. I must admit that I missed it all so ever sorely in Los Angeles. The month of October still came and went in 31 days, but thick socks and apple cider never quite found their way into our 70 degree weather.

While I am still not London, Ontario's, biggest fan, I am simply swooning over the autumnal bliss recently experienced during short jaunts out into the countryside--it's lovely. Nature is aflutter here as it prepares for imminent hibernation. The trees are shedding their spring and summer bounty creating deeply hued carpets for the squirrels to feverishly hide their winter nibbles beneath. The birds and butterflies are making way slowly down to destinations where the sun will shine a little bit warmer in the months to come. The pear and apple trees, which only a few weeks ago were yielding vibrantly ripened fruit, are browning and thinning as they, too, prepare for winter's slumber.

It has been so long since I have experienced real, true, changing of seasons, such as I have this past year, that I had almost forgotten the comfort that seasonal rhythms bring--carrying you through the course of a year in very orderly and distinctly unique separations. And the four seasons of the year are further punctuated with each of their own set of surprises--bulbs peeking in colors from beneath the late season snow and the tapping of maple trees for sweet amber syrup in the spring, to the asparagus and berries of summer, to the apples, pears and squashes of fall. Each ends as quickly as they began. You blink and the dawn of the next is on the horizon. But, their fleeting availability only sweetens the time you have to spend with each.

As such, we are getting out and soaking in each moment of this season that I can. The rain clouds parted this weekend just in time for us to squeeze in the last bits of dwindling warmth--and fall fun. We attended a woodland-themed birthday party yesterday. There was no shortage of radish toadstools, pixie punch and garden gnomes. Noah and little Fern donned felt gnome hats that I sewed especially for the occasion. I hope that they still fit for months to come because nothing would please me more than to see their chubby little faces tied within its soft and jingly confines while engaged in imaginative play.

Today was spent away on a farm just 30 minutes outside of town. During the summer months it hosts acres of waist-high bushes heavy with plump ripe blueberries. We picked over 20 pounds of them back in July and while we just finished of the last of our frozen stash this past week, we'll have jam to last us throughout the winter months. This time of the year, however, the fields are abound with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, as well, a zip line, hay bale tower, goats, chickens, pigs, corn cob cannons, pumpkin catapults and a tractor-pulled wagon ride to the farm's outskirts and the coolest corn maze I have ever seen.

To be honest, I am not sure that I am anticipating winter as much as I did fall, but I know that it has just as much to offer. It only may take a little digging beneath the snow to find its surprises.

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