The sun has a little different slant these days. The air is crisper, reminiscent of a bite into an off-the-tree Cortland apple. I’ve pulled out my heavy wool socks as a buffer against the morning’s chill on the floors. Turtlenecks and flannel shirts aren’t far behind. And my heavy wool sweaters that I sometimes even wear to bed. From Lower Bear Lake comes the excited honking of Canada geese, gathering for their migration south or maybe just the bird world version of Octoberfest.  The calendar confirms it. Autumn is upon us.

          It’s a beautiful season, really. We love taking trips to Monroe’s Orchard and picking the last of the tomatoes off the wild tangle of plants in our own garden. Sometimes I think we have way too many, but then in a few days, I worry that we won’t have enough. I tried drying some of the smaller varieties to add to pasta dishes and that was fun. I’m hoping for a taste of summer in January.

          I’m cranking up my knitting with visions of toasty cowls and fingerless gloves and maybe a couple of caps to tug over my ears when the freezing breezes blow. I curl up on the couch (Yes, Mom, I still sit on my feet. Sorry. You may have been right. I’ll never be a lady.) and let the stitches fly from one needle to the next, watching the finished product appear under my hands. Sometimes, if the pattern isn’t too complicated, I plug in my MP3 and listen to an audio book while I work. There’s a special rhythm to this craft—knit one, and as my friend Janie says, purl a prayer. Lots of stitches, lots to pray and give thanks for.

          Leaves are starting to change to a riotous display of color and eventually to drop to earth. It’s almost a seasonal rite with me to go out and scuffle my feet through them. I like hearing them crunch underfoot. Or I’ll scoop up a big armload and just toss them up in the air. They rain down on my head and I laugh as they snag on my hair and my sweater and I feel like a kid again.

          There’s plenty of fireplace wood out there at the edge of the wood. Only problem is, it’s in huge chunks, leftover from our 2012 toppled tree summer.  A few we kept for seating around the bonfire pit, but it’s a small dent in the largesse.  Guess we better find someone with a splitter.

          Mr. Tree, the huge beech at the end of our drive, is laden with nuts. The squirrels are going to be sitting pretty come winter. Mr. Tree is getting up there in age and his leaf-covered limbs stretch out many feet, even spanning the driveway. He looks quite handsome in the snow, too, not that I’m too eager at the moment for that scene.

          Thanksgiving is around the corner—one of my absolute favorite holidays. Nobody complains about Thanksgiving. Nobody. Oh, you may get a few worrisome types who insist on counting calories, and I don’t think turkeys themselves are too enamored about it, but there’s no horribly long lead-up to the day and afterwards, the entire holiday just sort of morphs into a plethora of turkey casseroles and bowls of turkey soup. 

          So raise your cup of hot mulled cider on high! Here’s to the glory of an Indian summer day and a harvest moon and the end to lawn cutting and the lighting of the first fire in the fireplace and the bounty of the earth!

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