Thankful for a couple of things today. First, Tuesdays! I have a long work-free afternoon that’s all mine to do whatever I want to (before I go back to work this evening). I love my Tuesday afternoons to be productive or to do nothing at all but watch Elementary or Law and Order. It’s kind of like Saturday mornings for me, full of expectation and promise, and I get to decide how it goes.
And then there are apples. Western North Carolina is apple-growing country, and autumn is apple time. I just now heard on the local news channel that North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the country. I’m not sure why it took me so many years to discover the healthy and delicious snack of fresh Gala apple slices dipped in peanut butter. Simple and good, and right now I’m cutting back on wheat (gluten) products to see if that makes me feel better, being a little suspicious I might have a gluten sensitivity (non-celiac), so needed a new afternoon snack. I understand from some reading I’ve been doing that that’s the fad of the moment, gluten sensitivity, but I have a lot of chemical intolerances and sensitivities that most people don’t have to deal with, and sometimes they’re downright debilitating, so it’s worth a shot. I always feel better knowing I’m doing something good for myself like eating a little healthier, especially with heart disease also running in my family. I’ve written about apples before in Orchard Time and Singing the Praises of Apples. Enjoy this beautiful autumn day! #gratitude
Copyright (c) 2016 by Raindrop Ridge Press
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. It would be easy to sit here and make a list of all the things I adore about this time of year, but I’ll leave it at vibrant and earthy colors, an intensely blue sky, cooler days and nights, pretty sweaters, the crunch of leaves, and the smell of wood smoke. For me, fall is more than a season, it’s a feeling, an attitude, pure happiness, and it’s Nature’s last vivid and colorful display before the grays and browns and whites of winter are upon us (except for those bright red berries and evergreens, of course!). The last hurrah before a time of hibernation, rest, and renewal, for animals and plants, and even me! as I settle into nesting and cooking more comfort foods, cozy nights accented by the flickering flame of a candle that smells like cinnamon and pumpkin and apple. Then in a few months we eagerly await spring and the new buds and babies and pastel palette that Nature offers us without fail in her precious cycle of birth, death, rebirth. I want to embrace the beauty and specialness of each and every season, and right now, it’s autumn’s turn.
Even though my favorite holiday of Thanksgiving is still a couple of months away, autumn is the season of thanks giving, for harvests and bounty put away for long winter days, for family gatherings and so much more. Over the next few days, I want to honor some of those simple pleasures that make my everyday life special.
(Hwy 276 between Waynesville and Brevard, North Carolina)
copyright (c) 2016 by Raindrop Ridge Press
It’s that Joe Pye time again, when my thoughts turn to autumn….ready for more comfortable days and cool nights, clear blue skies, and the summer haze shaken off….my favorite time of year is approaching, and once again I find myself asking, “Where did summer go? It’s almost time for school to start back already.” I do get spring fever after a long winter, but I’m even fonder of “autumn fever,” when I feel energized by not just the weather (after the heat-induced lethargy of summer) but also by the vibrant colors and a dramatic reminder of nature’s beautiful seasons that I can always count on.
Copyright (c) 2015 by Raindrop Ridge Press
This may seem a morbid thought to some, thinking about my own death, but here goes. June is a great month to have been born in, early June, so still the spring of the year, my second favorite season. But when I die, I hope I die in October, my favorite month. October makes me feel alive, maybe that last burst before everything starts dying. Nature gives us a color explosion before it goes more brown and bare and dull gray. The colors of autumn are vibrant and usually reach their peak in October. It’s the season that makes me happy and energizes me, and it’s the month that brings back good memories for me of school days and street dances, chilly mornings and nights, woolen skirts and colorful sweaters, pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns, Indian corn, chrysanthemums of purple, yellow, white, and bronze, and those crisp blue skies you can get lost in when you look up. A quote has been going around on Facebook, “My favorite color is October.” That’s so me……and to die and have my ashes scattered in these mountains, maybe even along a creek bank, on a colorful October day, under that blue sky that only autumn gives us, just seems right, before the leaves fall and the cold winds blow, preparing for that next glorious spring in the cycle of life, being ever joined with God. I find that comforting.
Copyright (c) 2014 by Raindrop Ridge Press
Today was my first trip of the season up Balsam Mountain to Barber Orchards to buy an apple cake. A couple of years ago I wrote about this autumn tradition. Even though it’s still summer, the orchard is open, school will soon be starting, and the earliest signs of my favorite season will soon be visible, so I’m sharing what I wrote back then (just click on the photo below). By the way, the cake was scrumptious and fresh out of the oven, still warm when I got back home.
Copyright (c) 2014 by Raindrop Ridge Press