Autumn Memories

I’ve always loved autumn. Perhaps some of that comes from my childhood memories of the time when summer would change into autumn. I still notice the shift: the days are shorter, the nights cooler, the air gets that fresh and nutty smell, and I change what I cook to accommodate the autumn harvests of apples, pumpkins, winter squash and root vegetables — new potatoes, parsnips, beets, and sweet potatoes.

This time of the year also brings a certain nostalgia for what autumn would bring in my childhood. I remember Mem had been sewing “school clothes” for us all summer, so that on the first day of school, I could choose from two or three new dresses that had been ironed and hung in the closet, ready to wear to school. I loved to sit at my own desk at school and pull out clean sheets of lined paper and open the books that had been stored in the entrance of the schoolhouse all summer — each page held a new lesson — something new for me to learn. At recess I ran with the other children, playing Kick-the-can, Prisoners Base, Softball, or Freeze Tag until the schoolbell rang and we resumed our lessons.

I loved to go into the woods to gather hickory nuts and snip bunches of elderberries off the bushes by their stems as the blue jays screamed out their protest that we were taking their food; walk deep into the woods and find the brightest and most colorful autumn leaves and take them home and iron them between waxed paper or dunk them into melted paraffin; find a big acorn cap and place my thumbs just so and then blow into it to make a loud, shrill whistle that made the squirrels scamper up the trunks of large oaks; try to catch the leaves that fluttered down from the tall maples, beeches, and oaks surrounding our house; make piles of leaves that was taller than me and then bury my siblings in that pile, or have them bury me; or sit quietly in the “autumn woods” by a spring and observe the little birds and creatures of the forest.

Columnist Doug Larson wrote, “Nostalgia is a file that removes the edges from the good old days.” Perhaps he’s right. But that also means we have some good memories that we want to separate from the rest. And once in a while I am grateful for these good memories, even if I have to file the edges.

What memories do you have of autumn? What is your favorite season?

The woods behind these horses is where we used to gather hickory nuts and elderberries.

P.S. I’ve had a fairly hectic travel schedule, which is not letting up anytime soon. I will post again as soon as I can. I appreciate your visits and comments in the meantime.

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15 thoughts on “Autumn Memories”

  1. Thanks for sharing your memories!For us it means harvesting potatoes — learn more on my ‘Bee-Hive Busyness’ blog post:
    hutt-writevoice.blogspot.com on

  2. I love winter! My favorite time would be walking into the city park, at night, as the snow started falling. Everything was totally silent and the first dusting of snow would cover the road, everything would look so calm and peaceful.

  3. Never liked the heat and humidity, so the fall was always my favorite time of year. That crispness to the air, the beauty of the leaves changing and then crunching under your feet, new school supplies was something I waited all year for, and it meant that happy holidays were around the corner. I love that first snowfall that glitters like a diamond blanket, long peaceful nights to read and write…ahhh! This time of year is the best!! :):)

  4. Autumn is or was my favorite time for the very same reasons you wrote about.Since I am living in Florida I miss those times. Yet, there is also Autumn down here in Florida, it is just not as obvious at in the north.

  5. The older I get, the softer those edges get. I think I’m glad for that! Anyway, I love Autumn, too. It’s always officially autumn in our house when I’ve made apple dumplings, a pot of chili, and hot spiced cider. Yeah…I do that once a year! Just once.

  6. You have some very special Autumn memories. Two of my favorites are gathering leaves and preserving them by “waxing” them by ironing wax paper over them. The other is our annual road trip 60 miles down the road along the Missouri river bluffs, sightseeing the beautiful bloom of colors.

    Hope you have safe travels!~

    Deanna

  7. I find something to celebrate in each season, and there’s lots to like about autumn…bringing comforting foods back on to the menu, the colours of the trees, lighting log fires. The downer for me is the encroaching dark. Sometimes I can go a whole week at work without seeing sunlight.

  8. Linda, that looks like quite the harvest, too! Wow, that is a LOT of potatoes!

    KQ, I used to like winter as a child for the reasons your described, but the older I get, the less I like the cold.

    Rita, nice descriptions of autumn… I’m not as enamored with snow, as I mentioned above.

    Katie, thanks for your comment. Does the light change much from summer to winter in Florida? You must have longer days than we do right now.

    Deb, YUM! Are you inviting anyone over for this feast?

    Deanna, that sounds interesting. I’m actually going to be in Missouri in two weeks… I suppose you could be referring to a different state… the Missouri River flows through several states.

    Ian, you’re right about missing the light… me too. Uhf, weeks without seeing sunlight, that’s a toughie.

    Thanks, all for your comments and perspectives.

    Saloma

  9. Hello Saloma,

    Every season has beautiful things … but I’m most enchanted by the beginning of Spring. Those tiny buds transforming into leaves and blossoms, the first snowdrops, daffodils, crocuses … the birds in their ‘busy time’ of making nests, that first feel of Spring in the air … I can’t tell you how happy I am in Spring :)

    Have a nice day & I love your autumnal refelctions,

    Carolien

  10. Hello Carolien,

    It’s great to hear from you. I was waiting for someone to mention spring. I love it, too! In fact, as I get older, I think I love spring almost as much as I love autumn, if not as much. What is there not to love in all the things you described…

    One of the things I am getting from this conversation is how to enjoy every season. What a privilege it is to live in this beautiful world created by the Great Artist.

    A good day to you, too.

  11. Hello Saloma,

    I totally agree with your words and like your way of expressing it like this. A Great Artist indeed!

    Have a nice Sunday!
    Dutch greetings, Carolien

  12. One of my favorite fall memories from my childhood in Montana was raking the leaves. All the streets were lined with elms & beech trees which shed a lot of leaves! All the kids in the neighborhood would get together to make “leaf houses” where we would rake the leaves into long lines to represent the walls, leaving spaces for the doors. It was great fun & you could make your house any size you wanted, if you had enough space and leaves. The unwritten rule was that you HAD to walk through the doors, not just step over the walls. Every so often someone would wreck the houses, usually when no one else was around, which caused hard feelings. Most of the time, however, we all got along & eventually had to really rake the leaves & help load them up to be carried away. Fun times & great memories!

  13. That really is a fabulous quote. So true. You are lucky to have so many memories because I feel like I can’t remember much myself. The ones I have I could never recall as you do. Mine are mainly snippets.
    I LOVE fall. I was born in fall (October 5). My daughter’s birthday is 12 days later. My anniversary is the 20th.
    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 Eliot

  14. Well, better late than never.
    After a dreadful, hot and humid summer I embrace the autumn as one would a long lost, beloved friend. The enchanting colors, apple picking, pumpkin carving, hay rides, spice cakes, and fun Halloween parties are all what make autumn special to me. And my boys have made it triple the fun.
    As Ladybug mentioned above we also make leaf houses. Everything the same as she wrote. How is it that a girl from Michigan and a girl from Montana, whos paths have never crossed, did exactly the same thing during the fall? And where did we get the idea?
    Saloma, the more I read, the more I see how connected I am to other people. Even those hundreds of miles away from me whom I never clapped eyes on.

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