Simple Joy

Oh how I love fall.  It's not just one thing about it.  In fact, I'm sure it has everything to do with change...I'm grateful that I live in a place where the seasons change.  While I often long for the mountains of Colorado and the dry blue skies and sunshine that seem to be bluer and brighter as one travels west, I have so much that comforts me in Eastern Nebraska too.  Fall brings many things and touches so many of my senses.  The sweaters get unpacked, the oven heats up again and fills the house with the aroma of baking apples or pumpkins or any wonderful and warm comfort food.  The seasonal aromas don't stop in the kitchen though...outside air is filled the smell of harvest and frost and leaves and wood burning in fireplaces.  I know it is unusual, but even the smell of a freshly sealed gym floor warms is something I have always associated with the coming of fall. 

Smell.  Touch--the wool and warmth of sweaters, the crisp, coolness of the air, the weight of heavier blankets to snuggle under.  Taste--well, that's the one that probably gets me into trouble...the apple crisp and pumpkin muffins and cinnamon rolls with chili!  But really, all of those scrumptious recipes that come out a little more often in the fall are just heavenly.  Then there is the soup.

 Soup is truly an answer to a quest for a simplified season if you ask me, and from the first cool day of fall to the last cold day of spring--until our senses switch gears to the comfort of the smell of the grill and the taste of fresh greens and corn on the cob, soup fills the role of something easy, something hearty, something tasty, something warm and comforting!  Of course the fall season completely provides the very best holidays for the whole taste thing too!

Hearing?  Well, I haven't really given that too much thought, but I suppose that there are some pretty distinctive sounds that arrive with fall...howling wind through the window gaps, the sound of the furnace kicking on, the leaves rustling on the ground, the harvest equipment busy in the fields, the whistle from the referree on the football field and the roar of the crowd in the outdoor stands, the silence of the snow fall or the patter of the rain against the windows...even the kids playing INSIDE more rather than outside--some of those sounds are distinctive.  :) 

Sight...that is the one I probably have the most fun with...until I can figure out how to make my photos lick and sniff!  Sometimes I think one can look at a photo and the brain immediately goes to the smell and the taste...

Fall is amazing to look at!  True, it's not the same as spring when we see life blossoming in all that is green and growing. 

We see things dying instead, but none-the-less, it is still beautiful.  The colors are brilliant.  Just as it is beautiful to see brown twigs turn to green fluff, it is breathtaking to see five colors clustered together randomly for miles and miles from the top of a hill looking over a stretch of mature trees.  I've always been enamoured with the leaves themselves...the shapes and colors and veins and sizes. 

Yesterday, the kids started raking a friends yard that was completely covered in leaves!  They were fighting--over who got to rake first!!  See, we don't have enough trees to create piles of leaves, and I kind of think that if we did, the wind would take them all somewhere else pretty rapidly, so this is a novelty for them!!

 They raked and bagged and then we warmed up with some hot cocoa from a gas station nearby.  We took the long way home, as the kids noticed those beautiful colors I mentioned from a hilltop, so we went through neighborhoods in search of the most amazing leaves.  As homeowners were probaly cursing their big piles, we were rejoicing in them because they offered us such fun in our quest!  It was cold, otherwise we probably would have just walked and found even more, but we were driving and pulling over and jumping out instead!

I was instantly transported back in time to college botany.  We marveled at the differences in the leaves and I gave the kids a quick lesson on what I could remember as far as the types of trees that supplied our collection.  I showed Joe and Amelia how to color over the leaves to create pretty outlines on paper.  This was so much more fun for me I think than for them...they just wanted to color!

What a wonderful season!